Re: IETF 100, Singapore -- proposed path forward and request for input

Melinda Shore <melinda.shore@gmail.com> Wed, 25 May 2016 18:51 UTC

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Subject: Re: IETF 100, Singapore -- proposed path forward and request for input
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From: Melinda Shore <melinda.shore@gmail.com>
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Date: Wed, 25 May 2016 10:50:49 -0800
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I find it necessary to note that, as always, our diversity
discussion is being diverted to talk about geography.  This
happens when we talk about gender issues and it's now
happening when we're talking about sexual orientation.  I
understand it's easier, and that everybody gets to feel
valorous by taking a stand in favor of having people of all
nations participate, but it does tend to interfere with
making progress on the somewhat more difficult issues of
how to make sure that the IETF is an inclusive organization
on all axes.

Unfortunately, this pretty much guarantees that the IETF
will continue to lag other technical communities on diversity
and inclusion.  It appears to be the case that we are
fully committed to having people rise and fall on their
technical merits, and that participation is open to everybody
who can meet some basic connectivity requirements, but
that commitment seems to disintegrate every time we run
into a situation that's less clear-cut than national participation,
or that requires work/concessions/whatever.  This strikes me
as an institutional problem and not one that's very likely
to be solved by bottom-up discussion (insert canonical reference
to three wolves and a sheep discussing what's for dinner).

Melinda