This is a contributed post by participants in the 2017 Diversity and Inclusion in Scientific Computing (DISC) Unconference.

Read our prior posts in the series:

Creating a directory of support networks for increasing diversity and inclusion in recruitment and outreach

Our team, in alphabetical order:

  • Amelia Kallaher, Cornell University
  • Christine Custis, Shenandoah University
  • Dave Clements, Galaxy Project
  • Jane Herriman, Julia Computing
  • Nathan Goldbaum, University of Illinois
  • Noam Ross, EcoHealth Alliance/rOpenSci
  • Sarah Supp, Denison University

Recruiters, educators, and community leaders often struggle to diversify their organizations. Strong support networks that connect talent to recruiters and opportunities benefit select individuals while those who don’t have the privilege of access to those networks are left behind. How can we reach the individuals without access to these networks? This problem was considered in one of the working groups formed at this year’s Diversity and Inclusion in Scientific Computing (DISC) Unconference held in conjunction with the November 2017 NYC PyData conference.

One possible solution is to provide a directory of support networks that can be used to match diverse applicants or graduates in a field to recruiters seeking diverse talent. When we talk about recruitment, this could refer to recruiting for a job, for a speaker panel, an academic department, or open source projects. Our working group began compiling a directory containing categorized resource information pertaining to:

  • hiring channels
  • meetups, events, and conferences
  • teaching organizations
  • university support networks
  • societies and directories
  • entrepreneur resources
  • mentoring matchmaking opportunities

There are other fields that have already used a community contributed model to identify lists of talent or speakers that identify as members of an underrepresented group. In keeping with this theme, our directory will aggregate support networks (professional societies, mentoring circles, diversity campaigns, and more) as possible “connectors” to diverse talent pools for recruitment.

A draft of the current directory is on GitHub here. We would also like to house additional resources for recruiting from underrepresented groups (URGs) for companies, open-source projects, and academic programs alongside the directory. Want to contribute? Look at the project issues! This project is still in the initial stages and we would love to get help from interested community contributors.

Example Use Cases

We envision this resource being used to match opportunities for education, training, and mentorship provided by open source projects, companies, etc. with individuals who identify as members of underrepresented groups. Take a look at our user stories for potential ways to use this directory:

Fernando the Open-Source Project Community Manager

Fernando wants to increase the diversity of contributors and users of his open-source project. He needs ways to increase the visibility of the project to URGs and convey that his project is an inclusive, supporting community. Fernando may use the directory to find venues to talk about his project in his own city or in other cities when he travels. He can use it to identify contacts at universities or conferences where he may teach a workshop. He can use the resources in this repository to evaluate the way his project is described on his website.

Winifred the NGO Research Scientist

Winifred is hiring data analysts and programmers for her group at a research institute. She wants to ensure she gets applications from as broad a pool as possible. Winifred can use the directory to identify job boards on which she can post her job announcement, or contact relevant groups at universities or communities to disseminate it to a diverse group of students or other potential hires. She may use the resources to make sure her job description best represents her organization’s values and practices in diversity and inclusiveness.

Harper the Data Science Undergraduate Program Coordinator

Harper does recruitment and student advising for an undergraduate program in data science at a university. They need to advertise their program to potential students and provide resources for those students as they transition to careers. They use the directory to reach out to K-12 programs in data science and computing to send materials about their undergraduate program. Harper refers students to the directory to find meetups, support network groups and mentorship programs in their home cities. They also have contact groups to partner in matching students with mentors and internships.

Trisha the Scientific Computing Entrepreneur

Trisha has a start-up in designing algorithms and is looking to network in her region’s community of data science and computing entrepreneurs. She is looking for diverse and inclusive venues to refine her pitch and look for partners and potential employees. She uses the directory to identify local meetups to attend and support networks to join.