[Wikimedia-l] compromise?

Sarah Stierch sarah.stierch at gmail.com
Fri Jan 4 18:32:16 UTC 2013

Sorry to top post - but, I'm just replying to the thread in general.

One of my biggest frustrations with this thread is that it seems to 
focus on technical staff.

The Wikimedia Foundation is a non profit. There is an entire department 
of people who do programming in grants/education/and dare I say 
"outreach" (or whatever). Then there are the HR people, etc.

While I am wrapping up the last month of my fellowship, and I am not a 
Wikimedia staff member, I do have my master's in museum studies, with a 
focus on the management of said organizations. The reason I state that? 
Is because WMF is competitive in regards to what it offers employees in 
my realm - as a non-profit person (I will most likely work in non 
profits for the rest of my life unless I own my own business, and that 
could even be nonprofit). So don't forget - I'm not the only person with 
a degree that would take me into a world of nonprofitness - Google isn't 
even on my radar as someone who is bidding for me, nor am I looking at 
them for work.

Let's just say, when I went to school, I knew I'd be working "for a 
mission," and which in the US, many folks go into computer science with 
the understanding they'll be making a nice amount of money out of 
school. From my understanding, most technical folks don't go into the 
field to start using their talents for non profits, it's often a "second 
life," after working in the for profit world.

Hell, what I made as a fellow is as competitive to what first year's 
make working at museums. And I feel I've gotten more dare I say.."perks" 
or "benefits," working as a fellow at WMF then I would working at pretty 
much any museum in my area of work (curatorial). (minus benefits like 
health insurance which contractors/fellows don't get)

So for me, and a number of us who work in the nonprofit arena (not the 
"tech person who could be stolen by big tech company" arena) - WMF *is* 


On 1/4/13 10:17 AM, Quim Gil wrote:
> On 01/03/2013 09:12 AM, Michael Snow wrote:
>> the Wikimedia Foundation
>> provides benefits that meet or exceed those of just about any employer
>> it might be "competing" with.
> fwiw until recently I was working in the so-called Silicon Valley for 
> a Scandinavian big tech corp with Scandinavian standards for HR 
> practices and health care coverage. The coverage I get at the WMF for 
> my family and myself is no different (including my fully covered 
> "domestic partner" aka not-married mother of my children).
> My salary has been significantly reduced with the change, indeed. But 
> it is definitely more than enough to have a regular middle class life 
> in the Bay Area. And then again we would be comparing the salary I had 
> in such company after 5 years of (hopefully good) work, not the one I 
> had at the beginning. I'm hoping to get some salary increase if/when I 
> can proof good results of my work but I'm not even aiming to reach the 
> same level I got in a for-profit tech corp in Silicon Valley. That 
> would feel wrong, being most of the WMF based on individual donations 
> and being the WMF active in so many countries where so much can be 
> done with the difference between such corporate salary and the one 
> I've got now.
> PS: speaking entirely for myself although I wouldn't be surprised if 
> this sentiment is shared among other WMF employees.

*Sarah Stierch*
*/Museumist and open culture advocate/*
 >>Visit sarahstierch.com <http://sarahstierch.com><<

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