Re: [Gendispatch] Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF

Vittorio Bertola <> Tue, 23 February 2021 15:07 UTC

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Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2021 16:07:28 +0100 (CET)
From: Vittorio Bertola <>
To: Fernando Gont <>, GENDISPATCH List <>, Keith Moore <>
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Subject: Re: [Gendispatch] Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF
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> Il 23/02/2021 01:07 Fernando Gont <> ha scritto:
> Folks,
> We have submitted a new I-D, entitled "Diversity and Inclusiveness in 
> the IETF".

Thanks for starting this. I also wanted to write something, but could not find the time. I wanted to work on a description of factors and dimensions that could make people feel out of place in an organization, both in professional and social terms, or make it harder to participate. I think that the right approach is first to document all the potential issues, and then to discuss whether each of them can and should be addressed (in some cases, there might even be groups that you do not want to include, but that's a separate discussion from documenting that they exist).

I only got as far as writing down a bullet list of points, so I'm sharing it - you covered part of it already, not everything. I'll be happy to contribute text if I have time, but in the meantime, here it is: 

open prejudice
- harassing behaviour towards specific groups
- harassing behaviour in interpersonal terms (rudeness etc)

style of participation
- tone and attitude of conversations (aggressiveness, lack of willingness to listen and compromise, etc)
- need to "speak up" (often in public at a microphone) to get heard
- disagreement can only be expressed by blocking consensus
- availability of time to follow and show up at the right moment

direct lack of diversity
- gender, ethnicity, geography, age, social and professional background, type of employer
- lack of "people like me", difficulty in "belonging" during meetings
- diversity in values and views of the world 

- languages (not) spoken, no translations
- general american english jargon
- technical jargon
- offputting words

- general vs per group/per number of events
- cost of travel to physical meetings
- cost of instruments for virtual meetings

timezones, locations

club for regulars
- learning curve on how to behave
- access to documents and archives
- lack of transparency on who people are, "insider only" conversations referring to old events not documented
- facilitations only for old timers / privileges by "how much you have contributed"

industry/stakeholder dominance
- considering viewpoints from specific industry sectors more/less important than others
- considering viewpoints from specific stakeholder groups more/less important than others
- big companies vs SMEs vs community projects
- proprietary/patent-oriented vs open source
- implementation-first vs specification-first

Vittorio Bertola | Head of Policy & Innovation, Open-Xchange 
Office @ Via Treviso 12, 10144 Torino, Italy