TDWG Diversity and Inclusion Statement

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This page is also available in French.

Last updated 30 August 2022

Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) is a volunteer non-profit organization whose vision is to promote the availability of open, free, and interconnected natural science data for a sustainable planet. We pursue this by creating, maintaining, and promoting the use of open, community-driven standards to enable sharing and use of natural science data for education, research, and evidence-based decision making. Because everything that TDWG produces comes from the expertise, collaboration and support of its members and participants from across the globe, we recognize and embrace the need for diversity and inclusion in all activities and work to provide equitable access to the process and decisions made by the biodiversity information standards community. The professional environment promoted by TDWG is based on diversity and inclusion regardless of color, ethnicity, nationality, religion, professional or socioeconomic status, veteran status, education, marital status, language, age, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental or physical ability, genetic information, learning differences, and neurodiversity.

TDWG actively promotes contributions from a diverse community for its membership, leadership, committees, and activities. Examples include:

  • TDWG standards are free for all to use and their use aids the free and open exchange of biodiversity information
  • Recognition of the need for geographic regional representation on the TDWG Executive
  • Early adoption (2017) of a Code of Conduct covering conferences and other TDWG activities (e.g., webinars, symposia, workshops)
  • An increasingly diverse Executive Committee with gender parity (2021- 2022)
  • Discounted conference registration fees for students and post-docs
  • Provided discounted or waived registration fees from for participants from developing nations through the generosity of supporting organizations
  • Work to encourage diverse voices, particularly from the Global South, at annual conferences through opportunities to organize symposia, workshops, panel discussions, or other events
  • Recognize that the virtual conferences in 2020 and 2021 and in the future provide an opportunity for increased participation from previously underrepresented groups
  • Working to provide alternative translations into languages other than English of controlled vocabularies of our standards
  • Webinars, working group meetings, and conference proceedings that are recorded are made available for on-demand viewing on TDWG’s YouTube channel
  • TDWG promotes its work and activities through social media (e.g., Twitter, Facebook), Slack, Github, email lists, its open access Pensoft journal, Biodiversity Information Science and Standards (BISS), and its website.

While TDWG has made progress in diversifying its Executive and the participation of a more diverse spectrum of delegates at its conferences, it will continue to strive to:

  • Increase participation in all activities in the Global South by recognizing opportunities to feature speakers, discover priorities that may be addressed by our work through partnerships and programming, and seek support for participation in TDWG events
  • Encourage more students and early career professionals to become involved in the work of developing and maintaining data standards and participating in conference activities
  • Identify, mentor and promote a diverse leadership pool by providing opportunities to become involved in committees, interest and task groups, outreach, and organization of conference events.