On this page you will be provided an overview of what is needed to start and sustain a GitLab 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.
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:
|TMRG||Team Leaders||Slack Channel||Sign Up|
|GitLab Pride||Alex Hanselka and Amber Lammers||#lgbtq||Sign up for future meetings (Google group)|
|GitLab Women||Kyla Gradin and Joyce Thompset||#women||Sign up for future meetings (google form)|
|GitLab MIT - Minorities in Tech||Aricka Flowers and Sharif Bennet||#minoritiesintech||Sign up for future meetings (google form)|
|GitLab DiversABILITY||Melody Maradiaga||#diverse_ability||Sign up for future meetings (google form)|
|GitLab Gender Minorities||Kerri Miller||#gender-minorities-employee-resource-group||Sign up for future meetings (Google group)|
|GitLab Generational Understanding||Wayne Haber and Francis Potter||#generational_understanding||Sign up for future meetings (Google group)|
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:
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
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 Recruiting/Retention: Promoting, growing, and developing the TMRG as a whole.
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 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.
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.
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: