On Improving Diversity in Hiring

Caveat: Diversity is more than gender. I’ve used gender in some of these examples because I have enough anecdotal data to support these theories wrt to gender but I don’t want to extrapolate beyond that. In general my policy is to test and measure women because we can actually have data for that, but then […]

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If Lists Don’t Change Anything, What Does?

Credit: Max Pixel This is a follow up to last week’s post about lists. Because if lists don’t change anything… what does? The short answer: hard work. The long answer: A common piece of advice is to broaden your network. But… see all these people as human beings. I’m not on Twitter as a woman […]

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Diversity as Performance Art

green poi circles, in a beautiful light pattern, around a woman

For a while now I’ve been using the phrase “diversity as performance art”. It’s a comment on the shallowness of most “diversity” initiatives. How superficial they are, and how they ignore the harder, day to day, work of inclusion. The pipeline – the PR around the “problem” of the pipeline – is a performance. Inclusion […]

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Why HR Shouldn’t Own Inclusion

On the list of “things that come up a lot in Feminist Cabal meetings”, pretty high is a complaint that HR have taken ownership of “inclusion” and are being ineffective. This is not surprising when you think about it. Regardless of discussion about “employee happiness” etc, the main function of HR is to ensure that […]

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The Trouble With Women’s Events

GHC 2014 badge, "Google" is modified to say "Xoogler" instead.

There’s a theme emerging in my backchannel lately, as my girlfriends and I discuss why we aren’t doing certain events. And often, these are events for women. We used to retreat to these events because we weren’t welcome – or safe – anywhere else. But now, we see lots of technical events working really hard […]

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Maybe… You Should Apologise

Tweet reads: Men in tech I'm curious - if/when you accepted that you work in a misogynistic industry and unwittingly perpetuated the status quo did you ever feel compelled to apologise to anyone? (Poll, long form responses also welcome) 57% Yes, it went well 10% Yes, it went badly 11% No, afraid 22% No, no reason to

I ran a poll on Twitter this week looking for answers to a question I was curious about. I find the results interesting. On the one hand it encourages me how many people have apologised and it went well. On the other, the number of people who say “no reason to” makes me despondent. The […]

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Diversity is an Attention Economy and the Economics Suck

A while ago there was an article about how women got more RTs when they talk about diversity than when they talk about anything else. This wasn’t that surprising to women, I don’t think, although it may have been news to some people. Well before this was news, I had been trying to balance what […]

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The Sixth Time

Grace Hopper badge reads "Cate Huston Google", modified to read "Xoogler"

I’m heading to Houston, Texas this week to go to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. It’ll be my sixth time attending, and over the years I’ve gone in various guises. As a grad student, a Google employee, in disguise (I de-branded myself and refused to do any recruiting activities), as an independent. This year […]

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Magic Solutions to Materialize Women at 3 Days Notice

Odd One Out

I was annoyed recently, because a conglomerate organising a conference pinged us (and every other group that might yield “diverse” speakers) to promote their CfP… three days before closing. I sent them a series of comments on how leaving it to the last minute like that wasn’t helpful. As Chiu-Ki put it “we’re not a magic […]

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Pitfalls for Men Talking About Diversity

Odd one out

Lately I’ve been watching more men give talks about diversity. Personally I’m in favour of this, because 1) If women could fix this, we would have by now – making “diversity” a “woman’s issue” is a way of perpetuating the status quo. And 2) there is clearly a subset of men who won’t listen to […]

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