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TMRG - Team Member Resource Group Guide

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Introduction

On this page you will be provided an overview of what is needed to start and sustain a GitLab TMRG (Team Member Resource Group)

Definition of an TMRG - Team Member Resource 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.

Type of TMRGs

Currently we have two different types of TMRGs.

  1. TMRG that provide support for an Underpresented group The purpose for this type of TMRG is to develop and elevate that underrepresented group within Gitlab. To provide a voice and a safe space for people who identify as a part of that group and their allies. With aim of increasing and developing the sense of belonging.

  2. TMRG that is for the purposes of discussions and/or allyship The purpose of these groups is to provide either an avenue to perform more meaningful allyship activities and bring together ideas on how to be effective allies to underrepresented groups. An example of this being Men for Inclusion (Name not yet confirmed). This could also be an avenue for groups that won't be able to influence large parts of Gitlab Policy but be able to discuss issues that effect them, for example religion and faith.

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.

What is not an TMRG at GitLab

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.

How to Join Current TMRGs and their Slack Channels

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:

TMRG Team Leaders Slack Channel Sign Up
GitLab Pride Alex Hanselka and Helen Mason #lgbtq Sign up for future meetings (Google group)
GitLab Women Kyla Gradin Madeline Hennessy #women Sign up for future meetings (google group)
GitLab MIT - Minorities in Tech Aricka Flowers and Sharif Bennet #minoritiesintech Sign up for future meetings (google group)
GitLab DiversABILITY Melody Maradiaga Wil Spillane #diverse_ability Sign up for future meetings (google form)
GitLab Generational Understanding Wayne Haber and Francis Potter #generational_understanding Sign up for future meetings (Google group)
GitLab Latinx Pilar Mejia Hugo Azevedo Romer Gonzalez Chris Cruz #latinx Sign up for future meetings (Google group)

Benefits of TMRGs

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.

GitLab Benefits of TMRGs

Team Member Benefits of TMRGs

Forming a TMRG

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:

  1. TMRG Member Development: Activities that further the development of group members. Examples could include:
    • Developing and delivering developmental opportunities for members
    • Potential career development events and activities
    • Identifying effective mentoring opportunities
    • Building a network of development resources that are easily accessible by members
  2. Outreach/Business Development: Connecting with groups beyond GitLab
    • Establishing internal and external business partnerships
    • Representing GitLab at industry events
    • Working with external communities to help GitLab achieve market presence and leadership brand
  3. Awareness and Education: Raising awareness and educating all team members.
    • Events/Initiatives that bring awareness and education of the TMRG to the company
    • Engagement of Allies and GitLab team members with the TMRG
  4. Talent Acquisition/Retention: Promoting, growing, and developing the TMRG group as a whole.
    • Establishing partnerships with universities and or STEM programs
    • Working with Talent Acquisition to identify sourcing and talent acquisition opportunities
    • Creating initiatives that attract related diversity dimension talent.

Possible events:

How to suggest a new TMRG at GitLab?

While creating the new issue please:

Let's Get Started

Naming and branding for the TMRG

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 cwilliams@gitlab.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.

Defining your TMRGs mission statement

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:

Create a project

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.

Create a Google group

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.

TMRG Group Members

Membership in an TMRG at GitLab is open to everyone, including full-time and part-time team members, interns, and contractors.

Members

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.

Allies

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…

Adapted from Human Rights Campaign Establishing an Allies/Safe Zone Program, Human Rights Campaign

Additional resources on how to be an ally:

TMRG LEADERS

Required of all TMRG leaders:

Qualities of an TMRG leader:

Roles Within the Group

Group Members - At GitLab we all contribute! Everyone has an opportunity to lead and provide feedback within the group.

Executive Sponsor (optional but recommended) - An executive GitLab team member who is responsible and accountable for strategic support of the group Share accountability for the success of the DIB group Participate as an active member of the DIB group Share information about the DIB group activities with other leaders Provide insight and guidance to DIB group as needed Partner with TMRG leads on issues, concerns, and resource needs of the community May provide additional budget

Lead - A GitLab team member who is responsible and accountable for strategic direction and operations of the TMRG

Co-Lead - A GitLab team member who supports the Lead in the strategy and operations of the TMRG

Optional roles

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.

How TMRG leaders are selected

The election process should follow GitLab’s fiscal year calendar to ensure the roles are aligned to our strategy. Smaller or recently forming TMRGs may choose not to have a formal election if membership can easily determine leadership.

It is important to monitor the TMRGs size to recognize when it has grown too large for an informal election process. Larger TMRGs (50 members or more) should use a formal selection process with nominations of some kind, summaries of each candidate’s qualifications shared with TMRG members, votes taken on a set date, and vetting process etc as a suggestion but not required.

TMRG leader terms of service

TMRG leaders are suggested to commit at least one year to their leadership role, with the option for less if a situation arises or more if the TMRG members at large would like. This can also be set up as a rotation of 6 months as well. The TMRG can decide.

TMRG leader succession

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.

Tools for TMRG Leaders

These resources are here to help you effectively lead and grow an TMRG.

Communications

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.

Communications resources

Asynchronous Team Member Participation

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.

Guidance/Suggestions for Encouraging Participation:

Use tools that work alongside sync meetings that encourage participation in the meetings.

Examples:

Measure:

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.

What to do if you’re asked to provide your opinion on behalf of GitLab

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.

TMRG Success measurement (Capturing Data)

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:

Additional suggestions to measure success (may vary based on the state of the TMRG):

Resources for TMRGs

We have provided a number of optional resources for TMRGs to use that assist in setting the strategy, roadmap, financial planning etc.

Finance & Budgets for TMRGs

Each TMRG has a budget of $5000 per year (Subject To Change) 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.

This could include but not limited to:

We have developed a simple Budget Trackingtool to track the budget and finances of the TMRG, feel free to use this when planning the activities for the TMRG throughout the year.

Key Milestones for TMRGs (Suggested)

Develop membership via:

Hold your first call:

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

Set up regular cadence of the calls and Async Participation Opportunities

Monthly is suggested - try to include timezones either by rotating or having more than one call

Suggestion: Assign sub-leads for each pillar

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.

Develop a 6 month strategy

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

Suggestion: Gain leadership sponsors

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.

Hold your first All Gitlab event/session

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

  1. Contact your DIB Partner with the idea and formulate with them on the format that you would like it to take.
  2. Source and confirm speakers whether internally or externally, set the date & time, taking into account budget considerations, regions etc.
  3. DIB Partner and TMRG Lead will work with the People Experience team in the #peopleops Slack channel to schedule the event on the Team Meetings calendars.
  4. Post the event to the appropriate Slack Channels.

Execute strategy

Re-Strategize every 6-12 months

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