Re: Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF

Jim Fenton <> Wed, 24 February 2021 01:10 UTC

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From: "Jim Fenton" <>
To: "Keith Moore" <>
Subject: Re: Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2021 17:10:19 -0800
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On 23 Feb 2021, at 5:56, Keith Moore wrote:

> (Though I also remember that when I first started writing drafts, the 
> notion of "shepherd" did not exist yet.   I definitely had 
> supportive comments and constructive suggestions from other 
> participants via private email after I submitted my initial draft, and 
> I had been on the working group mailing list since before the group 
> was chartered so I was familiar with the conversation. IETF was 
> smaller then than it is now, but not that much smaller. What's changed 
> is that we have more bureaucracy, more rules, and a much wider and 
> more diverse range of increasingly narrow interests.)

If the sort of “shepherd” you’re referring to is a Document 
Shepherd, by the time one is assigned many newcomers would have long 
since given up. My experience is that a shepherd is assigned once a 
document has reached WG rough consensus and wants to advance the 
document. Of course the document isn’t finished at that point and 
still has to pass muster with IESG, but a lot has had to happen to get 
to that point.

The various mentor programs do more to promote diversity and 
inclusiveness than document shepherds, IMO.