Practical Diversity -- Expanded Edition

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Stopping discrimination is important, but tolerance is a terrible word (who wants to be tolerated?). What can we do to create more inclusive environments? Presenting some practical, pragmatic things that really work, based on real world experiences. Updated expanded talk, given to GE Oil & Gas Women's Network in Florence and Annual Meeting internal tech conference in Amsterdam, both in Dec 2013.


<p>Practical Diversity</p> <p>Practical DiversityMeri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerWhat Do I Know?Lead international, multi-disciplinary teams ranging in size from 30 to 300. </p> <p>Moved recruitment from 70-30 M-F to 50-50 in IT function of a large company. </p> <p>Founded LGBT network that was recognised by Stonewall as a Star Performer; 5 years in the Workplace Equality Index (100 best places to work for LGB employees in UK)Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager</p> <p>Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager</p> <p>Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerIm A Bit of a Diversity StatisticWomanGayForeignEmployed (this is a bad thing if youre foreign)Multi-lingualDisabledAtheist</p> <p>BUT grew up hugely aware of (unasked &amp; undeserved) privilege I had growing up white in Apartheid South Africa.Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager</p> <p>My childhood was FULL of signs like theseHorrible &amp; horrificbut impossibleto escapeMeri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerI cannot deny that PrivilegeIn fact, the most useful thing I can do is assess, understanding &amp; acknowledge that privilegeMeri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager</p> <p>Check out the original article from Peggy McIntosh: </p> <p>In Apartheid South Africa, ALL systems were set up to actively &amp; blatantly give advantage to white folks and disadvantage non-whites.</p> <p>We are less good at spotting this when it isnt so blatant. </p> <p>Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager</p> <p>Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerWe have to aggressively, and uncompromisingly, attack the pernicious lie that the technology industry is a meritocracy. Perpetuating this myth only serves to bolster the egos of those who have succeeded already, at the expense of saying that people who are underrepresented in tech today arent present because they arent good Anil DashMeri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerNot discriminating is importantLegally, if nothing elseMeri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerBut TOLERANCE is a Terrible WordWould YOU want to be tolerated?Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerWouldnt A Fully Inclusive ENVIRONMENT BE BETTER?PROTIP: Helps Everyone!Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerDiversity is a SpectrumActive hatred &amp; discrimination (*isms)Micro aggressionsIndifferenceActive inclusionToleranceMeri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager</p> <p>A micro-aggression is telling young boys that they are very smart, and telling young girls that they are very pretty. </p> <p>- Faruk Ates @kurafireMeri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerThe Benefits of Active InclusionResearch shows that diverse teams are more creative, innovate and successful. Why?</p> <p>1) As a lesbian board member I am a magical rainbow unicorn and my diversity dust leads to greater profits OR</p> <p>2) A fully inclusive environment gives you the benefit of all the different viewpoints &amp; experiences and offers many paths to successMeri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerSo How Do We Move Right Way?STOP allowing underprivileged groups to be pushed away </p> <p>(actively/deliberately OR passively/unintentionally)</p> <p>START building actively inclusive environmentsMeri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerSome Things That Work(some of these surprised me)Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerReduce FearIncreasing opportunities is worthy &amp; important. </p> <p>But reducing fear is equally so. </p> <p>(tips: reduce impact of failure, risk of humiliation, acknowledge risk IS DIFFERENT for those in underprivileged groups)Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager</p> <p> Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerEducate yourself &amp; Others About Privilege &amp; IMPLICIT biasIf you keep doing what you always did, youll keep getting what you always gotMeri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerImplicit BiasVery interesting Harvard research into implicit bias we dont realise it, are not ACTIVELY but rather PASSIVELY discriminating</p> <p>There is a site with tests you can do that reveal your bias: </p> <p>Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerPrivilege 101The number one thing that privilege gives you is a belief that you CAN. ( go to university work in the industry you want marry who you want to get out of bed each morning)</p> <p>BELIEF YOU CAN IS A PART OF PRIVILEGE. </p> <p>Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerPrivilege 101The other thing that privilege convinces you of is that you are there because of your skills &amp; abilities. </p> <p>BELIEF YOUR INNATE SKILLS GET YOU WHERE YOU ARE IS A PART OF PRIVILEGE TOO. </p> <p>Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerCheck the Signals You SendLogistics matter do all your events exclude people in particular groups? (e.g. those with caring responsibilities)</p> <p>People cant judge your intent only your actions (you can harm without meaning to)</p> <p>Language matters </p> <p>Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerRachel in Friends25</p> <p>Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerCheck If Systems are LoadedCompanies that assess effectiveness / performance and then AUTOMATE pay rises based on this tend to reduce the gender pay gap. </p> <p>One interpretation:Pitching for a pay rise inherently favours men, who tend to be more confident in their abilities and more comfortable talking up their results. </p> <p>Shy/humble guys suffer too. </p> <p>Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerJohnny CleggThey taught us to forget our pastAnd live the future in their image They said Learn to speak a little bit of English,Dont be scared of a suit and tie.Learn to walk in the dreams of the foreigner. I am a third world child.Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerMost advice reads as Be more like a LOUD straight cis AMERICAN white guyFinding a way to be successful and still be yourself is importantMeri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerFrame Guidance AltruisticallyAdvice which focuses on how to do better for yourself has a very limited appeal. (a la steal more pie)</p> <p>Altruistic advice (a la bake more pie) appeals to a much broader audience (including non-individualistic cultures)Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerWhen We Reframed Networking</p> <p>Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager31The Most Important QuestionBest predictor of recruitment AND retention? Someones ability to agree with:</p> <p>Someone like me can be successful hereMeri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerAs much as 40% better</p> <p>Much energy is spent if you have to hide your private life, or pretend to be something youre not</p> <p>Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerRole Modeling MattersWhen a woman presents/represents at recruitment events, more women apply</p> <p>When you present a monoculture, people make assumptions you wont like</p> <p>Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerDid You Always Know You Wanted to Be So Senior?Men leaders tend to say:Yes, I always knew I could do more.</p> <p>Women leaders tend to say:No, but my mentors believed in me, and I trusted they were right.Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerTELL the people you believe in that you believe in them that their skills &amp; their contributions are valuableIf You Only Do ONE Thing DifferentlyMeri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerDiversity is a SpectrumActive hatred &amp; discrimination (*isms)Micro aggressionsIndifferenceActive inclusionToleranceMeri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerSo How Do We Move Right Way?STOP allowing underprivileged groups to be pushed away </p> <p>(actively/deliberately OR passively/unintentionally)</p> <p>START building actively inclusive environmentsMeri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerPractical Diversity RecapSome things that helpMeri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_ManagerPractical DiversityAssume fear. Understand risk. Then focus on reducing. Advise people to bake more pie, not steal more pie.Understand &amp; educate about privilege &amp; implicit bias.Connect people with role models. Grow more role models. Encourage them to be visible.Someone like me can be successful here? Tell people you believe in that they can. Tell people you believe in that they are there because of their skills. (no one likes being a diversity stat)Find ways to be true to self AND successful. Look at whether your processes/systems discriminate. Fix.</p> <p>Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager</p> <p>Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager</p>


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