re: What Makes an Environment Inclusive? VIEW POST

FULL DISCUSSION
 

I want an environment that doesn't think it's "done" with some kind of inclusiveness program. It's an ongoing initiative, and it's everyone's job.

It seems like people stop trying with inclusiveness, either out of success or failure, and things quickly go back to being worse than ever.

The tech industry will spend decades working on a hard technical problem until it works but give up on improving its culture in about five minutes.

 

The tech industry will spend decades working on a hard technical problem until it works but give up on improving its culture in about five minutes.

I disagree. Big companies and universities alike have promoted diversity and inclusion efforts for years, and when they fail to produce the desired results, we see comments like this that blame a boogey man as opposed to their presuppositions.

If we continue to rely on shallow interpretations of statistics (a la stackoverflow) to frame the problem, we will fail to address actual problems. I think we could start by not sending the message to potential tech enthusiasts that developer culture is a terrible and unwelcoming environment.

 

But I didn't frame the problem in terms of stats like the SO survey or anything. I agree that cynicism isn't a good recruiting tactic. What I'm describing is an actual addressable problem: The tendency to implement a generic solution, fail (or succeed, even) and move on.

But I didn't frame the problem in terms of stats like the SO survey or anything.

These are the kinds of statistics typically used to make the case that the industry is not being inclusive enough, as was the case with stackoverflow. I apologize if this was reaching.

What I'm describing is an actual addressable problem: The tendency to implement a generic solution, fail (or succeed, even) and move on.

How do we implement a non-generic solution to a very generic problem? How do we make sure that people from all around the world, of various cultures, ethnicity, identity, ideology, and experiences all feel included? Challenging the premise here: Is universal inclusion feasible? Or should we focus more on making sure that nobody is excluded, while offering a hand to disadvantaged people to give them the opportunities that they may otherwise not have?

Is universal inclusion feasible? Or should we focus more on making sure that nobody is excluded

If there is any distinction here, I'm not sure how important it is.

But either way, what I mean is that inclusiveness is a messy problem. It's often addressed with platitudes rather than strategy. What's the strategy? That's really on the org, just like the rest of their work. Smart people figure out solutions to problems that actually fall within the core directives.

Who gets priority between the employee who needs service animal and the employee who is very allergic to dogs? It's probably not a solution that needs to be architected well in advance of the issue coming up. Other potential problems are much more straightforward, but from what I've seen the difference is how bought in the team is to treating inclusiveness like a core issue.

If there is any distinction here, I'm not sure how important it is.

I think there's a huge distinction, especially given how many inclusion efforts in the tech industry have been carried out. In fact, I've published an article on this very site highlighting this!

We've come to a point where terms like "inclusion" and "code-of-conduct" have been tainted in such a way that they are essentially self-defeating. I've seen many instances where people claim to feel excluded if people whom they disagree with are included.

EDIT

A perfect illustration of what "inclusivity" has come to represent, tweeted 4 hours ago:

Re: Your edit. That tweet is from May of 2018, not from 4 hours ago.

It was from from 4 hours ago in May of 2018, when I made the edit.

Ah my mistake - something's funky with my dev.to feed.

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