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Practical Diversity: Creating Space for Everyone to be Awesome

How do we create space for EVERYONE to be awesome? Some practical tips on improving diversity & representation, and building inclusive environments. From my talk at Personalverardagarna in Stockholm, April 2016.

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Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
PRACTICAL DIVERSITY: CREATING
SPACE TO BE AWESOME
Personalvetardagarna
April 2016
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kodomut/3667608102/
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
WE ALL HATE BAD
BOSSES
WE DESCRIBE THEM AS
• Clueless
• Empty suits
• Pointless
• Seagulls
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
https://twitter.com/Caterina/status/6715084157

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Practical Diversity: Creating Space for Everyone to be Awesome

  • 1. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager PRACTICAL DIVERSITY: CREATING SPACE TO BE AWESOME Personalvetardagarna April 2016
  • 2. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager http://www.flickr.com/photos/kodomut/3667608102/
  • 4. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager WE ALL HATE BAD BOSSES WE DESCRIBE THEM AS • Clueless • Empty suits • Pointless • Seagulls
  • 6. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager https://twitter.com/Caterina/status/6715084157
  • 7. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Traditional management beliefs are a pile of crap http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Elephant_Dung.JPG
  • 8. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager PUT DOWN YOUR SWORD. YOU ARE NOT A ROMAN GENERAL.
  • 9. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager WHAT DOES WORK? Sooo….
  • 10. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Across industries, across countries, the best performing teams answer certain questions positively
  • 11. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Predictors of High Performance 1. Do I know what is expected of me at work? 2. Do I have the materials & equipment I need to do my work right? 3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day? 4. In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or praise for good work? 5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person? 6. Is there someone at work who cares about my development? 7. At work, do my opinions seem to count? 8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important? 9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work? 10. Do I have a best friend at work? 11. In the last 6 months, have I talked with someone about my development? 12. At work, have I had opportunities to learn and grow?
  • 12. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  • 13. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager UNDERSTAND MOTIVATION • Purpose • Autonomy • Mastery
  • 14. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager MOTIVATION = + PURPOSE (Do I believe in WHY?) + AUTONOMY (Do I get a say in WHAT?) + MASTERY (Am I proud of HOW?) - ANY NEGATIVE FACTORS THAT DETRACT
  • 15. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Predictors of High Performance (remix) PURPOSE • Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important? AUTONOMY • Do I know what is expected of me at work? • At work, do my opinions seem to count? MASTERY • Do I have the materials & equipment I need to do my work right? • At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day? • Is there someone at work who cares about my development? • Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work? • In the last 6 months, have I talked with someone about my development? • At work, have I had opportunities to learn and grow?
  • 16. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager And What Else? OTHER FACTORS: • In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or praise for good work? • Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person? • Do I have a best friend at work? ESSENTIALLY, AM I RESPECTED & REWARDED HERE? CAN I BE MYSELF AND SUCCEED HERE? I CALL THIS INCLUSION.
  • 17. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager SPACE TO BE AWESOME = + PURPOSE (Do I believe in WHY?) + AUTONOMY (Do I get a say in WHAT?) + MASTERY (Am I proud of HOW?) + INCLUSION (Do I BELONG HERE?) - ANY NEGATIVE FACTORS THAT DETRACT
  • 18. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager CREATE SPACE FOR EVERYONE TO BE THE BEST THEY CAN BE Our mission…
  • 19. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Ask Yourself • Do my people know WHY we are doing this? • Do my people get a say in the WHAT? In doing the right thing? • Do my people get opportunities to do the thing right? And to get better at the HOW? • Do we do a good job of making all our different people feel included & like they BELONG HERE? (PURPOSE) (AUTONOMY) (MASTERY) (INCLUSION)
  • 20. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Predictors of High Performance (remix) PURPOSE • Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important? AUTONOMY • Do I know what is expected of me at work? • At work, do my opinions seem to count? INCLUSION: • In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or praise for good work? • Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person? • Do I have a best friend at work? MASTERY • Do I have the materials & equipment I need to do my work right? • At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day? • Is there someone at work who cares about my development? • Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work? • In the last 6 months, have I talked with someone about my development? • At work, have I had opportunities to learn and grow?
  • 21. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager WHAT DOES THIS MEAN DAY- TO-DAY, WEEK-TO-WEEK?
  • 22. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  • 23. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager PROTECT PURPOSE BE A TRANSLATOR – MAKE PURPOSE, STRATEGY & DIRECTION MAKE SENSE CONNECT WHAT PEOPLE ARE DOING (AND CAN DO!) TO OVERALL IMPORTANT PURPOSE
  • 24. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager ENABLE AUTONOMY & MASTERY
  • 25. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager CLUE / SKILLS MATRIX
  • 26. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager What’s Needed
  • 27. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager WE’RE GOOD AT WHAT WE PRACTICE, PROVIDING WE CAN LEARN FROM IT
  • 28. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager DELIBERATE PRACTICE • You must be motivated to attend to the task and exert effort to improve your performance. • The design of the task should take into account your pre- existing knowledge so that the task can be correctly understood after a brief period of instruction. • You should receive immediate informative feedback and knowledge of results of your performance. • You should repeatedly perform the same or similar tasks.
  • 29. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager IS THE WORK DESIGNED IN A WAY THAT MAKES IT EFFECTIVE DELIBERATE PRACTICE? CHALLENGING? FEEDBACK? LEARNING?
  • 30. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager CULTIVATE INCLUSION Help people to succeed as themselves. Best predictor of recruitment AND retention? Someone’s ability to agree with: “Someone like me can be successful here”
  • 31. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  • 32. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  • 33. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager I’m A Bit of a Diversity Statistic  Woman… (working in tech)  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.
  • 34. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager My childhood was FULL of signs like these Horrible & horrific but impossible to escape
  • 35. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager I CANNOT DENY THAT PRIVILEGE In fact, the most useful thing I can do is assess, understanding & acknowledge that privilege
  • 36. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Check out the original article from Peggy McIntosh: http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html In Apartheid South Africa, ALL systems were set up to actively & blatantly give advantage to white folks and disadvantage non-whites. We are less good at spotting this when it isn’t so blatant.
  • 37. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager “We have to aggressively, and uncompromisingly, attack the pernicious lie that the technology industry is a meritocracy. Perpetuating this myth only serves to bolster the egos of those who have succeeded already, at the expense of saying that people who are underrepresented in tech today aren’t present because they aren’t good” – Anil Dash
  • 38. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  • 39. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager NOT DISCRIMINATING IS IMPORTANT Legally, if nothing else
  • 40. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager BUT TOLERANCE IS A TERRIBLE WORD Would YOU want to be tolerated?
  • 41. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager WOULDN’T A FULLY INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT BE BETTER? PROTIP: Helps Everyone!
  • 42. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Diversity is a Spectrum Active hatred & discrimination (*isms) Micro aggressions Indifference Active inclusion Tolerance
  • 43. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager “A micro-aggression is telling young boys that they are very smart, and telling young girls that they are very pretty. ” - Faruk Ates @kurafire
  • 44. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager So How Do We Move Right Way? 1. STOP allowing underprivileged groups to be pushed away (actively/deliberately OR passively/unintentionally) 2. START building actively inclusive environments
  • 45. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Some Things That Work… (some of these surprised me)
  • 46. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Reduce Fear Increasing opportunities is worthy & important. But reducing fear is equally so. (tips: reduce impact of failure, risk of humiliation, acknowledge risk IS DIFFERENT for those in underprivileged groups)
  • 47. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager EDUCATE YOURSELF & OTHERS ABOUT PRIVILEGE & IMPLICIT BIAS If you keep doing what you always did, you’ll keep getting what you always got
  • 48. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  • 49. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Privilege = Difficulty Setting of Game of Life http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is/
  • 50. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  • 51. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Implicit Bias Very interesting Harvard research into implicit bias – we don’t realise it, are not ACTIVELY but rather PASSIVELY discriminating There is a site with tests you can do that reveal your bias: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/
  • 52. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager http://xkcd.com/385/
  • 53. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Check the Signals You Send • Logistics matter – do all your events exclude people in particular groups? (e.g. those with caring responsibilities) • People can’t judge your intent – only your actions (you can harm without meaning to) • Language matters (what default are you assuming?)
  • 54. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Check If 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.
  • 55. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager 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.
  • 56. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager MOST ADVICE READS AS “BE MORE LIKE A STRAIGHT CIS AMERICAN WHITE GUY” Finding a way to be successful and still be yourself is important
  • 57. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  • 58. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  • 59. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager 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…)
  • 60. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager When We Reframed Networking…
  • 61. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager VALUE THE WHAT OVER THE HOW Know when people need telling what to do (Hint: it’s not often) Help them get what they need the rest of the time (Hint: not just someone else telling them what to do) Learn, practise, use coaching skills
  • 62. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager As much as 40% better Much energy is spent if you have to hide your private life, or pretend to be something you’re not
  • 63. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager 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
  • 64. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager “Did You Always Know You Wanted to Be So Senior?” Men leaders tend to say: “Yes, I always knew I could do more.” Women leaders tend to say: “No, but my mentors believed in me, and I trusted they were right.”
  • 65. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager The Most Important Question Best predictor of recruitment AND retention? Someone’s ability to agree with: “Someone like me can be successful here”
  • 66. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Craft Inclusive Environments 1. Am I EXPECTED here? 2. Am I RESPECTED here? 3. Can I BE MYSELF and BE SUCCESSFUL here?
  • 67. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Practical Diversity 1) Assume fear. Understand risk. Then focus on reducing. 2) Advise people to bake more pie, not steal more pie. 3) Understand & educate about privilege & implicit bias. 4) Connect people with role models. 5) Grow more role models. Encourage them to be visible. 6) “Someone like me can be successful here?” 7) Tell people you believe in that they can. 8) Tell people you believe in that they are there because of their skills. (no one likes being a diversity stat) 9) Find ways for ALL to be true to self AND successful. 10) Look at whether your processes/systems discriminate. Fix.
  • 68. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager SWEAT THE “SMALL” STUFF Autonomy, mastery & purpose can’t overrule or compensate for poor tools / environment / lack of inclusion / lack of caring forever
  • 69. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager SPACE TO BE AWESOME = + PURPOSE (Do I believe in WHY?) + AUTONOMY (Do I get a say in WHAT?) + MASTERY (Am I proud of HOW?) + INCLUSION (Do I BELONG HERE?) - ANY NEGATIVE FACTORS THAT DETRACT
  • 70. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager EVERY ROLE IS CAPABLE OF VIRTUOSITY
  • 71. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager GO! SHAPE/MAKE SPACE BE AWESOME BE INCLUSIVE And thank you for participating  Need help? meri@chromerose.co.uk
  • 72. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager

Editor's Notes

  1. Then I became a people manager … and got worried that I would revisit the sins that I had suffered
  2. Great, now I’m drowning in questions to ask myself all the time! Thanks Meri!!
  3. And connect the desires & skills of your people to the overall purpose of the company Be a matchmaker between purpose and people If the strategy & direction don’t make sense, or don’t map to the purpose – push back until they do
  4. Rachel in Friends
  5. Make sure the tools, environments etc are there There is nothing more important than serving your people