Facets: Issue 03

September 25, 2015

Just Focus on the Positives

Meagan Waller
"These pipeline programs allow people to feel warm and fuzzy inside with little to no effort. Advocating for pipeline programs requires no internal examination, just an outward one."

As someone who worries a lot about being 'nice,' Waller’s writing here resonated with me. This examination of ‘niceness’ and ‘being positive' and its dubious relation to success is sharply-written and well-resourced. She reminds us that those we marginalize are under no obligation to meet oppression and hate with optimism.

Searching for Eve: The life of a trans woman, but only online

Meredith Talusan
"Eve’s blog was a space where she could...indulge in a “female identity,” where she could bask in pastel colors, animé women, and her obsession with Japanese candy and Korean romcoms."

The internet’s capability to affect identity has always been of interest to me, and this piece is one of the rawest, most thoughtful that I’ve seen written on the subject. Meredith Talusan introduces us to Eve, who is certain that she’s a woman, but is only able to live that woman’s life online. Lines are drawn between identities, "work zones" and "family zones" in what is a fascinating exploration of what it means to identify online.

Marco Rogers on the sacrifice involved in hiring for diversity

"One thing that I'm learning is it's very possible to "care" about diversity without actually engaging in the hard work it takes to fix it.”

Not technically an essay or blog post, but very much worth your attention. Rogers points out that it is very easy to engage and care about diversity while being entirely inactive, especially if we are unaffected— true diversity initiatives involve sacrifice, and not enough of us are prepared to make that sacrifice.

Data Science

And now some data science for your weekend reading pleasure. The first is Inclusion and Diversity at Slack, an analysis done by the company themselves on the composition of their workforce. There have been a lot of these analyses recently without much meaningful follow-up, but Slack do well to point out a responsibility that lies with them: "While much focus has been on the pipeline, we understand that increasing the diversity of applicants and new hires will not result in any significant change if people from underrepresented groups cannot thrive at the company."

Following on from that, here are two thorough analyses on race and gender among computer science majors at Harvard and Stanford, done by Winnie Wu and Jorge Cueto respectively. Both point out notable disparities, and offer helpful points going forward— it isn't just about employers, but educators as well.