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Systers (systers)

Team Name Systers
Acronym systers
Area General Area (gen)
State Active
Personnel Chairs Carolina Caeiro, Florence D
Mailing list Address
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Group description

IETF Systers is a community of women and non-binary IETF participants who gather to network, share advice and experiences, and collaborate on various projects. We welcome women† and non-binary participants of all ages and at any stage of their studies or careers, and we encourage our members to utilize the Systers group as an informal mentoring and information gathering network. We are here to support and encourage each other. The purpose of the present charter is to outline priorities and lines of action for the Systers group for the period ranging from IETF 119 to IETF 224. The proposal is to revisit the charter after two years (6 events) of implementation.

Diversity at IETF has emerged as a central area of concern among the IETF community. For example, during the plenary session in IETF 117, multiple community members voiced their concerns before IETF leadership and the IETF secretariat about what actions to adopt to enhance diversity at IETF, including the participation of women and non binary participants.

Systers is a natural space within IETF that can support broader efforts to facilitate the participation and improve the experience at IETF of women and non-binary participants. This text seeks to outline the scope of those efforts.

  1. Systers proposes to engage directly with current IETF participants. This means women and non-binary individuals who have signed up to attend IETF either in person or remotely.
  2. Systers will make it a top priority to contribute to retention of women who join IETF. This will be done by:
  • Newcomer Support. Identifying concrete mechanisms for Systers members to engage in IETF’s existing Guides program with the goal of engaging more actively as a group in the mentoring of new women and non-binary participants.
  • Guidance on becoming an active IETF-er. Supporting women and non-binary participants aiming to contribute to the IETF. This could include informal mentoring by Systers participants, putting participants in touch with WG Chairs and experienced participants to support them in developing contributions and workshops on how to write an Internet Draft or give an IETF presentation.
  • Promoting the engagement of women and non-binary participants in leadership roles. Actively promoting available leadership roles within the Systers group and endeavouring to support those who wish to explore such roles e.g., through mentorship or sharing advice.
  • Networking. Facilitating networking among women and non-binary participants through the organisation of two in-person sessions at each IETF meeting. Systers will innovate with different formats and activities to facilitate that networking, for example, speed networking and other forms of structured/facilitated networking. For remote participants the Systers mailing list provides a space for sharing information and making connections.
  1. For women and non binary participants who have been at IETF for longer, Systers offers a space to network with incoming talent and actively support diversity efforts within IETF.

While this charter lays out the initiatives that Systers will prioritise, it does not preclude the engagement of Systers members in other IETF diversity and inclusion initiatives, for example outreach or advocacy for women and non-binary people in the IETF as a whole. Systers encourages use of the meetings and mailing list to advertise and find support for such efforts.

†By women we mean anyone self identifying as women, whether cis or trans.