This page was written in February 2019 and last updated in January 2023.
CEA is trying to build a global community of people who have made helping others a core part of their lives, and are using evidence and scientific reasoning to figure out how to do so as effectively as possible. We want to build a diverse and welcoming community where people of different backgrounds feel supported, respected, and valued.
We want people to thrive in the community. We want EA-aligned organizations, groups, and discussion spaces to be healthy places for people from many backgrounds.
We don’t want to put off talented people. If an EA-aligned newcomer concludes that effective altruism is not for “people like me,” they may not get involved, and the EA community may be less effective. Sustained underrepresentation (or complete absence) of some groups may also lock us in to a future in which EA is seen as being only open to certain groups. That can dissuade people from joining EA, and can cause current members of the community to feel isolated or discouraged.
We don’t want to miss important perspectives. If the community isn’t able to welcome and encourage members who don’t resemble the existing community, we will consistently miss out on the perspectives of underrepresented groups. For example, if we are based primarily in a few geographic, professional, or cultural areas, we may struggle to develop the understanding necessary to achieve our shared goals and build a better future together.
We want to build consideration for diversity and inclusion into all of our work at CEA; it shouldn't be an add-on or an afterthought.
We want people in the community to:
- Be able to contribute their best work, and to feel recognized and valued for that work
- Know that people of all ethnicities, genders and backgrounds are able to participate in every level of the community, including leadership roles
- Feel challenged by or curious about new perspectives
- Be able to find support so their efforts are sustainable over the long term
We do not want people to experience:
- Discrimination or mistreatment
- Not being taken seriously because of their demographic background
- Feeling isolated and stressed due to demographic imbalances
- Being tokenized or included in a perfunctory way because of their demographic background
Here are examples of how CEA is working on diversity and inclusion. We:
- Provide guides, workshops, and presentations on diversity in EA.
- Spread norms of integrity and collaboration through documents like Considering Considerateness and our Guiding Principles, and, we hope, through our own actions.
- Consult with local group organizers and members about how to improve the experiences in their groups for members of various genders, races/ethnicities, native languages, dis/abilities, socioeconomic backgrounds, faiths, ages, personalities, fields of study, etc.
- Support EA Global and EAGx conferences around the world. In 2022, EAGx conferences are being held in 7 countries. Recent conference locations include Singapore, India, and Mexico, as well as a virtual conference for those who aren’t able to travel.
- Support EA groups in more than 40 countries.
- Have staff positions dedicated to responding to community concerns. Community liaisons are available to receive reports, complaints, or requests for assistance from community members. We believe it’s valuable to have experienced contact people who can respond if community members experience discrimination, harassment, or other issues that impact their well-being in the community. Contact people are also available at our conferences and retreats.
- Advise other EA organizations that seek to improve their staff diversity. At the invitation of those organizations, we have conducted interviews with women and people of color familiar with the organizations. We then passed along feedback to the organizations about how they might adjust their culture and policies to be more equitable and inclusive.
CEA as a workplace
We think CEA’s current team has had success in creating a workplace that works well for people of different genders, sexual orientations, dis/abilities, and fields of study. Since we work with a global community, we think CEA would benefit from more racial/ethnic and geographic diversity.
As of 2022, CEA’s staff is 46% women and 18% self-identified people of color.
Some measures we take in hiring and management:
- Check salaries against ethnicity and gender, to monitor whether different groups are making significantly different amounts.
- Have flexible leave policies and work schedules that cover many kinds of families, mental or physical health scenarios, and dis/abilities.
- Audit our hiring processes for bias and test ways to reduce the homogeneity of our hiring pools.
- Develop job requirements and job descriptions that describe skilled candidates from a wide range of backgrounds, structure interviews with the goal of reducing interviewer bias, and weight work trial tasks heavily.
How you can contribute to diversity in the movement
- Check out resources like
- Avoid the temptation to reach for “quick fix” strategies; as in other research areas, many interventions don't work, and there is still a lot to learn.
- Especially for those in leadership and community-building roles, seek advice and research to be an effective leader, mentor, and community builder in a diverse team. Learn ways to recognize disparate experiences, bias, and mistreatment, as well as how to intervene or prevent them.
- Look for opportunities to encourage and recognize people from underrepresented backgrounds who are interested in EA. For example, brainstorm excellent speakers from underrepresented groups whom you could suggest for EA conferences or as mentors.
- Remember that in discussions about diversity, where emotions can run high, it’s especially important to practice a collaborative spirit.
You can reach CEA with questions or suggestions via our contact form, which you can complete anonymously or with your name. If you’re concerned about a specific situation in the community, you can contact community health staff.