Episode 75

DEI Metrics Overcoming Social Barriers in OSS


19 December 2023

32 mins 50 secs

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About this Episode

Thank you to the folks at Sustain for providing the hosting account for CHAOSSCast!

CHAOSScast – Episode 76

In this episode of CHAOSScast, Georg and Dawn have a conversation with guest, Anita Ihuman, about the vital subject of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) metrics within open source communities. Anita, who’s a developer advocate and technical writer, shares her research about how DEI metrics are used and their effectiveness. They discuss the importance of documenting DEI efforts, reflect on the challenges faced by communities in improving inclusivity, and share success stories of events that have leveraged CHAOSS DEI badges to enhance participant experiences. Also, Anita encourages everyone to explore the comprehensive research findings for further insights. Download this episode now to hear more!

[00:02:38] Anita explains her background and interest in the research, and her curiosity about the usage and effectiveness of DEI metrics, especially for underrepresented groups.

[00:04:36] Georg asks about Anita’s aspirations for academic publication, and she shares surprising findings from her research, including lack of codes of conduct in many open source communities and the perception of DEI as a myth in some legacy projects.

[00:09:23] Anita provides examples of projects using DEI metrics, like Apache Traffic Control and the Apache Diversity and Inclusion project.

[00:12:24] Dawn asks which DEI metrics should be prioritized by communities looking to improve. Anita suggests focusing on leadership and governance as starting points for improving diversity and inclusivity, along with mentorship and sponsorship opportunities.

[00:14:52] Georg asks about the use of DIMD files (“ALL in project”) and Anita tells us she didn’t encounter using it since it was introduced after her interviews were completed. However, one participant mentioned it could aid in championing DEI efforts.

[00:15:58] Anita touches upon an article, “An Open Letter to the Python Software Foundation,” about challenges in funding applications and considers how CHAOSS metrics could help in such situations, particularly with sponsorship.

[00:17:17] Dawn brings up concerns about using DEI metrics, and Anita discusses the potential flaws in DEI metrics, noting how differences in culture and background could affect the perception of norms and inclusivity, and stresses the importance of considering global perspectives in DEI metrics.

[00:20:02] The discussion shifts to the discussion to DEI metrics for events and Georg notes the increasing adoption of these metrics by event organizers. Anita says the event badges program is popular and shares positive feedback on its impact on participation and overall event experience.

[00:24:20] Anita shares an example of the Open Source Community Africa event’s improved experience after adopting the DEI badge, emphasizing its positive feedback.

[00:25:04] Georg and Anita discuss how the CHAOSS DEI badging helps event organizers implement DEI metrics, acting as a mirror to reflect on inclusivity and diversity.

[00:28:09] Anita shares that she sees the research as enlightening, offering various perspectives on the potential of DEI metrics in the open source community. She encourages everyone to read the article for further insights.

Value Adds (Picks) of the week:

  • [00:29:43] Georg’s pick is doing the German tradition of Advent calendars.
  • [00:31:14] Dawn’s pick is getting a carbon dioxide monitor for her office to encourage her to open her window for a few minutes to get some fresh air.
  • [00:31:57] Anita’s pick is seeing this research come to an end and the possibility of taking these findings further.


Georg Link

Dawn Foster


Anita Ihuman



CHAOSS Project X/Twitter

CHAOSScast Podcast


Georg Link Website

Dawn Foster X/Twitter

Anita Ihuman GitHub

Anita Ihuman X/Twitter

Unveiling the Impact: DEI Metrics Overcoming Social Barriers in Open Source-Blog Post by Anita Ihuman

An Open Letter to the Python Software Foundation

CHAOSScast Podcast-Episode 36:CHAOSS DEI Badging Initiative with Rachel Braun and Celia Stamps

CHAOSScast Podcast-Episode 54:CHAOSS DEI Reflection Project

CHAOSScon Europe 2024

Apache Traffic Control

Apache Diversity and Inclusion

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