The prejudices, and effects, about women's abilities in STEM fields — xkcd.com/385 — linger. You'd think that in a historically single-gender school, the stereotype threat effect would vanish, or at least lessen. And while that is statistically true, I want to talk about my experience after nine years in three different single-gender schools, and the implications for how we talk about "the pipeline."
UX, collaboration and "listening to the customer" have increasingly become a standard part of the workflow for designers in the tech community. However, there is less discussion about how a lack of diversity in tech impacts this process, and how it can contribute to further exclusion marginalized groups. This talk lays out the parts of the design process (internal and with users) where designers need to think about who they include and exclude in their process, who they choose to listen to and who they ignore, and (a little bit) about navigating that as a designer of color.
Tech is notoriously bad at talking about intersections of class, disability, race, gender; health, weight, and embodiment are equally nuanced subjects all on their own. What happens when a self-consciously desk-oriented culture tries to over-correct? What happens when people tire of beer and pizza that no longer feels optional? What happens to those who are already hyper-aware that their bodies are battlegrounds? How do we find some socially-acceptable balance in these interwoven networks of expectation and self-care? This talk will explore the complex landscape of body image negotiation in tech-specific cultural spaces, and hopefully offer a couple of tools to enable a baseline level of body-positive communication with tech co-workers.
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This talk is for developers who do not think open source is for them (it is), and organizers of open source projects who want to encourage and attract more talent. When I was a junior developer, open source never seemed quite “open” to me. Attempts to navigate interesting open source projects always ended in frustration as I sat alone at my computer, not knowing how to begin or who to contact. I currently serve on the steering committee of a bi-weekly hack night that serves as a nexus point of open source projects for social good. As an organizer, I formalized the pain points and trust signals encountered in my personal journey with open source in an effort to remove blockers for hack night attendees. I will present some of those learnings in this talk to show that well-formed open source communities can, and should, be accessible to everyone.
A well-functioning team is a wonderful thing. But even in communities, friend groups, families, and workplaces where things are going well, there is always the potential for subtle undermining behaviors and communication patterns to emerge. It's important to recognize, name, and course correct for these behaviors before they become insidious, while reducing the burden of this work on individuals who are most affected by subtly negative communication patterns. In this talk I'll share some strategies we've developed as faculty at the Recurse Center, my personal experience adopting them, and how you might apply them to your own workplaces and communities.
Professional women and their families lose out on upwards of 20-30% of lifetime income, and approximately 63% of immediate (within year of childbirth) income, to the ‘motherhood penalty,” due to the transition from pregnancy to becoming mothers, which is a major driving force of the 'gender pay gap.' Employers also lose millions on retention costs due to the attrition of remarkably talented women from the workplace, often due to the seemingly insurmountable task for women to balance family with work obligations while working in highly demanding careers. This is something that few employers do much to mitigate even though they often state that doing so is critical to organizational success and that they are willing to invest in solutions. As a result, there are dire societal and economic consequences that arise because society has not yet developed a framework for planning for family and career that is integrated to 1) consider the health and professional realities of pregnancy and the postpartum period, 2) that is proactive and synchronized, and 3) that treats both women’s desire to create life and create value through work as core aspects of their identities deserving of sustained support and synchronous effort that benefits all. In this vein, this talk will provide a brief background on this disappointing status quo, but also offer hope for a better way forward through the creation of AI-driven technology that will help professional women transition from pregnancy to motherhood in a way that optimizes their ability to more efficiently advance in their careers with fewer unintended setbacks. This talk will incorporate insights based on the speaker’s experiences as a professional mother and entrepreneur with two daughters, and a third on the way, as well as those of other professional mothers, as the user-centric blueprint for this technology. Public health issues related to pregnancy and the postpartum period, such as perinatal and postpartum depression, will be discussed in the context of the real need to proactively plan for this wondrous but potentially turbulent time in women’s lives with a sensitivity towards professional impact and advancement, and a woman’s preservation of her ability to be self-sufficient as it can be addressed with technology.
Open Source contributions are one of the most common de facto means to judging the competency of engineers, despite frequently resulting in the further marginalization of already marginalized people. In this talk, I'll coin the term "Quiet Developer" for developers who are active, engaged, but to the eyes of many completely invisible for many reasons. I'll dive into how developers like us survive, what employers can do to empower us, and in doing so ultimately chip away at the monolithic idea of "community engagement", highlighting instead the many less-visible communities so many of us are part of.
Indulgence is everywhere in tech and that can be difficult for people who did not grow up with money to absorb. This talk focuses on what it’s like to grow up in a low-income area and then work in the tech industry. Will also touch on belonging and how sometimes making it rain still doesn’t make you feel like you belong.
For a myriad of reasons, members of one or more marginalized groups often have limited time, energy, and other resources (often referred to as "spoons") to spend on activism and other diversity & inclusion work. In this talk, we'll present tips and strategies for how to be better aware of how you're currently spending spoons, wisely budget and choose where to spend them to maximize your work's impact, and avoid some common spoon-wasting pitfalls.
I interrupt. I'm impulsive. My school sent me to social skills therapy. Such is the nature of growing up with ADHD- navigating social conventions is a learned skill as opposed to a natural talent. However, as an adult in the professional world, I'm constantly torn between the ability to identify my social faux pas and the need to assert myself as a woman. As an example, when starting my job, I was appalled my coworkers insisted I stop apologizing as women tend to over apologize. I was at a constant and isolating loss of words as there seemed to be no way for me to communicate that proper social conventional dictates it's necessary to acknowledge interrupting. With gained experience, this still presents a struggle to this day. I will share what I've learned so far, the continued work for myself and the Industry, and how we can learn to adopt those with different abilities.