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Supporting diversity and inclusion at IETF meetings by providing childcare
14 Sep 2022
Thanks to the generous support of IETF Diversity and Inclusion sponsors, onsite childcare at an IETF meeting was provided for the first time ever during IETF 114. The successful experience and continued support of sponsors means it will again be offered at the IETF 115 meeting on 5-11 November 2022.
A key tenet of the IETF is that the quality of the Internet’s technical standards benefits when more people can contribute expertise through open processes. With the support of IETF Diversity and Inclusion sponsors, a variety of programs, including providing childcare at IETF meetings, help realize this ideal by providing a path to sustained engagement for those who would otherwise face difficulties participating.
While most IETF work takes place online, in-person meetings are valuable opportunities to gather with fellow contributors to make progress on current work and share innovative ideas. At IETF 114, sponsor-supported onsite childcare provided the opportunity for IETF participants to more fully engage in the meeting. And, those who participated in the program found it to be especially valuable:
"My kids love the activities provided by excellent care takers! It's been great bringing them to a new city that we can explore together when I'm not in sessions."
"My children have really enjoyed the childcare at IETF and having it available makes it much easier for me to attend IETF in person. Childcare is a great addition to IETF and should be publicized more in advance, so attendees know it's available."
Thanks to continued support from Gold sponsors Akamai, Cisco and Huawei, and Bronze sponsors Comcast, Identity Digital and Verisign, onsite childcare will be available for the upcoming IETF 115 meeting, 5-11 November 2022 in London.
IETF Diversity and Inclusion sponsorships also support fee waivers to lower economic barriers to meeting participation, and the IETF Systers program offers women participants the opportunity to connect, share, and learn with each other.
If your organization would like to join in supporting this, and other efforts to promote broader participation in the IETF, please contact the IETF sponsorship team.