On this page you will be provided an overview of what is needed to start and sustain a GitLab TMRG (Team Member Resource Group) or a Team Member Discussion Group.
TMRGs are voluntary, team member-led groups focused on fostering diversity, inclusion and belonging within GitLab. These groups help team members build stronger internal and external connections; offer social, educational, and outreach activities; create development opportunities for future leaders; and increase engagement among team members.
Team Member Resource Group provide support for an underrepresented group
Team Member Discussion Group that is for the purposes of discussions and/or allyship
These types of groups must have a much clearer mission and purpose. Allyship groups in particular must be action orientated. Any budget assigned to these groups should be used in support of other TMRGs or Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging initiatives.
There are many types of groups and not all of them meet the criteria of being a GitLab supported TMRG. Here are some examples of those that would not be considered TMRGs here at GitLab:
NOTE: “GitLab supported TMRG” means the group is formally recognized by the company as a GitLab TMRG.
The following groups have completed the process to be an TMRG and received formal support as part of the DIB framework. Click the signup link (GitLab team members only) to join:
Ordered alphabetically to avoid the perception that any TMRG is more important than any other TMRG.
|TMRG||Team Leaders||Slack Channel||Sign Up||Ongoing TMRG Agenda||Executive Sponsor|
|GitLab API - Asia Pacific Islander||Christopher Wang Steve Xu Sheela Viswanathan||#api-tmrg||Sign up for future meetings (Google group)||API Agenda||David Hong and David Sakamoto|
|GitLab DiversABILITY||Kaitlyn Chappell Wil Spillane||#diverse_ability||Sign up for future meetings (google form)||DiversABILITY Agenda||TBC|
|GitLab Generational Understanding||Wayne Haber and Francis Potter||#generational_understanding||Sign up for future meetings (Google group)||Generational Understanding Agenda||Eric Johnson|
|GitLab Latinx||Pilar Mejia Hugo Azevedo Romer Gonzalez Chris Cruz||#latinx||Sign up for future meetings (Google group)||Latinx Agenda||Wendy Barnes|
|Black @ GitLab||@aprilmarks @marcusbriancarter||TBC||#minoritiesintech||TBC||TBC||David DeSanto|
|GitLab Pride||Alex Hanselka and Helen Mason||#lgbtq||Sign up for future meetings (Google group)||Pride Agenda||Robin Schulman|
|GitLab Veterans||Christopher Graham, Josh Zimmerman, and John Mason||#veterans||Sign up for future meetings (Google group)||Vets Agenda||Brian Robins|
|GitLab Women||Kyla Gradin Dahl Samantha Lee||#women||Sign up for future meetings (google group)||Women Agenda||Robin Schulman and Michael McBride|
An Executive Sponsor can be any leader at GitLab who is at VP level or above. The role of an executive sponsor is to support the development of the TMRG, provide advocacy at the leadership level, connect the TMRG to GitLabs mission & goals and provide mentorship to TMRG leaders.
Choosing an Executive Sponsor:
In general, TMRGs are an excellent support system and key to providing awareness, respect, and building diversity, inclusion and belonging within the workplace. These groups are a proven way to increase cultural competency, retention of team members, provide marketplace insights to the business, attract diverse talent, and more. The endorsement of TMRGs gives team members the opportunity to identify common interests, and decide how they can be shared with others.
TMRGs support our diversity, inclusion and belonging framework, maintain an open forum for the exchange of ideas, and serve as a source of educational and professional development opportunities for GitLab team members. It is expected that all GitLab supported TMRGs will participate in initiatives that focus on the following group elements:
While creating the new issue please:
All names, because they are visible externally and could compete with other projects, products and or not be a good representation of GitLab must be approved by Legal and Brand. You should work with the DIB Manager (Candace Williams email@example.com) to gain a consensus on ideas. Keep in mind that names chosen by the TMRG may not meet GitLab’s naming and branding standards and may need to be changed.
A mission statement is the simplest and clearest way to explain the purpose of your group and how it will achieve its goals. Keep your mission statement short, and use simple terms that everyone understands. Finally, make sure the mission is flexible enough to allow for goals and activities to change over time. Below are some examples of mission statements used by similar groups at other companies:
As with all GitLab business, we want to dogfood our own product. As such, you should consider creating a GitLab project to manage discussions in issue and
update the repo with mission statement, events, and the like. You should create the repo in the
gitlab-com group. To see
a project in action, you can check out the GitLab Pride project.
Managing membership will be greatly simplified by using a Google group. The main benefit is that you can invite the group to any calendar events and users can join or leave the group on their own. In order to create a Google group, you'll need to create an access request issue requesting a new group. There is a template you can use and you can view an example issue if you'd like. Once you've got the Google group created, you can add users manually or allow them to sign up on their own at the group homepage. You can look at the pride-erg for an example of what that might look like.
Membership in an TMRG at GitLab is open to everyone, including full-time and part-time team members, interns, and contractors.
A member is an active participant in the ongoing activities of an TMRG. As a global company, the ways that members participate may vary based on location, culture, and preferences. Membership is open to both team members who identify with the diversity dimension that is the community’s focus and allies who wish to advocate and support the mission of the TMRG.
An ally is someone who supports, empowers, or stands for another person or a group of people. Through our research, we have found it to be a best practice for all to be inclusive of ally support. When creating an TMRG, planning activities, and engaging with members be sure to consider how allies will be involved.
An ally strives to…
As important as it is to define what an ally is in a positive way, it is also helpful to understand the boundaries of an ally's role.
An ally is NOT…
Additional resources on how to be an ally:
At GitLab we all contribute! Everyone has an opportunity to lead and provide feedback within the group.
An executive GitLab team member who is responsible and accountable for strategic support of the group
A GitLab team member or team members who are responsible and accountable for strategic direction and operations of the TMRG.
These accountabilities are important factors in ensuring that the TMRG maintains TMRG Status. The DIB team may: remove TMRG Leads if they are not achieving the accoutabilities, remove the TMRG status or change the status of the TMRG to a TMDG
While not required, we recommend establishing other leadership positions to ensure that the responsibilities of the Lead and Co-Lead remain realistic and success is achievable for the TMRG. Here are some example roles we recommend for each TMRG that reflect the 4 elements of focus listed above:
Leader of Professional Member Development: Activities that further the development of group members.
Leaders of Outreach/Business Development: Connecting with communities beyond GitLab
Leader of Awareness and Education: Raising awareness and educating all associates.
Leader of Talent Acquisition/Retention: Promoting, growing, and developing the TMRG as a whole.
Treasurer: managing the budget of the TMRG, working on necessary approvals internally and looking at the ROI of any events that take place.
The idea for TMRG Working Groups was born in the Women's TMRG where they had many ideas but individuals were not able to make the time commitment to becoming sub-committee leads but were able to commit short periods to individual projects.
How it works:
TMRG leaders to commit at least one year to their leadership role, with the option for less if a situation arises which means they are no longer able to perform the role.
In January of each year, a selection process should be undertaken to allow other team members the opportunity to nominate themselves to lead the TMRG. If no one wishes to nominate themselves the existing leaders will automatically be invited back to lead the TMRG providing they still meet the selection criteria.
Leadership succession is critical to sustaining TMRGs and keeping leaders energized. Ideally, outgoing leaders will have and overlap with incoming new leaders by acting as advisors to ensure a seamless transition.
Research suggests developing the next generation of leaders for your TMRGs by looking for members who have taken smaller roles in heading up committees or organizing events; speak with them about their interests and encourage them to take on more visible roles within the TMRG.
These resources are here to help you effectively lead and grow an TMRG.
Communication within TMRGs keeps members aware of, involved with, and supportive of the group’s direction and activities. TMRGs can use several inlets of communication tools outlined below to keep members informed about meeting times, structure, membership, and updates.
As an all remote organisation, having sync meetings can be very difficult to engage all members of the TMRG. To increase participation, we should think differently about what participation looks like and what an active member looks like.
Active TMRG Member:
A team member who provides meaningful interactions with the TMRG through decision making, discussion participation or interactions. These need not be spoken or written but could be other avenues such as slack emojis to indicate support, participation in decisions via a poll etc.
This does not take away the need for synchronous meetings but allows everyone to contribute in the way they feel most comfortable and is inclusive of all geographics.
Use tools that work alongside sync meetings that encourage participation in the meetings.
Standuply is great for running an async meeting, you can add video, ask bespoke questions that may have arose in the sync meeting and get wider perspectives.
Polly is great to get decisions made asynchronously where you want wider input than those who were unable to attend sync meetings and reach a consensus and proceed to action. There are templates available in Polly which can be useful tools.
Loom could be a great tool to provide a quick video update of meetings or activities happening within the TMRG.
Create a thread in Slack of the key points from the meeting that can be discussed.
Have a bias towards action BUT allow async members to participate before making the decision. Have a 24-48 hours window to reply before a decision is made.
Have more async meetings than sync meetings. Doing this will allow team members to feel as though they are not missing out on important discussions, as the discussions happen elsewhere more often.
Welcome to our mid-month slack meeting, here is a thread to discuss XYZ as voted for in Polly. Once the discussion has concluded, we will do another Polly to decide on any actions we wish to take.
Standuply Questions: How do you feel since our last meeting? Is there anything you would like to discuss/get an opinion on related to the XYZ TMRG? Are there any actions/budget spend/sponsorships that you would like to see soon? Any news articles positive/negative that you would like to share?
In the last synchronous meeting on xx/xx/xx some of the key things discussed were: 1) 2) 3) You can see full agenda notes here: (insert google doc) feel free to add any further thoughts in this slack thread.
Keep a track of engagement across the different methods so you can understand where the most engagement happens. This can be very useful in determining what is best for your particular TMRG.
You can use this template which is fairly manual or choose your own methods.
There may be times that you are asked to comment on the state of DIB at GitLab or your TMRG. When or if that happens, please contact/notify PR, Talent Brand and the DIB Manager. Here are some general best practices that we share are helpful for all GitLab team members to know.
Measuring the success of the TMRG is important for the sustainability of the group and for ensuring the group’s effectiveness.
Members of the TMRGs are encouraged to identify multiple ways the success will be tracked and measured over time. Here are some suggestions for measuring success:
We have provided a number of optional resources for TMRGs to use that assist in setting the strategy, roadmap, financial planning etc.
Each TMRG has a budget of $8000 per year (subject to change during each fiscal year planning) to assist in the activities they wish to engage in to further develop the TMRG, Enable and Empower the members, develop activities & events or to buy merchandise.
Expenses could include but not limited to:
Feel free to get creative with how you support and engage the TMRG utilising the budget to do so.
Quarterly Forecast Process
The VP, Diversity Inclusion, and Belonging and G&A Finance Business Partner will review the consolidated TMRG budget by quarter to confirm the total planned expenses are aligned with our quarterly budget.
On a quarterly basis, each TMRG DRI is responsible for updating the TMRG Forecast Tracking Spreadsheet for expected expenses for the remainder of the year. Deadlines for updates are due the 1st day of the following months:
Submitting/Approval of Expenses
Purchases made on behalf of Gitlab should follow the procurement process outlined in the handbook. Prior to submitting a Coupa requisition, please adjust the Billing portion of the requisition for each line item by selecting the magnifying glass. Confirm that the expense is coded to Department: G&A: DIB and Class (tag): TMRG. If procurement or The DIB Team are submitting the requisition on your behalf, please give them instructions to make these adjustments. If these changes are not made, then the expense will default to the team member’s department and the expense will not align to the TMRG budget.
Swag- If the purchase is Swag, please follow the outlined process in the handbook.
Charitable Contributions- For all Charitable Contributions please follow the outlined process in the handbook before submitting through Coupa. Please note that all charitable contributions must receive Board approval, so please allow 1-3 months for processing and approval.
Team Member Expensed- In some instances, TMRG team members will need to follow the expense reimbursement policy. If an item is purchased individually upfront (i.e. meals, books) and the item was budgeted, the team member will submit the receipt to get reimbursed. When submitting expenses for reimbursement, please add the “TMRG” classification to your expense when submitting the report.
Discuss the 4 Pillars of the TMRGs Discuss the mission of the TMRG Discuss any immediate actions the TMRG could take Discuss the cadence of the meetings
Monthly is suggested - try to include timezones either by rotating or having more than one call
To better execute and ensure that the Leadership duties of the TMRG are not overly burdensome on 1-2 individuals. It is suggested to add 1 or 2 leads to each pillar, the TMRG Lead or Co-lead can also co lead pillars.
Using the TMRG Strategy Template or a derivative of the template. Develop a strategy and plan for the TMRG to help take steps towards achieving the Mission and a Vision.
This would be a great opportunity to include your Executive Sponsor
In addition to executive sponsorship, some of our TMRGs have found gaining Director+ sponsors very beneficial in the advancement of there TMRG, MIT TMRG is a great example of this.
A great way to gain traction and have an initial goal. Is to develop a All Gitlab event. Check out the Coming Out Day session from the Pride TMRG.
Develop a working group and figure out how you want to do this. Ideas could include but not limited to:
Suggested process for your event