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Checking Your Privilege
A How-To for Hard Things
Leslie Hawthorn
Director of Developer Relations
leslie.hawthorn@elasticsearch.com
@lhawthorn
The Human Element
in development
Laying the Foundations
Ground Rules for this Talk
My opinions, not my employer’s
Knowledge Sharing
Judgement
Free
Our Story So Far…
Under Represented Groups in Tech
• Women are 25x more likely to be
harassed online than men
• Women are more likely to be
interrupted
• Women make up 20% or less of tech
workforce at major companies
• The numbers for most people of
color are much, much worse
• Transgendered people receive
disproportionate & violent
harassment both on & off the job
• The list goes on ….
Why This Matters
Diverse teams increase the bottom line
Our System Defaults &
Their Discontents
Bias & discrimination are inherent in our social systems,
making them hard to detect & even harder to combat.
Examining Our Defaults
“I can be fooled by
anyone who looks like
Mark Zuckerberg.”
- Paul Graham, Y Combinator, on
whom he’ll choose for Venture
Capital investment
Hidden Bias & You
Why We Cling to Our Biases
• Biases are part of
how we define
ourselves
• We benefit from our
biases
• We’re uncomfortable
that we have these
biases at all
Overcoming bias requires
increasing empathy
Overcoming Bias
Experiment 1: Change Your Speech Defaults
Hi, guys.
That’s gay!
You throw like a girl.
You’re crazy!
What a retarded idea.
This code is lame.
• Use social media to understand other perspectives
• Listen != retweet, +1, reposting, commenting, providing advice
• #NotAllMen is not a useful addition to a conversation
Overcoming Bias
Experiment 2: *Listen* to People Who are Not Like You
Your next empathy building
mission….
Change your online avatars &
profile pics to depict you as:
• a woman
• a man of color
• a woman of color
• a person of size
Overcoming Bias
Experiment 3: Change Your Online Persona
• Recenter discussions on
people whose points have
been dismissed, then restated
• Bring the conversation back to
individuals who were
interrupted or ignored
• Point out individuals’ mistakes
with respect
Overcoming Bias
Experiment 4: Speak Up for Others
Provide sincere apologies when you make a mistake.
Overcoming Bias
Experiment 5: Ask for Help & Accept It Humbly
Leveling Up
Ways to Improve Your Communication with *Everyone*
Practice Active Listening
Gain More Understanding
Ask more
questions.
Make fewer
assumptions.
Measure Your Actions
• Count how often you
• have the floor in meetings
and discussions
• interrupt other people
• dismiss ideas without
working them through with
the other person
• Use the results of these
measurements to change your
behaviors.
Leveling Up: Share Your Tips
Questions &
Knowledge Sharing Time
Thank you for attending!
Leslie Hawthorn
Director of Developer Relations
leslie.hawthorn@elasticsearch.com
@lhawthorn
The Legal Bits
• This presentation is licensed Creative Commons
Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0): https://
creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
• Please reuse, remix and share widely!
• The images used in this presentation are
copyright their respective owners and used with
permission under a Creative Commons license.
Photo Credits
• Creation / Leaf in Hand: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smanography/2299171379/
• Foundation: http://www.flickr.com/photos/city-amsterdam/12101321055
• Justice: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ensh/6204837462/
• Harassment / Hand: http://www.flickr.com/photos/keoni101/5132652314/
• Money: http://www.flickr.com/photos/epsos/8463683689
• Bandaid: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephanie_in_love/5434424913/
• Young man in a hoodie: http://www.flickr.com/photos/100013566@N03/12853691273/
• Young women in orchestra: https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcomartinscosta/418200303/
• Static cling kitten: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31333486@N00/1802425453/
• Empathy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosenfeldmedia/15925430129/
• Speech bubble: http://www.flickr.com/photos/oddsock/2979328682/
• Social media: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/9894304255/
• Avatar: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31333486@N00/2037593361
• Megaphone: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hazzat/5412540184/
• Humility: http://www.flickr.com/photos/indymetro/13310400055
• Can and String ‘Telephone’: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wiertz/13195153284
• Listening is an act of love sign: http://www.flickr.com/photos/oneworldgallery/2245563352/
• Assume: http://www.flickr.com/photos/x1brett/3949835761/
• Broken bulb: http://www.flickr.com/photos/uaeincredible/1458303830/
• Bridge: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kpaulus/14574838075/

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Checking Your Privilege: A How-To for Hard Things

  • 1. Checking Your Privilege A How-To for Hard Things Leslie Hawthorn Director of Developer Relations leslie.hawthorn@elasticsearch.com @lhawthorn
  • 2. The Human Element in development
  • 3. Laying the Foundations Ground Rules for this Talk My opinions, not my employer’s
  • 5. Our Story So Far… Under Represented Groups in Tech • Women are 25x more likely to be harassed online than men • Women are more likely to be interrupted • Women make up 20% or less of tech workforce at major companies • The numbers for most people of color are much, much worse • Transgendered people receive disproportionate & violent harassment both on & off the job • The list goes on ….
  • 6. Why This Matters Diverse teams increase the bottom line
  • 7. Our System Defaults & Their Discontents Bias & discrimination are inherent in our social systems, making them hard to detect & even harder to combat.
  • 8. Examining Our Defaults “I can be fooled by anyone who looks like Mark Zuckerberg.” - Paul Graham, Y Combinator, on whom he’ll choose for Venture Capital investment
  • 10. Why We Cling to Our Biases • Biases are part of how we define ourselves • We benefit from our biases • We’re uncomfortable that we have these biases at all
  • 12. Overcoming Bias Experiment 1: Change Your Speech Defaults Hi, guys. That’s gay! You throw like a girl. You’re crazy! What a retarded idea. This code is lame.
  • 13. • Use social media to understand other perspectives • Listen != retweet, +1, reposting, commenting, providing advice • #NotAllMen is not a useful addition to a conversation Overcoming Bias Experiment 2: *Listen* to People Who are Not Like You
  • 14. Your next empathy building mission…. Change your online avatars & profile pics to depict you as: • a woman • a man of color • a woman of color • a person of size Overcoming Bias Experiment 3: Change Your Online Persona
  • 15. • Recenter discussions on people whose points have been dismissed, then restated • Bring the conversation back to individuals who were interrupted or ignored • Point out individuals’ mistakes with respect Overcoming Bias Experiment 4: Speak Up for Others
  • 16. Provide sincere apologies when you make a mistake. Overcoming Bias Experiment 5: Ask for Help & Accept It Humbly
  • 17. Leveling Up Ways to Improve Your Communication with *Everyone*
  • 19. Gain More Understanding Ask more questions. Make fewer assumptions.
  • 20. Measure Your Actions • Count how often you • have the floor in meetings and discussions • interrupt other people • dismiss ideas without working them through with the other person • Use the results of these measurements to change your behaviors.
  • 21. Leveling Up: Share Your Tips
  • 22. Questions & Knowledge Sharing Time Thank you for attending! Leslie Hawthorn Director of Developer Relations leslie.hawthorn@elasticsearch.com @lhawthorn
  • 23. The Legal Bits • This presentation is licensed Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0): https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ • Please reuse, remix and share widely! • The images used in this presentation are copyright their respective owners and used with permission under a Creative Commons license.
  • 24. Photo Credits • Creation / Leaf in Hand: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smanography/2299171379/ • Foundation: http://www.flickr.com/photos/city-amsterdam/12101321055 • Justice: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ensh/6204837462/ • Harassment / Hand: http://www.flickr.com/photos/keoni101/5132652314/ • Money: http://www.flickr.com/photos/epsos/8463683689 • Bandaid: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephanie_in_love/5434424913/ • Young man in a hoodie: http://www.flickr.com/photos/100013566@N03/12853691273/ • Young women in orchestra: https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcomartinscosta/418200303/ • Static cling kitten: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31333486@N00/1802425453/ • Empathy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosenfeldmedia/15925430129/ • Speech bubble: http://www.flickr.com/photos/oddsock/2979328682/ • Social media: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/9894304255/ • Avatar: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31333486@N00/2037593361 • Megaphone: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hazzat/5412540184/ • Humility: http://www.flickr.com/photos/indymetro/13310400055 • Can and String ‘Telephone’: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wiertz/13195153284 • Listening is an act of love sign: http://www.flickr.com/photos/oneworldgallery/2245563352/ • Assume: http://www.flickr.com/photos/x1brett/3949835761/ • Broken bulb: http://www.flickr.com/photos/uaeincredible/1458303830/ • Bridge: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kpaulus/14574838075/