Facets: Issue 48

December 28, 2017

When No Gender Fits: How to be more inclusive through ungendered design

Bronwen Rees
You transform your digital environment into a place where everyone can belong, where everyone is accounted for, and where everyone can feel included.

Online spaces are a huge part of how we interact today; in those spaces, we express ourselves and our identities, and connect with others. However, the lack of gender-neutral or otherwise considerate design can ensure that underrepresented folks experience a harsh disconnect between who they are and how they can present online. Rees details the hallmarks of inclusive digital environments, and provides design guidance.

Processing My Struggle With Depression And Imposter Syndrome in Silicon Valley

Wayne Sutton
As much as the tech industry preaches learning to code, the skill to project confidence by selling your abilities is the number one skill to have.

In an industry where we’re constantly selling ourselves, being open about mental health may be prioritised in speech, but not always in practice. It’s too risky. It’s a weakness. In this open description of a struggle with depression and the journey beyond, Sutton writes about acquiring and practicing the critical skill of self-awareness— working towards happiness while in the Silicon Valley fishbowl, and projecting confidence throughout.

“Who becomes an inventor in America?”

Equality of Opportunity Project
If [minority] groups invented at the same rate as white men from high-income families, we would have four times as many inventors in America today.

The Equality of Opportunity Project analysed the lives of >1m inventors, to better understand who grows up to be an inventor in America. The results aren’t pretty. We’re introduced to the “lost Einsteins” – women, minorities, and children from low-income families who would have had high-impact discoveries had they been exposed to innovation while growing up.

1000 different people, the same words

Kieran Snyder
you don’t end up with thousands of people using the same words by accident. The patterns that show up across your company’s jobs show what you truly value. Sometimes this can be at odds with what you say you value.

After using Textio to look at the language in 25,000 job postings from prominent tech companies, Snyder presents the results— and asks us to consider those results tell us about our prevailing cultural norms. A couple of cherry-picked stats: Slack’s language (“meaningfully” “lasting relationships”) encourages more female applicants, while Uber used “whatever it takes” thirty times as much as the next closest company.


Read Read about Project Alloy, who were able to send 123 grant recipients to the Strange Loop conference this September, and that's awesome. Read more about their work or apply for a grant on their website.

Twitter - Laurie Voss

Learn from two studies highlighted by Laurie Voss, two which indicate that most successful tech teams are: emotionally safe environments populated by good communicators, not STEM graduates or type-A personalities. In fact, out of eight most important qualities of top Google employees, technical STEM expertise was last.

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