Comment by bridget_williams on Research on Effective Strategies for Equity and Inclusion in Movement-Building · 2019-02-03T03:19:46.345Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · EA · GW

Hi Larks,

Thanks very much for linking that Williams and Ceci article. That was really interesting and quite heartening. I say heartening because I don’t think the bias being shown in that article is unfair. I think the gender of the candidate is a relevant factor in this instance, and in this scenario preferring women when all else is equal will ultimately lead to better outcomes for society.

Those decisions are being made in a context of women being underrepresented in the fields* and I think science is a field where equality in gender representation carries instrumental value. I think this instrumental value comes from provision of new perspectives and minimising blind spots, creating an environment conducive to all people contributing their best, and working towards a stronger applicant pool in the future, one where talented women aren’t discouraged from pursuing careers in these fields. So at this point in time, to me it seems that, all else being equal, being female makes you a more valuable candidate in those fields. This may change in the future if parity in representation is reached; in that case I think it could be unfair and potentially damaging for science and society if there was a persistent bias in favour of females.

To take a different example, I think gender equality is also valuable in school teaching. If I were a school principal and the vast majority of my teaching faculty were female I think I have good reason to prefer a male candidate for a new position if all else was equal in applications.

I think Kelly's recommendations are aimed at someone who has decided that they want to improve diversity in their organisation/field, so it seems fine to be explicit about when tactics are or aren't helpful for this particular aim. She's given some reasons why diversity might be valuable in general but of course the value of diversity will vary depending on the field and context. If you don’t agree that gender equality carries value in science I’d be interested to hear why you hold that view.

*The article notes that in two of the fields (engineering and economics) “women are substantially underrepresented” and in two (biology and psychology) “women are well represented”. Unfortunately I can’t access the cited paper that describes what they mean by “well represented” – some quick googling suggests that women are still under-represented in higher positions in those fields, but feel free to correct that if you have better sources.

Comment by bridget_williams on Announcing Effective Altruism Community Building Grants · 2018-02-24T11:01:02.500Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Yep, EA Australia currently has no paid employees. But we are hiring for an Accounting and Administration Manager, with that wage funded by private donations from within Australia.That role won't be targeted towards community building, it will primarily be ensuring EA Australia meets its accounting and reporting obligations as a charity.

However, after recent discussions with Australian local EA group organisers, and in line with planned changes to our org structure, EA Australia is considering recruiting a person to serve as a central coordination point for Australian local group organisers. Yes, meta.

I'm interested to know if there is any similar model for this in other regions. That is - are there any situations where one person acts as a central resource point and support for local groups in their country/region and as an interface between their country/region's local groups and the rest of the global EA community?

Ps. If you have any Australian based friends who might be good for EA Australia's Accounting and Administration Manager position please let them know about the role: