Advancing an Inclusive Culture in the Scientific Python Ecosystem
Melissa Mendonça (Quansight, NumFOCUS)
To support the onboarding, inclusion, and retention of people from historically marginalized groups on scientific Python projects and structurally improve the community dynamics of NumPy, SciPy, Matplotlib, and pandas.
The lack of diverse representation among contributors and maintainers of open source projects is a well-known problem. While hiring maintainers from diverse backgrounds would address this problem temporarily, it’s not a long-term solution. This joint proposal from NumPy, SciPy, Matplotlib, and pandas focuses on creating a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) action plan and dedicated positions to identify, document, and implement practices to foster inclusive open-source communities. The team proposes creating “Contributor Experience Lead” positions, providing a focused approach to engaging, onboarding, and supporting new contributors, especially those from historically underrepresented groups. The scope of these new positions is a mix of technical and community work, with a focus on actions that help diversify contribution paths and build spaces where diverse newcomers can thrive. Additionally, to better understand actions that will promote inclusion and have a measurable impact on increasing diversity in all projects, the team will develop a DEI action plan in collaboration with an outside consultant familiar with open source in the first six months of this work.