While there's a long way to go, tech companies are beginning to offer increasingly generous benefits to parents and families. Lots of these benefits programs were designed for families that fit into a very 1950's box: two-parent, cis, hetero, bio, male-primary-breadwinner families. That structure isn't my reality or the reality of most of the people in my life. In this talk, I'll discuss my own experience asking prospective employers about policies relating to employees' families and children during my job search and talk about how they do and don't work for my family and other families I know. I'll also share some suggestions for how employees can get the information they need, and some tips for how employers can make their policies more clear and welcoming.
This talk will focus on meaningful and measurable ways to increase diversity in the tech industry. Specifically, we will look at non-profit and private industry partnerships as a way to carve out diverse spaces of opportunity, and the growing trend of tech focused workforce development to impact population level change. To demonstrate the success of these strategies we will look at two examples; Code in the Schools Prodigy Program and the White House Tech Hire Initiative. Both face multiple but surmountable challenges namely; changing perceptions around the value of diversity, and the ability of diverse populations to thrive in the tech sector. We will close with pragmatic steps to take in our work and in our lives to ensure the continued focus on the importance of diversity in the tech industry.
Do you work with membership, staff, customer, subscriber, attendee, or funder data of any kind? Chances are, there are trans and gender non-conforming folks in your data! Based on experience with several national non-profit organizations and their data systems, this talk will present five simple ways to ensure that your data respects trans people's identities and privacy.
Publicly challenging micro-aggressions online is an exhausting and stressful responsibility, particularly if you are a member of a marginalised group. In an effort to reduce the pressure on these groups to take on such a responsibility, online community leaders are beginning to use of bots in areas of community communication. From correcting ableist language in Slack channels to explaining the meaning of "cis" for the millionth time on Twitter, automated responders are being used to deal with the draining work of improving community members' knowledge and vocabulary.
This talk will focus on the usage of bots in online communities, analysis of why they are generally successful and the related technical challenges involved in their creation. In addition to drawing on examples in open-source communities and Twitter, I'll also discuss their potential use in further anti-harassment measures and other ideas for their future expansion across gaming and technology. By the end of the talk, attendees should not only have an understanding of how these bots work but also be inspired to create their own bots for improving humanity, both in their own communities and beyond.
You're underrepresented, but that doesn't mean that you don't have a voice. Many times we feel intimidation or discouragement from speaking up about racism, sexism, homophobia, or otherwise uncomfortable situations because we're already different. As companies move to prove that they can bolster their diversity numbers and gaming communities diversify, knowing how to address the negativity currently happening in social tech and gaming situations is paramount to finding a good fit. Learn how to speak up, speak out, and help to change the status quo.
In 2014 I ran a $1million national program offering free trainings in beginners digital organizing and tech for campaigning, in 2015, within 1 month of joining a company, I (1 of 9 black employees in a 250 person company) was named the de facto head of the diversity committee. I'm currently an advisor for the Kairos Digital Fellowship, a fellowship committed to bringing more black and brown folk into the online organizing sphere. I think a lot about diversity and have seen and been a part of some cool success stories, and some major screw ups.
We've all seen it: some splashy org loudly announces an initiative to diversify the (insert here) industry. An incredible sum of money is spent and just as suddenly as that initiative came, it's gone. Working on campaigns has shown me that everything is cyclical. What was old is new and the focus on diversity in tech is no different. In my session I'll talk about previous efforts to diversify industries (successes, failures and who knows from sports, cable and other industries), my own misadventures working to diversify politics/campaigns and tech and some ways we can take advantage of the current spotlight on the issue.
Video games can offer tremendous motivational appeal, making for an attractive option for rehabilitative and therapeutic medicine. However, video gaming alone is not sufficient to ensure that an intervention will be successful. In this talk, we I will discuss cognitive behavioral factors that underlie both video game experiences and therapeutic challenges. We I will use a trio of video games designed for occupational therapy, substance abuse, and vision therapy to explore how some design considerations lead to emergent social factors--pertaining in particular to gender and income--that can significantly affect outcomes. Time permitting, we will also discuss accessibility factors and how they affect access and acceptance of these interventions.
The social contract between Education and society is broken. The demand for learning and growth has exceeded the Education people can afford, yet we still believe Education is the key. Despite various efforts at reform, Education is the same as it was at the turn of the 20th century. We have been looking for improvements within Education to help people adjust to changes in the economy brought about by rapid advances in computer technology, but what if technology is already helping people adjust and Education isn’t a part of it? What if the functions we have traditionally associated with Education were re-distributed to individuals just like computing, bandwidth, and digital storage? Nearly every revolutionary change in the history of human progress came about because someone questioned some time-honored belief or tradition and in doing so revealed a new truth, a new way of doing things. There is no reason to keep pursuing Education in its current form, especially if it’s not working.
Over 70% of women use social media, 40% in gaming, but only 30% in tech. Many use these as outlets to speak out against stereotypes and narratives that have implicit biases. Others just have an opinion but as an opinionated woman, she is not just harassed but is threatened with rape, violence & death threats. If that woman happens to be a woman of color she gets the combination of all of the above with an addition of racial hate & threats. Many of us have experienced the unpleasant reality of being a woman who speaks freely on the Internet. So what can be done? Shireen Mitchell will have an intriguing & insightful discussion on this issue during this session.