Inclusion is a Hack

I wish more people understood that (in tech) inclusion – as we talk about it – is a hack. Firstly, “inclusion” is a shorthand for “inclusion of the historically under-represented”. The “historically under-represented” piece is the reason why we need the hack. What started with the deliberate exclusion of people of color and white women from a […]

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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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On Language

Credit: Pixabay / Alexas_Fotos I’ve encountered a lot of words that I would sooner not, working in tech. I have found the word whore in a design document, had colleagues who refer to women as “bitches”. I’ve been called – as most women have – abrasive, or more bluntly, a “c***”. I have been told, […]

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The Not-So-Secret Feminist Agenda

I put together this talk as part of Design+Exclusion. It’s about the ways in which women get told to be quiet, and some of the thought behind our approach to inclusivity with Technically Speaking. Watch it here. This was a challenging talk to put together because part of it involved looking up some of the […]

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#NotAllMen Like Playboy

So I hear that a conference gave away Playboy magazine as part of the event swag. The internet expressed their outrage, and there was an apology. I haven’t read it. I hear it wasn’t stupid, but… meh. Here’s the thing. There are some classes of problem in conference inclusivity. Someone at our event behaved inappropriately. […]

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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 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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GHC13 – What Are You Going to Do Differently?

I have a bunch of posts to write up from GHC last week, which was as usual, awesome. But the question I was interested in people I went with answering was – what are you going to do differently when you get back? For me, it was a reminder about the takeaway I got from […]

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