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Many scientific and online communities are rather unbalanced in certain demographic variables (e.g. gender, handicaps, mother tongue, birthplace).

What can we do here at this Stack Exchange site to reach a healthy diversity in this regard?

The closest piece of advice that I am aware of (Ten Simple Rules for Increasing Gender Diversity in Data Science) contains some interesting pointers but would certainly need adaptation in order to become useful here.



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Try to provide a welcoming and helpful environment for all - not just those with the confidence born of privilege. This means, for example, providing friendly, helpful and above all positive comments when trying to improve a question or answer, rather than the terseness (and sometimes rudeness, intentional or otherwise) that is common on some SE sites. Avoid the stereotypical open-source response to "How should I do A" of "You shouldn't do A". It's usually not helpful, it's just somebody trying to show their superiority. And so forth. Try to treat people here as you might treat a colleague who you want to work with in the future.

Some SE communities have a habit of being quite brutal and then when people are upset, saying "it's not personal". Remember that to many people it is personal, and a meta post saying otherwise doesn't change that. That's not a reason to let bad questions stand, but it's a reason to address them with compassion and empathy.



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