RIPE Diversity Task Force Meeting - 23 October 2017

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Attendees: Dhenesh Bhabuta (UKNOF/DNS-OARC), Shane Kerr (Oracle / Dyn), Mirjam Kühne (RIPE NCC), Malcolm Hutty (Linx), Axel Pawlik (RIPE NCC), Brian Nisbet (HEAnet), Amanda Gowland (RIPE NCC), Gergana Petrova (RIPE NCC), Jelte Jansen (SIDN), Rob Evans (Jisc), Hans Petter Holen (RIPE Chair), Salam Yamout (RIPE NCC Executive Board Member)


  • Agenda bashing
  • Finalising charter
  • How to define members
  • Data gathering / metrics
  • Child care for RIPE 76
  • New action items
  • Next steps, next meeting

Agenda bashing

Mirjam went over the agenda and asked if anyone had any changes. There were none.

Finalising charter

The draft charter was reviewed by those present. There was a discussion about a request on the mailing list to remove the word "marginalised". There was agreement that the intention of this word wasn't to claim that the RIPE community was marginalising groups but that there were groups that tended to be marginalised in society, period. There wasn't a strong argument for keeping the word in though and losing it didn't weaken the charter. The consensus was to remove "marginalsed from the text".

The group then discussed listing all of the groups that we seek to include in the RIPE community. There was a comment during the BoF that we shouldn't list these groups. Brian explained that listing them was intentional and this was advised from the expert advice received during the workshop in Madrid. The group agreed to add a full stop after "everyone" and then to list the groups as a separate paragraph.

ACTION: Update the charter on the website [Amanda]

There was a discussion about what needed to happen to have the charter approved. The procedure as far as the group had understood was that the charter needed to be approved by the RIPE Chair during the plenary after he asked if anyone had any objections.

ACTION: Include updated charter in Hans Petter's closing plenary slides [Amanda]

Definition of who is a Task Force Member

There was a discussion about what makes someone a member of the task force. Is it subscribing to the mailing list? Attending a meeting? There were many people on the mailing list, several who have commented over the past few months and a handful that have dialled in to meetings.

Amanda commented that a member should be defined as someone that volunteers to do work and follows through on actions assigned, otherwise the member list is very long. There was consensus on this definition and a discussion on emphasising that membership is open for anyone to join at any time.

Malcolm mentioned that maybe the text on the website should say that the goal of the TF is to make recommendations, not increase diversity.

Shane replied that the TF was doing work to actually increase diversity though, not just listing suggestions.

There was a discussion about the need to clarify the difference between Trusted Contacts at the RIPE Meetings and the Diversity Task Force. RIPE Meeting attendees should understand the different scopes of the two groups.

There was a discussion about having RIPE NCC staff active in the TF. Jelte commented that he could see in some cases having RIPE NCC employees active in a TF could be a conflict of interest but didn't see that in this case.

Malcom commented that if the scope or discussion becomes dominated by RIPE NCC staff TF members there could be an issue that it wasn't the case now.

There was a question about whether the TF needed a chair. Shane commented that, in principle, there is usually a chair for a TF because someone needs to declare consensus. The group discussed the merits of having a chair and agreed to try a chair-less TF and reevaluate down the road. Gergana suggested that if the TF needed a chair, maybe having more than one chair to share the work.

Actions in progress

Data gathering

Shane gave an update during the TF update lightning talk during the plenary:

Amanda updated the group on the opt-in gender question linked to the RIPE 75 registration form: there were 54 responses (70% male, 22% female, 8% third/binary and 2% preferred not to say). Amanda explained that because of the DTCM requirements, the meeting organisation team asked to have the question at the bottom of the survey.

The group discussed the concern raised on the mailing list about being identified through Survey Monkey. Amanda explained that Survey Monkey's security policy was reviewed by the RIPE NCC's Information Security Officer and their legal department and discussed with the software department. The consensus was that it would be extremely difficult to trace responses back to an individual. There was an agreement to continue collecting gender data anonymously via Survey Monkey.

Shane commented that his metrics determined that about 19% of attendees were women so this also correlates with the Survey Monkey results. He added that he validated this against IETF data and is optimistic that the numbers aren't too far off, observing a slow general trend that more women are coming to the meeting.

Mirjam mentioned that other RIRs are interested in collaborating on collecting gender metrics. Shane added that he had data from APNIC but they stopped collecting gender metrics a couple years ago it seems. Someone mentioned that there was a huge discussion about diversity at the IETF and a diversity design team was set up a few years ago but it seems to have fizzled out. Shane added that he would go back to the IETF about what they're doing with gender metrics going forward.

The TF discussed what the next steps would be. Brian said that he would be looking into regional participation and getting a better view on this. Shane mentioned that he could look at the metrics for this as well. It is not out of scope for this TF to look at proposals to relieve financial barriers to participation.

Malcolm added that statistics on regional participation might not reflect factors like transport routes and the price of them.

Amanda commented that the process for selecting a host city is quite detailed and that there were a lot of considerations - this information is on the website here:

Mirjam commented on the need to strengthen links with NOGs as part of the work to increase diversity.

Shane added that he has all of the gender metrics on a GitHub repository so anyone can have access to it.

Brian suggested maybe bringing in an external researcher (maybe via RACI) to dig into metrics further.

Mirjam emphasised the need to find more diverse presenters and reach out to local communities in advance of a meeting.

Onsite Childcare

Amanda gave an update on the research so far for options for RIPE 76. There is one childcare provider that offers onsite care with insured, certified caregivers. The RIPE NCC would need to find an appropriate location and supply activities and food. She explained that every meeting will be different.

She said that the next thing to figure out is what the take up would be and how old the children would be because babies have different requirements than older children.

Malcolm suggested making an estimated budget for five days of care and that the RIPE NCC cover this as a trial and then report back to the community to see if this is something they would support going forward.

Amanda suggested adding this as a question to the RIPE 75 Feedback Survey, adding it into the slides for Hans Petter during the closing plenary and then writing an article for RIPE Labs. There was consensus on this way forward.

New action points

Reaching out to local communities for RIPE 76 (AfNIC, France-IX, local hackerspaces) and RIPE 77

Shane volunteered to get the ball rolling here

ACTION: Reach out to local tech communities in France/Marseille [Shane]

Regional participation

Salam mentioned that she was speaking with Hisham Ibrahim (RIPE NCC, Dubai office) about ways to bring people together remotely to participate in RIPE Meetings. She said it can be difficult for non-native English speakers to follow presentations and contribute so maybe having meet-ups with a local language moderator would help. She added that this could be done in collaboration with ISOC chapters.

ACTION: Investigate remote meet-ups for RIPE 76 [Mirjam and Salam]


Amanda mentioned that Donal and Aaron were discussing mentoring but there's been no update on progress. Amanda said she'd catch up with Aaron to see if there's been any developments.

Women in Tech Lunch

Amanda gave an update on the Women in Tech Lunch. It was a huge success with every seat filled and an engaged audience. There were many positive comments afterwards and interest to continue this for future meetings. Brian expressed worry that there were no action points following the meeting. Amanda said that just having it in the meeting and giving it a platform should be seen as a success. The fact that so many men showed up and contributed to the discussion was a success.

Jelte mentioned that he would love to see more women volunteering for the RIPE PC. Brian agreed but said it's not within the scope of the RIPE Diversity TF to intervene in the PC composition.

Hans Petter asked about the procedure for the appointed seats for ENOG/MENOG and the RIPE WG Chairs on the RIPE PC and if there was a term. Someone said it was up to the local communities, i.e. theENOG and SEE communities to appoint a PC member for the RIPE PC and thatthe RIPE PC (or the diversity TF for that matter) should not interfere with this process.

Next TF Meeting

Mirjam mentioned that the next meeting would likely be in December. ACTION: Organising next TF meeting [Vesna]


Jelte wanted confirmation that the CoC applied to mailing list and Brian confirmed this was the case.

Action summary

ACTION: Update the charter on the website [Amanda] - DONE
ACTION: Include updated charter in closing plenary slides [Amanda] - DONE
ACTION: Add on-site childcare question to RIPE 75 Survey [Amanda] - DONE
ACTION: Write RIPE Labs article on diversity efforts at RIPE 75 [Amanda] - In progress ACTION: Reaching out to local tech communities in France/Marseille [Shane]
ACTION: Investigate remote meet-ups for RIPE 76 [Mirjam and Salam]
ACTION: Organise next TF meeting [Vesna]

Ongoing actions:

Investigate on-site childcare for RIPE 76 [Amanda]
Metrics gathering [Shane]
Mentoring [Donal]

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