Question: How effective are our mentorship programs at supporting diversity and inclusion in our project?


Mentorship programs are a vital component in growing and sustaining a community by inviting newcomers to join a community and helping existing members grow within a community, thereby ensuring the health of the overall community. Through mentorship programs, we can invite diverse contributors and create inclusive environments for contributors to grow and ideally give back to the community.


To increase the number and diversity of new contributors as well as increase the level of contributions from each contributor. To increase the number of and diversity of contributors, encouraging them to grow into new roles with increasing responsibility within a community. To increase the number of advocates/evangelists for a project as well as the number of paid mentors and mentees. To cultivate a culture of inclusivity through identifying and supporting mentors and mentees.


Data Collection Strategies

  • Interview mentors and mentees

    • Ask community members about existing formal or informal mentorship programs
  • Observe people informally mentoring new contributors

  • Observe contributions that mentees make during and after the mentorship program

  • Observe the trajectory of mentees within a project during and after the mentorship program

    • Mentee became a subject matter expert
    • Mentee is integrated into the community
    • Mentee is comfortable asking for help from anyone in the community
    • Mentee grew their professional network
    • Mentee has taken on responsibilities within the community
    • Mentee contributes to the community after the end of the mentorship project
    • Observe the retention rate of mentees vs the usual retention rate in the community
  • Observe the nature of the mentorship program

    • Variety of projects participating in a mentorship program (e.g., in the OpenStack Gender Report a few of them were participating)
    • Variety of mentorship programs across a project ecosystem targeting different contribution levels (e.g., contribution ladder, onion layers)
    • Number of official mentors in the mentorship programs
      • Mentors experience (rounds or years mentored)
      • How many mentors repeat the position in the following years
  • Survey mentors and mentees

    • Survey Likert item (1-x): I have found the mentoring experience personally rewarding.
    • Survey Likert item (1-x): I would recommend mentoring for this community.
    • Mentor survey feedback:
      • What training did you receive that helped your mentoring activity?
      • What community support was helpful for your mentoring activity?
      • What communication channels did you use for mentoring?
      • What are the first things you do with a new mentee?
  • Collect demographic information from mentors and mentees

    • Number of mentees who finished a mentorship program (assumes a time/project bound mentorship program like GSoC, Outreachy, or CommunityBridge)
    • Number of mentees who started a mentorship
    • Number of mentors in the community
    • Number of diverse mentees
    • Geographic distribution of mentees