FIONA ASONGA: Thank you. Welcome everybody to our diversity call meeting, and this is our fifth meeting [inaudible] of diversity. We will start off by a quick roll call. If there is anyone who is on the call and is not showing, can you just let staff know so they check the record of who is present.
Otherwise, registration on Adobe will be considered as attendance for this call. Now, moving on, Rafik and I made an effort to consolidate the input of straw man, [inaudible] of the straw man, the first version of the straw man that was received. We have sent out on the 1 st of December, we sent out version two of the straw man.
It is available both in the community Wiki and on the Google Doc. We’ve not seen much response on this, and a part of this call if the group is comfortable, somewhat comfortable for now, with that as a guiding document on where we stand in terms of diversity. Two things that we want [to come?] from this call is, one, what we need to improve on in terms of diversity document, straw man version two.
Secondly, is what key questions do we need to be asking or preparing to share with ICANN community as a whole? And so, with that in mind, that is how I would like the discussion to take off today, because that then will help us substantially achieve the goals that we have set as the [inaudible] in terms of getting us to where we need to be.
So, I would like to open up the floor for feedback on the straw man version two. Unfortunately, I’m not able to see the screen. So, I will rely on Yvette to identify anyone with comments, as the hands are raised on Adobe.
Any feedback is welcome.
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: Hi Fiona, this is Yvette. I don’t see any hands raised yet at this point, just so you know.
SÉBASTIEN BACHOLLET: It’s Sébastien Bachollet speaking. If you allow me to take the floor, Fiona?
FIONA ASONGA: Sorry, [inaudible].
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: Fiona, Sébastien has his hand raised. Can he go ahead and take the floor?
FIONA ASONGA: Yes, let him proceed.
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: Okay, go ahead, Sébastien.
SÉBASTIEN BACHOLLET: Okay, thank you very much Fiona and Yvette. I think what is interesting in this straw man version two proposal is that, you haven’t answered from the previous version. I think that there are two points we need to discuss in deeper level. The first one, it’s not to say that there are only two, but I would like to raise two.
The first one is a question about diversity versus skill. That’s, for me, a very important point, and I am sure for the people who are in more side or the other, both need to be defended and discussed. And the second point is that I know that it’s coming from a document written in work stream one, but if each group can verify that what it says on, what they have as a diversity proposal or situation, what is taken into account in their own group if it’s summarized well, if it’s representing what the situation is today, if it’s really done, not just what is on the text.
Another group, I saw, for example, accountability, the subgroup, and Cheryl can confirm that they send a questionnaire, maybe we don’t need to send a questionnaire but we may ask the people from each group participating to this subgroup to take care of that. That’s the two points I wanted to raise for now. Thank you very much.
FIONA ASONGA: Thank you very much Sébastien for that. I think the issues you raised are very important, because on the question of diversity of skill, it came through, and we’re doing the first draft of the document. As we have continued the discussion, it has kept on coming up, and so it’s something that needs to be addressed.
We had captured it [inaudible] appropriately in section 3.6 on stakeholder group, where we talking of the measure of the [inaudible] to be clearly defined with individuals, then ICANN presenting multistakeholder groups and acceptable metrics that allows for that to be created.
And the reason we’re talking about [inaudible] is because sometimes [inaudible] certain skills that require someone to be in a particular group, but there are area of interest, maybe a different group all together. And so that they find in more than one, or something along those lines.
And so, being able to put together acceptable metrics, that allows for various combinations of stakeholder groups should be able to help us then address that. And some of the issues that need to be in that metrics, well done to skills that you acquire through academic qualifications, skills that you have acquired through your professional engagements so you, for example, let me check something out of [inaudible], if you’re not a lawyer, but you’re involved in policy implementation, you end up, for example, getting involved in policy development, and then you find you…
You get into a lot of legal like work, which means, then, that you have some level of understanding of legal, but you’re not really legal, so that transitional skills is important to be able to identify and to know how to best accommodate it, within our diversity [inaudible] in ICANN.
Is there anyone else with a hand up that needs to add to that?
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: No one else with their hand up currently, Fiona. Just so you know.
FIONA ASONGA: Okay. Then on the second issue of the SOs and ACs and how they have really implemented diversity, I think it would be good to get a report from them on what they have done. So, we could probably be asking for a report from the different [inaudible] organizations. What do they do in the activities, in the way they run, to ensure that there is diversity?
I think that is a fair question to ask, and to be able to then use that, because at the end of the day, one of the outputs of what the work stream two needs to develop, is to create a work plan. A work plan on enhancing ICANN’s diversity. And for that, for us to know where the gaps are, we need to get information from the [inaudible] organizations, on what they have done, what [inaudible] see as diversity, which has also been discussing since we started.
Now, moving to the next level, what have the SOs and ACs have done in terms of ensuring that they are enhancing diversity? Then be able to know from there, provide recommendations on what can be done to better?
[Inaudible] area that you found a bit interesting, and maybe we need to discuss a bit more is, the way ICANN works, and the way ICANN runs its meeting, the one thing that is very obvious is the lack of, or maybe absent, to some extent, of persons challenged in various ways.
If, for instance, someone who was visually challenged, was attending an ICANN meeting, and they wanted to participate, how would they be assisted? [Inaudible] to give feedback, because sometimes we sort of… Like when you have the public forums, you sort of assume everybody is, yeah, able to see where the mics are, they’re able to get to the mics, they’re able to…
We take a lot of stuff for granted. So, I don’t know, and that’s another area that I thought, I’m just thinking that’s an area we need to see, how do we [inaudible] for those who are challenged in terms of material also that we produce, because I know we don’t produce anything in Braille. So, then how do we reach out?
And when you look at the interest in ICANN, this is a question that we need to be asking ourselves. Any hands up?
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: Yes, Fiona. Sébastien’s hand is up.
FIONA ASONGA: Okay, Sébastien.
SÉBASTIEN BACHOLLET: Thank you Fiona, and thank you for your last point. I think it’s an important one. I guess if we can have somebody from the meeting staff, or the registration staff, they may give us some input what it has done, or could be done. If I remember well, in the registration form, on the website, you have a question about any specific needs you may have.
And I know that they are taking care of that. I don’t know what will done if it’s happened, or what is done, but it could be interesting, first of all, they know about that, if the people say it in the registration, but maybe it would be interesting to have one of them to tell us what is planned for that, and [inaudible] and maybe we can add some idea on this subject. Thank you.
And if… I have the floor, I wanted to add one point, it’s a question also about meeting and language. And it’s not just physical meeting, or the global ICANN meeting, but also the meeting where we are participating like this one. The pivotal language is English. Here, we don’t have any interpretation, and we have just one language. But when we use different language, we can use interpretation.
It’s always the main language is English, and I am sure that if we can change that for some meeting, for some regions, for some topics, using another language, as the people told one, it could be interesting to see that they’re changing in the [inaudible] of people. And the last point, it’s a suggestion that we have made in the meeting strategy working group, it’s to have a time slot dedicated for organizing meeting in several different room with the language in each room from the seven language supported by ICANN.
And maybe it could be subject and an idea to push within this group, because I think it could be a very interesting and important way to ensure a real diversity within the organization. Thank you.
FIONA ASONGA: Thank you very much, Sébastien for that. I think your views sort of like [inaudible] a lot of thoughts, and I would be interested to see the reaction of the meeting working group and the meeting team. And this could be something that you can post to them to look at and see how possible that is, because if we already have translation on the ground for a meeting, and some groups may not be using all of the translation, others, but making an effort to accommodate all to show the validity in the way run our activities, I think that should be something to see how maybe just so the proposal…
But it is something I would like to make a note of, and get somewhere and resolve when we are working the meeting team to have them give us their views and feedback on that. And I think this will also go to the rest of ACs and SOs on what their views are. Bring up the issue of language, something else that [inaudible] for example, is… ICANN has got out of its way to introduce the IDN, however the languages spoken by the users of those IDNs are not accommodated in the way we work.
So, when we were in Hyderabad, and I observe that there may be some challenges in the community that has, that makes use likely of the IDNs in terms of getting the right information and understanding what ICANN really is all about, what we do, what opportunities as well within the internet ecosystem as a whole.
And I think that is… If we, as ICANN, as ICANN organization, has all this global engagement officers for our work, and is for outreach, I think it is important that we get to know what efforts are being put into the communities, that those officers solve in providing the material and languages that they can easily understand, or inform us that they can easily understand, because I was a bit afraid none of the working…
One of the meetings during the Hyderabad, the last ICANN Hyderabad meeting, none of the sessions… There was someone that mentioned that some of the characters used in the IDNs are not normally written. The communities are developing a writing culture, but it’s a lot of [inaudible], and the [inaudible] it needs to be audio.
So, how are we as a global organization then dealing with that? [Inaudible]. Any hands up?
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: I don’t currently see anyone’s hand up, Fiona.
FIONA ASONGA: Okay. In that case, because the agenda was likely to discuss the work, the straw man version two, I think I will also raise another issue that we need to probably consider, and see how to [inaudible]… If everyone is comfortable with it, then we’ll leave it. Section 2.3 on the agenda, generally [inaudible] is either male or female, but there was feedback that there should be consideration for person who are transgender or gender non-conforming.
So then an option on, of other. And I don’t know. I would appreciate feedback on that. Is it really necessary? Because then does it, when we look at leadership positions and actually… The level of activity of the different gender groups, the general gender groups that we know, male and female, we have had a drive to get, to achieve gender, what is the right word? I think gender balance or gender equality where we are 50/50.
So, if we are to do that… Someone has their mic on, please mute because I’m getting an echo.
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: Fiona, we do have a couple of hands up. We do have Sébastien and I think Javier was in there, and I think we had another hand up as well.
FIONA ASONGA: Okay. Please without an echo, then we can proceed.
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: Okay. Sébastien, take the floor.
SÉBASTIEN BACHOLLET: [Inaudible] Sébastien Bachollet speaking. I wanted to not leave you alone to speak, but maybe a dual was not a right idea. There are two other people talking, who will talk after me, that’s good. I wanted to take your point about gender. And an important question is that, do we need to integrate gender within our working group as a diversity [inaudible]?
Or, is it even bigger and it needs to be equality [inaudible]? Then you add something about people who either don’t consider themselves, or are not, I don’t want to say bad words about that. I don’t know how to…
FIONA ASONGA: Sébastien, I’ve lost you.
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: I think maybe Sébastien got disconnected. I don’t see him. We’ll see if we can get Sébastien reconnected.
FIONA ASONGA: Okay. Who is next?
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: If I mispronounce your name, I apologize. Is it Lousewies? How do you say your first name, my dear?
LOUSEWIES VAN DER LAAN: Hi, can you hear me?
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: Yes [inaudible]. How do you pronounce your first name?
LOUSEWIES VAN DER LAAN: It’s Lousewies. No problem.
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: Lousewies. My apologies, please take the floor.
LOUSEWIES VAN DER LAAN: No problem. I know I have a difficult name, and that’s absolutely fine. First of all, I would like to say, I generally don’t… Oh wait, I think Sébastien might be back. [CROSSTALK]
SÉBASTIEN BACHOLLET: Lousewies, go ahead. That’s okay. Go ahead, Lousewies, I have trouble with internet connection. Go ahead, please.
LOUSEWIES VAN DER LAAN: Merci, merci Sébastien. So, I generally try not to intervene because I think the Board should be letting the community drive this process, but I just want to make an observation in my personal capacity, because I’ve worked a lot on this issue.
And the usual terminology is people who do not conform to the binary gender, definition, binary being male/female. And there are many different ways that people don’t fit into that binary system. So, I just want to share my personal observations in the hope that they’re helpful.
I think, when it comes to diversity, I believe there are two things that are important. One is that everyone feels welcome to participate within ICANN, and a separate one is that the leadership of the wider community reflects that diversity.
And I think if we make that distinction, it will be easier to deal with questions of non-binary people, as well as the question of LGBTI people. So, my feeling is that everyone should feel welcome, and therefore it will be great if we can create an atmosphere in which no matter who you love, or how your gender identity is, you don’t feel you would be judged, or you feel you could participate, because that’s an important voice to hear.
I think it will be a lot more complicated if there is somehow the ambition that that kind of diversity, that is somehow reflected in the leadership. And the reason is that in many, many cultures, in many places around the world, this is not something that people would be willing or able to share.
In certain countries, it is not only illegal to be gay or to not conform to a certain gender norm, but you could actually be prosecuted for it. So, it’s a very personal matter, both sexual orientation and gender identity are very personal matters. And I think it would be very hard to somehow organize around that.
On the other hand, if someone is whatever, a transsexual, or an intersex person, or identifies as gender queer, or whatever happens to be their thing, I think it would be great if that person would not at any moment feel that, for that reason they should not put a candidate forward, or become actively involved, or have the ambition for a leadership position.
So, I think that, you know, as long as everyone feels welcome, and part of the family, it should make it much easier than to somehow try to say we should always have the ambition to, you know, have a non-binary person somewhere. That would be, I think, very, very hard to organize.
So, I don’t know if that’s helpful, but it’s just that I’ve worked on these issues for a long time, and it’s… They’re very complicated in countries that have dealt with them for a long time, so I know they’re even more complicated in many other parts of the world, where these are very sensitive matters. Thank you.
FIONA ASONGA: Thank you Lousewies. Because what you have raised, what you have said, raises a very important question that we have tried to cover in straw man one, and we still have not yet completed on that, and that was also to identify of all the elements of diversity, which one should be the most important?
Because depending on the prominence you give to some of them, it will determine what we need to work on. And what you’ve said about gender is very important. It definitely is a very sensitive issue, and yeah, there are parts of the world where only two genders are recognized, and if you were identified as not conforming to the binary, then you go to jail.
And yet, we have this ICANN meeting that goes around the world to different locations. So, we need to be very careful about how we address this issues. And I think one that we have discussed with my co-rapporteur, Rafik, identify which of the elements of the validity are important.
[Inaudible] and it would be good to hear from the group on how that should be done. So that we know on others, on some, it will be necessary to just observe. On some, we’ll need to really measure and get statistics, on others we should need much more concrete actions. [Inaudible] language, those seem to be much easier. Stakeholder and skills, diversity, those are much easier to get concrete actions out of.
But we need to be in agreement, which of these issues fall into the category of those that are measurable, clearly measurable, and can be implemented by ICANN. And then you have those, a separate group for those are not measurable, but important to not those observations of.
So, your comments are really helpful in bringing that position that we have as rapporteurs. Thank you. Any other hands, Yvette?
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: Yes, we have Javier.
FIONA ASONGA: Okay. Please proceed.
JAVIER RUA-JOVET: Can you hear me? Hello?
FIONA ASONGA: Yes.
JAVIER RUA-JOVET: Good morning to all. I’m Javier. I’m the new guy from ALAC North America. I’d like to support Lousewies’s position on having the best, you know, language for the gender issue. I think our policy should be the most progressive policy, also with the best language possible. In regards, I mean, in regards, who declares themselves as certain gender, or how… That’s a personal decision, you know. That would impact, you know, whatever measurements we do.
But in regards to the policy set out, you know, in bylaw, or policies, you know, policy documents, I support completely the position of having the most open and most progressive position that we can agree on in terms of, you know, of gender. You know, as Lousewies has wrote in the chat, you know, even India is a highly complex society with, you know, with lots of progressive elements, and lots of non-progressive elements, that the Indian government, you know, placed other option in the Visas.
That’s interesting. So, we might find more openness to this issue then we might suspect, you know. There might be even some consensus that we don’t know, we wouldn’t think that it is. So, I support the most progressive position on that, and I reserve, for you know, [inaudible] right not or later, to speak on the 2.4 on age, on the straw man. Thank you.
FIONA ASONGA: Thank you so much for your intervention. I think, if you can [inaudible] to speak also on the issue of age, just give us your feedback. I’m assuming there are no other hands after yours.
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: Actually, Fiona, there would be Sébastien, because he got disconnected, and then there is Julie, after Javier.
FIONA ASONGA: So, after those, then Javier can come back on another issue of age.
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: Okay.
FIONA ASONGA: Sébastien, you’re next.
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: Fiona, it looks like we lost Sébastien again. So, we can go onto Julie, and then maybe we come back to Sébastien.
FIONA ASONGA: Julie?
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: Julie, we can’t hear you. [Inaudible] Julie?
We heard something, go ahead Julie. I think we can hear you now, go ahead.
Julie, are you still with us?
Okay, Fiona, I don’t know, we may be having some audio connection issues there as well.
FIONA ASONGA: Javier?
SÉBASTIEN BACHOLLET: Okay…
JAVIER RUA-JOVET: Go ahead.
FIONA ASONGA: Sébastien, do we have you back?
SÉBASTIEN BACHOLLET: [Inaudible] but I wanted to leave the floor to other people. I already talk too much, and it’s better if Julie can take the floor, and Javier, go ahead. No worry.
JAVIER RUA-JOVET: Merci, Sébastien. On the age issue, to [inaudible], I’m looking at the text in the straw man, and there is issue there, I think, that says from millennial to the next generation. You know, I think that addition tends to exclude people, because it seems to talk about young people only.
You know, I think we should be as open as possible, as we are on the gender issue, and be aware, not to exclude, you know, older folks. You know, from where I’m from in Puerto Rico, you know, the older, like senior stakeholders are very important. We’re an aging society, and one of our work done here is really concentrating on them, for them to adopt and to get into ICTs , you know?
So, just a comment on that issue. [Inaudible] I think we should make clear that we’re open… I think the original language there in black, you know, is pretty open. I don’t understand the addition though, which seems to close it down. So, that’s my comment, thank you.
FIONA ASONGA: Thank you very much, Javier. I think we may need assistance in terms of getting to know what are the difficult…. I don’t know what the different age groups are, in between [inaudible] a bit of research on that. Is someone in the group very well-versed on that to be helpful for them to help us with wording? So that we don’t leave anybody out. It was, the comment was presented, I think it can be polished, and it can be better presented.
SÉBASTIEN BACHOLLET: Okay. Sébastien speaking. If you allow me.
FIONA ASONGA: Yes. Please proceed, Sébastien.
SÉBASTIEN BACHOLLET: Okay, thank you Fiona. Yes, I think as a question of age is, it’s important and how we write it will be important also. But the current situation, first of all, is that we don’t have any public data on age. If you try to look to the birthday of a leader within this organization, I was trying to look at that, and the only one I got was age of the chair, because he hit 70, and it was on the news.
But for the other, this information is not available, and it’s very difficult to take that into account. On the other hand, when I suggest, when I was on the Board, that we need to find younger people, it was interesting because [inaudible] was no, we already know when it’s too young people, they don’t know about the organization.
They don’t know about the topics. They don’t have the skill, and so on and so forth. It’s why we are, a lot of people retired, or who are old. And I think we need to try to find some better balance in that. But of course, when you are point of diversity to other points of diversity, the question you will raise on, what are the most important?
For example, if we have all the leadership organization, or the Board, or any other leadership within the SO and ACs, if all people are the same, even with gender balance, but for example, they are all, I don’t know, IT engineers, all lawyers, or whatever else, it will not be good either. Where it’s quite complicated, but very important, that we try to balance all type of diversity. That’s one point.
The second, I wanted to come back on the issue of skill, because I know that it’s a very hard points in the discussion. And my thought on that, is that you can always train, help people to understand better, to know, to get the skill, you will not transform a man into woman, you will not transform somebody with the age, you will not change your age and so on and so forth.
Skill, you can improve your skill. You can’t change what you are. It’s why I think it’s so important that we try to get as much as diversity as possible. Thank you.
FIONA ASONGA: Thank you so much for that Sébastien. I’ve made a note, we’ll add another element of diversity skill as a separate element, because from the way you explained it, it’s a lot clearer, I understand it better, why skill has to be separate, and is important to pay attention to.
Javier? You still have your hand up?
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: No, I think that was an old hand, Fiona. Do we want to try Julie again?
FIONA ASONGA: Yes, please.
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: Julie, can you hear us?
JULIE HAMMER: I can. Can you hear me now?
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: I can hear you now. Please come on in.
JULIE HAMMER: Thank you very much. I was wanting to pick up on the point that Fiona made a while ago, regarding wanting to try to prioritize various aspects of diversity that have been defined in the straw man. And the comment I wanted to make was that across ICANN, within its various groups, such as the SOs and ACs, and other groupings like the Board, even ICANN staff, I think different aspects of diversity are of different relevance in each context, and within each group.
And so, I think what I feel would be a more logical way to go, is for the different groups to define what aspects of diversity are of…
Can you hear me now?
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: Fiona, I think we lost Julie. I’ll see if we can go ahead and accommodate and get her back, but I think at this point, audio went out for her.
FIONA ASONGA: Okay. She was talking about being able [CROSSTALK] …the different areas, having a different need for diversity and prioritizing differently, which I think is…
Julie, can you please type your comment in the chat?
JULIE HAMMER: Can you hear me now? Okay. So yes, I was just trying to say that each group would be, it would be logical for each group to try to prioritize various aspects of diversity within their own groups, rather than trying to do that across ICANN as a whole, because different groups…
Because different groups have different needs. So, I’m not sure whether you can hear me again or not.
FIONA ASONGA: I think I heard the last part, and heard the beginning. So I will summarize my understanding, and then you can correct me. But from what you’re saying, because there are different [inaudible] of ICANN, there is staff, the Board, the ACs and SOs, have different, a different way of looking at the elements of diversity, and prioritizing them best on what they see as important.
And so it would be difficult for us, as the working group to put, to then have a consolidated, put together a consolidated list of aspects of ICANN that are important, but you went back to the ACs and SOs, to ICANN staff, to the Board, and have each of these arms of ICANN prepare their prioritization of the elements of diversity that are important to them, then would end up with a clearer position on how to rank the elements of diversity.
And I think that is agreeable, and it would be, I think, it would be something that we should take note of, and begin to think of them, how do we begin that engagement with the Board, with staff, and with the ACs and SOs on the elements of diversity?
So, thank you Julie for your feedback.
So, any other comments on the straw man?
YVETTE GUIGNEAUX: We don’t have any hands up currently, Fiona. And we have about 10 minutes left to go in the call.
FIONA ASONGA: Okay. So then, I think after the call, I will work with Rafik and Leon Sanchez, who is from the main work stream two co-chairs, working on this, and we will consolidate the views, and see which would be the best way with all of the proposals, which is the best way forward, and have that shared before the end of the week, so that you can prepare for the next call.
And just to let you know, as we move into [inaudible] the time remaining, to let you know that we do have two more calls before we finalize for this year. And the next call is scheduled for the 13 th of December, five to six UTC. And during that call, before we get to them, we will share amongst the rapporteurs and we will share with you, what the agenda shall be then.
Of course, another one of the key things is looking at the straw man, another reading, another reading of the straw man and feedback, considering the participation on the call has been, attendance has been low compared to the number of persons who are listed as members of the working sub-group.
And so, with that, we will, I think, if there is nothing else to add, we can call it a day. Those of you who are at the IGF, enjoy. And I hope you’re having some very meaningful discussions.
Anything else anyone would like to add? If not, then we can end the call. And thank you all for participating. Thank you staff for your support. We really appreciate it. Thank you and bye.
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