Jane Wells is someone many of us have seen in nearly every facet (or so it seems) in the WordPress Community – you’ve probably even shaken her hand or thanked her at a local WordCamp as she’s passionate about doing just that.
In fact, the first time I met Jane I remember our first conversation which went like this:
Hi Jane. Thanks for all your work with the community, I really appreciate it!
Sure thing. That’s what I’m here for. So how have you made our community better?
*Stares at ground* … you know, probably not enough.
My first impression was that she was truly passionate about the community, about giving back, and mentoring and encouraging new leaders to stand-up and help build the community. This is why it doesn’t surprise me that she’s shifting roles a bit to focus even more on the community around WordPress:
My first week back at Automattic (starting Monday) I will be doing a week’s rotation on wordpress.com support with my team, but will then be jumping into a new role focused on our contributor community. It will involve a lot of projects, but one of the first will be aimed at increasing diversity in the contributor groups, starting with the gender gap.
These efforts will all happen under the aegis of the new Community Outreach contributor group, so if you are interested in working on this with me (and Andrea Rennick, and Amy Hendrix, and Cátia Kitahara, etc), please join us!
I’ve got a giant list of projects that I’d like us to tackle in the new year, and we’ll need people to help make things happen.
You can see even in her own words that she’s here to lead but she needs help – our help, to make it even better. I’m so stoked to see this growth in the core team at large and how people are finding even better “fits,” if just for a season, as life ebbs and flows.
And I know that she’ll hit the ground running. Her plans?
The Community Summit we had last month made it clear that there are dozens of people ready and willing to pitch in to make the WordPress contributor community better: more welcoming, more informed, more empowered, more diverse, more of everything good in the world. This new contributor group, the community builders, will focus on outreach, mentorship programs, and contributor engagement to make us all the “more”s listed above and then some.
With Jane leading out you can expect this to happen, and then some. In a nutshell, she outlines her core initiatives including things like a Welcome Wagon, mentorship programs, college outreach (now that’s freaking cool), more contributor diversity (as in women, for one), school programs, partnerships, and events.
If anything, the future is incredibly bright. Way to go Jane – we’re behind you 100%!