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Practical Diversity

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Practical Diversity

  1. 1. PRACTICAL DIVERSITY MERI WILLIAMS @GEEK_MANAGER
  2. 2. DIVERSITY EXPERIENCE • Moved recruitment from 70-30 M-F to 50-50 in IT function of a large company. • Founded LGBT network that was recognised by Stonewall as a Star Performer; 5 years in the Workplace Equality Index.
  3. 3. I’M A BIT OF A DIVERSITY STATISTIC Female… Gay… Foreign… Employed (this is a bad thing if you’re foreign…) Disabled… Atheist… BUT grew up hugely aware of (unasked & undeserved) privilege I had growing up white in Apartheid South Africa.
  4. 4. IT’S A SPECTRUM Inclusion Discrimination
  5. 5. NOT DISCRIMINATING IS IMPORTANT LEGALLY, IF NOTHING ELSE
  6. 6. BUT TOLERANCE IS A TERRIBLE WORD WOULD YOU WANT TO BE TOLERATED?
  7. 7. WOULDN’T A FULLY INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT BE BETTER? PROTIP: HELPS EVERYONE!
  8. 8. SOME THINGS THAT WORK… (SOME OF THESE SURPRISED ME)
  9. 9. REDUCE FEAR Increasing opportunities is worthy & important. But reducing fear is equally so. (tips: reduce impact of failure, risk of humiliation, increase friendly audience)
  10. 10. FRAME GUIDANCE ALTRUISTICALLY Advice which focuses on how to “do better for yourself” has a very limited appeal. (a la “steal more pie”) Altruistic advice (a la “bake more pie”) appeals to a much broader audience (including non-individualistic cultures…)
  11. 11. WHEN WE REFRAMED NETWORKING…
  12. 12. ROLE MODELING MATTERS • When a woman presents/represents at recruitment events, more women apply • When you present a monoculture, people make assumptions you won’t like
  13. 13. THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION Best predictor of recruitment AND retention? Someone’s ability to agree with: “Someone like me can be successful here”
  14. 14. PRIVILEGE 101 The number one thing that privilege gives you is a belief that you CAN. (… go to university … work in the industry you want … marry who you want to … get out of bed each morning…) BELIEF YOU CAN IS A PRIVILEGE.
  15. 15. PRIVILEGE 102 The other thing that privilege convinces you of is that you are there because of your skills & abilities. BELIEF YOUR INNATE SKILLS GET YOU WHERE YOU ARE IS A PRIVILEGE TOO.
  16. 16. “DID YOU ALWAYS KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE SO SENIOR?” Male leaders tend to say: “Yes, I always knew I could do more.” Female leaders tend to say: “No, but my mentors believed in me, and I trusted they were right.”
  17. 17. JOHNNY CLEGG They taught us to forget our past And live the future in their image … They said “Learn to speak a little bit of English, Don’t be scared of a suit and tie.” Learn to walk in the dreams of the foreigner. I am a third world child.
  18. 18. MOST ADVICE READS AS “BE MORE LIKE A STRAIGHT CIS WHITE GUY” FINDING A WAY TO BE SUCCESSFUL AND STILL BE YOURSELF IS IMPORTANT
  19. 19. SOMETIMES SYSTEMS ARE LOADED Companies that assess effectiveness / performance and then AUTOMATE pay rises based on this tend to reduce the gender pay gap. One interpretation: “Pitching for a pay rise” inherently favours men, who tend to be more confident in their abilities and more comfortable talking up their results. Shy/humble guys suffer too.
  20. 20. PRACTICAL DIVERSITY RECAP SOME THINGS THAT HELP
  21. 21. PRACTICAL DIVERSITY 1) Assume fear. Then focus on reducing it. 2) Advise people to bake more pie, not steal more pie. 3) Connect people with role models. 4) Grow more role models. Encourage them to be visible. 5) “Someone like me can be successful here?” 6) Tell people you believe in that they can. 7) Tell people you believe in that they are there because of their skills. (no one likes being a diversity stat) 8) Find ways to be true to self AND successful. 9) Look at whether your processes/systems discriminate.

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