Surveys are a means to measure the diversity of participants in a community. But as with other diversity issues, it is important to have an intended outcome of a survey; it should not be done simple because “we are curious.”
One example of a question that may be answered through a survey is understanding the diversity of various projects and events compared with each other. These results could be used to identify the more successful diversity and inclusion measures and practices each project has used and encourage their implementation in other projects.
The survey we have planned starts with questions meant to identify the role of the respondent in NumFOCUS projects and conferences, and which project(s)/activity(s) the respondent most identifies with. This last question is meant to make the results useful to individual projects, and to make the other data analyzable both overall and in a project-specific manner.
Then we will ask questions regarding their current professional status, their current occupation (e.g., academia, industry, government, non-profit), career stage, and country of residence.
Finally, we will ask questions related to the respondent’s identity as a member of marginalized groups. We plan to ask these questions because we want a way to assess if our efforts to implement inclusive practices are actually making a difference. We will first ask if they consider themselves a member of a marginalised group in their own field. If they say yes, they will then have the opportunity to identify one or more dimensions in which they meant this, such as: gender identity; ethnicity, nationality, skin color, race; or sexual orientation; religion; age; disability; and/or another dimension.
Second, we will ask if there are other factors that prevent them from fully participating in their chosen NumFOCUS activities. If they say yes, we will ask them which of the following factors they meant, such as: nationality, religion, age, disability, socioeconomic status, English language proficiency, family care responsibilities, and/or another factor. If they said yes to the second question, we will also ask what would make it easier for them to participate in NumFOCUS activities, such as: travel support (e.g., funds, childcare), monetary compensation for project work, mentoring infrastructure (e.g., Buddy system/office hours to facilitate community integration career recognition (e.g., NumFOCUS-sponsored prizes/awards, titles that recognize both contributions and responsibilities), training opportunities (e.g., remote or in-person workshops such as on GitHub, coding), or career advancement support (e.g., help convincing administrators of value of open source contributions).