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The Global Interim PyLadies group closed the RFC for proposing a PyLadies Global Governance Model on September 15, 2019 - #11 and we will be moving to the next stage of the process.
In this next stage, below we have proposed three approaches for how to select the Global council. Initial questions have been outlined below and we will be updating this document with more details on the proposals and in the questions section as feedback is received.
Please circulate this with any and all PyLadies members.
Any self-identifying PyLadies member can propose themselves for the council, provided the requirements below. If nominating another person for election, that individual must be a self-identifying PyLadies member and their consent will be required (e.g. an email sent to the person and they consent to participate).
Additional requirements to consider:
- Proficiency in English (historically English is the language this work has been done in)
- Ability to participate in a regularly scheduled meeting; to start monthly
- Reasonably responsive on email, GitHub, and Slack
- A PyLadies member with at least 2 years experience in the community
Length of Term
The council will have 9 seats. To ensure that new council members onboarding is smooth and institutional knowledge is not lot, council members will have staggered term lengths. Initially, 4 of the council members will hold a term of 1 year with the option to seek an additional term. The last 5 will hold a term of 2 years with the option to seek an additional term.
The length of a term is subject to change given the input of the PyLadies Global Council members.
Diversity and Inclusion Requirements
The PyLadies Global Council will be made initially of 9 members with no one country of residence representing more than 33% of the council during a given council cohort. Other diversity and inclusion requirements will not be mandated in an explicit policy as these requirements can change over time and the end goal is to promote community involvement and feedback.
Proposal 1: Elections
Selecting the PyLadies Global council with elections will emulate the Python Software Foundation council of Directors Elections in the process including:
Phase 1: Individuals to propose themselves or another party to last roughly 4 weeks Phase 2: Voting to last roughly 4 weeks
The timelines provided here are placeholders since only if this proposal selected will a timeline be better detailed. Registration additionally for voting will be determined in a separate proposal.
Proposal 2: Nominations
Selecting the PyLadies Global council with nominations can happen either through self-nomination or nominating another PyLadies self-identifying member. An application will be made available through PyLadies, for example on the website.
Proposal 3: Blend of Election + Nomination
Selecting the PyLadies Global council with elections and nominations would require that some subset of seats are appointed with the rest are elected. This proposal can allow for more fine-tuning for diversity and inclusion considerations while also allowing the PyLadies Global council to backfill seats as needed should members step down.
Again, timeline for an election, how many seats would be appointed through which mechanism and registration for voting will be determined in a separate proposal.
- Why would a Council member need to be
a PyLadies member with at least 2 years experience in the community?
We are looking to make this council as inclusive as possible, so restricting to a specific type of PyLady member (e.g. an organizer) would limit our efforts in this. Additionally, it is important that we have PyLady members on the council that have that has some historical context of the community.
- What is the adequate length of time a council member should serve?
One thing we need to consider is this initial council will have many firsts they will be taking on. As the initial cohort, we need a council body that is able to commit for a minimum requirement (ergo at least 1 year). Additionally making the requirement a bit soft (that is at least 1 year) allows there to be some overlap for when council members leave and new council members join. There's a real danger that if all council members leave at the same time we may lose precious institutional knowledge, have too many new people and therefore lose progress in sustaining ongoing work, and overall create instability for the council. Therefore, as a requirement seasoned council members should be actively involved in onboarding and mentoring new council members.
Let's look to the Python Software Foundation (PSF) for an example. On the PSF, board members use to be elected to terms of 1 year then all seats were up for re-election. This greatly hurt knowledge retention, led to inactivity due to confusion from what board members can do / learning how to even be a board member, and overall progress made on work suffered. In 2017 the PSF moved to tiered elections, where every year ~ 1/3 of the seats are up for re-election and terms last 3 years. You can read this here in the Python Software Foundation Bylaws 5.5 Election and Term of At Large Directors.
- What diversity and inclusion considerations should we explicitly consider?
The following should be considered:
- Regional diversity -- no more than 33% of the board should come from the same region
What additional requirements should be asked of anyone considering joining the PyLadies Global Council? For example, do we want to require that council members have been organizers for a chapter for some period of time?
How will nominations, that is a Council member who is selected by a means other than direct election, be reviewed and selected?
For determining council members from a nomination process, for the initial council we could:
- the interim global group could receive nominations via submission of a web form
- again any nominations that aren't self-nominations require approval from that person
- the interim global group can review over a period of time and select those nominations selection will follow the list of guidelines defined in the issue above as well as diversity and inclusion requirements (e.g. not all members be from one same country)
Right now those in the interim global group are experienced organizers of established PyLadies chapters from around the world. We should definitely continue to ensure that group has proper regional representation.
After the initial council is selected, any nominations received would be reviewed and selected by the council.
Timeline for Next Steps
- Dec 15 to Jan 15 2020: PyLadies Organizers vote on one of the proposals above.
- Jan 1 to Jan 31 2020: Review any feedback on basis.
- Feb 1 2019 to Mar 15 2020: Based on selection mechanism open issue(s) to start: building the PyLadies member database (needed for election to happen), application (how will nominate or how will propose for election), talk with PSF about the firstname.lastname@example.org process if necessary
- Mar 15 2020: Kickoff publicity campaign for election/nominations
- Apr 2020 follow this timeline #46 to coincide selection/election with PSF BoD election