Part 2 of our interview with Stanford professor Shelley Correll. This week, she talks about how small wins can be effective at combating sexual harassment.
Inclusive design is “creating a diversity of ways for people to participate in a shared experience.” Kat Holmes talks about how to make design more representative of the breadth of human experience.
What Google learned about how to make remote work work.
To address ageism, companies need to think more broadly about career paths, as well as focus on belonging for all.
Women are judged more harshly for small offenses at work. Does your company have procedures in place to make sure disciplinary standards are applied equally?
Today in D&I In Practice
Q&A: How Small Wins Can Combat Workplace Harassment (D&I Original/Subscribers Only)
In the second half of our interview, Professor Shelley Correll of Stanford talks about applying her small wins theory to the problem of workplace harassment. This means understanding more about sexuality in the workplace and figuring out how to interrupt questionable behaviors before they become a problem.
One quote that stuck in my mind: “We had one woman tell us that she felt like anytime that she looked one of her male colleagues in the eye at work, he would ask her out for a date. So, her strategy was to just not look at them. Can you imagine going through your workday feeling like the only way to succeed was to not look at your colleagues?”
More in News and Research
1. Inclusive Design is About Helping People Share Experiences (Knowledge@Wharton)
“My favorite definition of inclusive design is it is creating a diversity of ways for people to participate in a shared experience with a sense of belonging in that experience.”
That’s Kat Holmes: author, director of user experience at Google, and creator of mismatch.design, which advances the practice of inclusive product design. In this podcast, she talks about innovations that come from “mismatches” between a designed experience and some of the people participating in that experience. The typewriter, for example, which was created in the 1800s through a collaboration between an inventor and a blind countess. The countess wanted to correspond with people without having to dictate her letters to a secretary.
To Holmes, inclusive design is about increasing accessibility. By doing so, she points out, we also often improve the experience for everyone and even open up new markets and technologies. There’s a direct line between that blind countess, who wanted to keep her thoughts private, and my laptop keyboard right now.
Holmes’ site mismatch.design is a treasure trove of stories, essays about inclusive design, and resources for designing in a more accessible manner.
2. How to Make Remote Work Work (Google)
Check out this handy guide on making distributed organizations work. The techniques are not surprising: rotate meeting times so remote employees don’t always bear the burden; help people develop social relationships; and set explicit team norms. But it’s helpful to have them all in an easily-referenced package.
3. Ageism and What Companies Are Doing About It (Fast Company)
Yes, ageism can happen in the hiring process. In fact, 61 percent of older U.S. workers surveyed by the AARP report experiencing age discrimination. But often, the issue is more one of belonging. This article illuminates two specific issues that can prevent older workers from feeling included at work.
First, older workers might not be seen (or see themselves) as viable candidates for individual contributor roles. This is at least partly the historical notion that careers are built by steadily progressing up the ranks. Forward-thinking companies are talking about career development in terms of how many skills or experiences an employee gains, rather than advancement on a fixed path. For this approach to work, of course, career paths have to actually be more flexible for everyone, not just older workers. Otherwise, it’s age segregation by another name (think back to the “mommy track” of the 90s.)
Second, older workers can feel out of step with “young” company cultures. This is especially a problem in tech, where the average employee age at many companies is in the 30s. Focusing on belonging, and raising awareness of ageism at work, can help retain older workers and make everyone’s work atmosphere more productive.
A growing body of research agrees: Women (and often racial/ethnic minorities) are judged—and punished—more harshly than men for minor offenses at work. It’s another type of double standard and, over the course of a career, it can lead to lost income and lost opportunities. Does your company audit who is being disciplined? Are some people being judged more harshly than others?
We’re Also Reading...
These articles aren’t necessarily directly connected to the workplace, but have interesting insights about diversity and inclusion in society at large.
Why Age Gives Women in West Africa More Autonomy (The Conversation)
Exploring the Three Dimensions of Gender Equality (AnitaB.org)
Event listings are provided as a courtesy. D&I In Practice is not affiliated with any of these events.
WT2 Women Transforming Technology conference (April 23, live event in Palo Alto, $175)
Women in Unified Analytics conference (April 23-25, live event in San Francisco, $1,395)
Business Disability Forum 2019 conference (April 25, live event in London, £249 plus VAT for members, £311 plus VAT for non-members)
Ascend 2019 Summit (May 10, New York, $385)