Presented at linux.conf.au 2015. This talk is an extended version of the keynote address presented at OSCON 2014.
Video will be posted at: https://www.youtube.com/user/linuxconfau2015/videos
Over the past 3 years, we’ve witnessed the discussion of the role of women and other underrepresented groups in technology grow broader, deeper and louder. From Wired to the Wall Street Journal, we’ve heard the message that we all have a problem. Even more exciting, major tech employers are just starting to respond with hard demographic data to back up years of academic research – and lived experiences – on the gender gap.
So, the first step is admitting we have a problem. But where do we all go from here?
The answer is simple, but the solutions are not: understanding one’s privilege requires hard work. Doing something productive with that understanding is even more difficult. We’ll all require a great deal more empathy for individuals whose lives we’ve never led, whose experiences we’ve never shared and whose challenges are all the same, but still quite different – and often greater – than our own.
In this talk, I’ll provide the audience with a how-to for journeying on the path to greater self-awareness and empathy:
* Understanding your own biases
* Taking the first steps toward leveling up in your interactions
* Having more useful conversations and collaborations with everyone you know
The purpose of this talk is to reexamine the topic through the lens of concrete things individuals can do to check their privilege – and to put it to work serving themselves and others.