An IETF with Much Diversity and Professional Conduct
RFC 7704

Document Type RFC - Informational (November 2015; No errata)
Last updated 2015-11-30
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Independent Submission                                        D. Crocker
Request for Comments: 7704                   Brandenburg InternetWorking
Category: Informational                                         N. Clark
ISSN: 2070-1721                                       Pavonis Consulting
                                                           November 2015

          An IETF with Much Diversity and Professional Conduct

Abstract

   The process of producing today's Internet technologies through a
   culture of open participation and diverse collaboration has proved
   strikingly efficient and effective, and it is distinctive among
   standards organizations.  During the early years of the IETF and its
   antecedent, participation was almost entirely composed of a small
   group of well-funded, American, white, male technicians,
   demonstrating a distinctive and challenging group dynamic, both in
   management and in personal interactions.  In the case of the IETF,
   interaction style can often contain singularly aggressive behavior,
   often including singularly hostile tone and content.  Groups with
   greater diversity make better decisions.  Obtaining meaningful
   diversity requires more than generic good will and statements of
   principle.  Many different behaviors can serve to reduce participant
   diversity or participation diversity.  This document discusses IETF
   participation in terms of the nature of diversity and practical
   issues that can increase or decrease it.  The document represents the
   authors' assessments and recommendations, following general
   discussions of the issues in the IETF.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   This is a contribution to the RFC Series, independently of any other
   RFC stream.  The RFC Editor has chosen to publish this document at
   its discretion and makes no statement about its value for
   implementation or deployment.  Documents approved for publication by
   the RFC Editor are not a candidate for any level of Internet
   Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7704.

Crocker & Clark               Informational                     [Page 1]
RFC 7704                   Diversity & Conduct             November 2015

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2015 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   2.  Concerns  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     2.1.  Diversity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     2.2.  Harassment and Bullying . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   3.  Constructive Participation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     3.1.  Access  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     3.2.  Engagement  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
     3.3.  Facilitation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
     3.4.  Balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
     3.5.  IETF Track Record . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
     3.6.  Avoiding Distraction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   4.  Responses to Unconstructive Participation . . . . . . . . . .  14
   5.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
   6.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
     6.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
     6.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
   Acknowledgements . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18

Crocker & Clark               Informational                     [Page 2]
RFC 7704                   Diversity & Conduct             November 2015

1.  Introduction

   This document discusses IETF participation, in terms of the nature of
   diversity and practical issues that can increase or decrease it.  The
   topic has received recent discussion in the IETF, and the document
   represents the authors' assessments and recommendations about it, in
   the belief that it is constructive for the IETF and that it is
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