Re: [Diversity] Moving to meeting attendance NOT required

Melinda Shore <> Thu, 16 June 2016 16:56 UTC

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To:, 'Spencer Dawkins at IETF' <>
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From: Melinda Shore <>
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Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2016 08:55:51 -0800
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Subject: Re: [Diversity] Moving to meeting attendance NOT required
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On 6/16/16 6:01 AM, Adrian Farrel wrote:
> I think Spencer caught it right (but I am also not the Mouthpiece of
> Melinda :-)

Yes, you're both correct.

> However, my reading is that this is not black and white. Nothing we do
> is "critical", "vital", or in any other way "necessary".  There are just
> shades of desirable and beneficial. There are trade-offs, and missing
> one meeting (for whatever reason - enforced, imposed, chosen,... ) is
> less likely to have an impact than never attending.

To be clear, as I've said again and again and again and again,
I think we've come to overemphasize meetings and it's a
contributing factor to slowed pace of work, narrower participant
base than we might have, and so on.  I also think this is in
large part due to some chairing decisions and one of the things
on my to-do list over the next few weeks is to get out a draft
describing things that can be done by chairs to de-emphasize
meetings in our work process.  I'll note that I've also missed
a lot of meetings, myself.

That said, my concern here is that people during discussions
about virtualizing meetings or reducing their number, we get
a lot of people saying meetings meetings meetings meetings
meetings meetings, but when a problem comes up that makes
it difficult for people with some demographic characteristics
to participate and that it might require the organization to
actually do something, suddenly it's "meetings, whatever -
you don't really need to be there."  I certainly don't think
it's intentional and I certainly don't think it's the result
of any animus, but it does reflect some of the difficulty
around this issue.