[Owasp-board] We've seized defeat from the jaws of victory. Again.

Tobias tobias.gondrom at owasp.org
Wed Apr 20 22:31:08 UTC 2016


I very much agree with Josh.
Thanks, Tobias


On 19/04/16 05:44, Josh Sokol wrote:
> For the record, LASCON 2015 had 6 out of 55 female presenters (11%).  
> 2 out of 8 of the Featured Speakers were female (25%).  1 out of the 3 
> Keynotes were female (33%).  I don't think it's fair to say that "it's 
> clear because every conference organizational committee has in our 
> history failed to achieve even 10% gender diversity for over a decade 
> now".
>
> http://lascon2015.sched.org/directory/speakers
>
> In Austin, we also have a woman Chapter Leader and several women who 
> are active on our planning teams (chapter and conferences).  Dale 
> Carnegie wrote "Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your 
> praise".  Maybe, instead of dropping the hammer on those who we think 
> are doing it wrong and expecting them to change their ways, we should 
> be highlighting those who are setting a positive example for the 
> community?
>
> I can tell you from my experience running AppSecUSA 2012 that very 
> little was given to our planning team in the way of recommendations, 
> expectations, connections, historical data, etc.  We did what we did 
> because it was what was deemed comfortable and attainable for our 
> planning team.  With the addition of Laura to our staff since then, I 
> would expect a much higher level of guidance on best practices and 
> expectations coming from the Foundation as well as the resources to 
> back that up.  If expectations has been set for the conference 
> planners, and they are failing to meet those expectations, then I 
> agree that the Board needs to take swift and decisive actions to 
> remedy the situation.  That said, I am unaware of any such mandates 
> that have come down from the Foundation which leads me to believe 
> that, devoid of any requirements, this is a situation where, right or 
> wrong, speaker diversity slipped the minds of the conference 
> planners.  We don't have to be dicks about it by removing speakers and 
> whatnot after announcements have been made.  If you truly believe that 
> it is our fault, then punishing the conference planners and selected 
> speakers for our shortcomings will only upset people.  Bring it to 
> their attention and allow them to find a solution for this issue.  If 
> they cannot or do not, then we move forward and knowing that may not 
> be a team we want to award the conference to in the future.  For now, 
> I'd suggest that we focus on putting a process in place to either do 
> blind selection or require diversity for planning going forward.  Once 
> a firm policy has been established and people are aware of what is 
> expected of them, then naiveity is no longer an excuse.
>
> ~josh
>
> On Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 7:49 PM, Andrew van der Stock 
> <vanderaj at owasp.org <mailto:vanderaj at owasp.org>> wrote:
>
>     The lack of diversity sits squarely the Board’s shoulders for not
>     putting in place requirements on organizers to meet our
>     organizational mission, and it’s our fault for not helping the
>     organizers with active diversity programs such as reaching out to
>     WIA programs, it’s our fault that we haven’t made it clear that 0
>     women keynotes is not acceptable, and it’s our fault that this
>     keeps on happening, and in fact has happened for as long as we’ve
>     run conferences.
>
>     We as a Board must address our non-existent governance over these
>     issues, and build out our capability to attract submissions from
>     diverse communities, and to ensure these under represented
>     communities have assistance to submit high quality submissions and
>     actually get an opportunity to present at a large conference.
>
>     The current situation is not any one organizational committees
>     fault, and it’s clear because every conference organizational
>     committee has in our history failed to achieve even 10% gender
>     diversity for over a decade now, it’s 100% not their fault.
>
>     It’s our fault. We have to fix this. And we can’t do it by saying
>     the status quo is okay. Let’s address this in the next Board
>     meeting. If you have ideas on improving the motion so we can get
>     some real change, particularly for 2017, let’s get them in there.
>
>     thanks
>     Andrew
>
>>     On 19 Apr 2016, at 04:40, Jim Manico <jim.manico at owasp.org
>>     <mailto:jim.manico at owasp.org>> wrote:
>>
>>     Folks,
>>
>>     I understand why you are concerned and upset over this issue.
>>
>>     Please be cognizant that the EU PC committee is full of dedicated
>>     volunteers. Please avoid being accusatory and attacking when
>>     approaching the EU committee over this. There is already bad
>>     blood in the water and I hope someone aims to diffuse this, not
>>     stoke even more anger over this. Proceed gently.
>>
>>     Aloha,
>>     Jim
>>
>>
>>
>>     On 4/18/16 4:44 AM, Matt Konda wrote:
>>>     Andrew,
>>>
>>>     I agree that this is unacceptable.
>>>
>>>     For additional background, I specifically reached out to the EU
>>>     conference organizers about their selection committee
>>>     demographics and the response was chilling.  I got a message
>>>     saying that my note was unhelpful and that WIA should take care
>>>     of it.
>>>
>>>     I will go through your proposal and hope to be able to help us
>>>     take some action.  I'm not sure what makes sense yet, but I am
>>>     really glad that you are raising this and you have my full
>>>     support in actively working to fix this.
>>>
>>>     Matt
>>>
>>>
>>>     On Sun, Apr 17, 2016 at 11:54 PM, Andrew van der Stock
>>>     <vanderaj at owasp.org <mailto:vanderaj at owasp.org>> wrote:
>>>
>>>         Who can tell me which organization’s US conference
>>>         organizers had four keynotes to fill and managed to fill
>>>         them with all one gender?
>>>
>>>         Again.
>>>
>>>         WTF is wrong with our processes that this CONTINUES TO HAPPEN?
>>>
>>>         So white hot angry right now.
>>>
>>>         Andrew
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>>>
>>>
>>>
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