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Strategies to further diversity and inclusivity in the community, with a focus on women* in tech and implementation as well as execution of the friendly space policy.
See also the related chapter in this handbook: Newcomers
If you want all of the people attending your event to be able to participate, then you need to plan your event to make that possible. There are multiple things you can do to increase participation. Some of these ideas apply primarily to large, multi-day events; others are well-suited even for hour-long, informal gatherings. Many of these ideas do not have significant monetary costs.
Children + Family Travel
At the Wikimedia Hackathon 2015, WMFR had a very successful Kindergarten/Day Care space for people attending the event with their families. They hired a local agency to be around to take care of the children so their parents could focus on the Hackathon. This was very appreciated and if you choose to do it at your event it is nice to announce it before or during registration so that families can plan ahead.
It is also nice to provide housing options for couples and families traveling together. Examples: Rooms with one large bed, shared rooms with multiple beds
Be very specific about how you expect the significant others of you event to eat. Can they join the event at meal times and eat for free? Will they need to pay a small "family" registration fee to cover the cost of their meals? Do they need to find their own meals?
Lessons from WMFR Organizer of the Wikimedia Hackathon 2015 in Lyon:
- Already provided at previous Wikimanias
- Other colleagues unsure about this (is it necessary?)
- Hire a daycare person through a company
- English skills important for the person hired
- Ask age and nationalities of children (might influence choice of hired person)
- Open from 10 am to 6 pm
- 1200 € in total
Friendly Space Policy and Code of Conduct
Pre-hackathons and workshops for women and trans* persons
One method to actively include more women and transgendered participants into a Wikimedia hackathon is by inviting them to a pre-hackathon, exclusive for them. This is a means to create a safe learning space among peers, and to actively further the participation of otherwise often underrepresented groups.
If you want to hold a pre-hackathon or workshop exclusive to women and transgendered persons, it's beneficial if you collaborate with organizations that have already experience it that area, e.g. Ladies that FOSS (WMDE), local female hackerspaces, feminist organizations as well as local women in tech initiatives. By reaching out to them for a collaboration, you will not only get a chance to reach more participants over their network, but also get their expertise on how to design such an event to be as inclusive as possible, starting with language used for promotion, to event design on the day.
In 2017, WMAT (organizers of the Wikimedia Hackathon 2017 in Vienna) held two pre-hackathon MediaWiki coding workshops, one of them exclusive to women and trans* persons. Link to the website: https://www.wikimedia.at/hackathon/workshops/#english (A wiki page for documentation of the workshop concept and schedule is in preparation --Sonkiki (talk) 11:29, 30 June 2017 (UTC)).