A frustrating thing I see throughout my career regarding diversity

jlsigadel's profile thumbnail
I'm amused by this post because I have an interview coming up with someone that easily falls in the stereotypical "white male UX leader" bucket >> I can see how that perceived lack of imagination might manifest itself in less-obvious ways, like their home environment, as you pointed out.. It just becomes much more harmful when applied to peoples' livelihoods. I think like attracts like and people are likely to hire/promote people that are similar to them. It just perpetuates itself to the point where the lack of diversity is impossible to ignore. With that said, I've encountered women who (perhaps unconsciously) perpetuate this idea as well. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy because if this one type of person is thought to be successful, they're going to be hired time-and-time again.. Especially when it comes to risk-adverse businesses who don't see the value in diversity. It's a shame. I hope if I ever get to that level in my career I can help make a difference..
teresaman's profile thumbnail
All very valid questions and observations! I think in addition to asking how they got promoted, there is also a question of how they got their first job. And, what was their first job? How are they landing associate roles in well-known startups when you're still looking for internship roles? How do they know all the "right" people?So much of the differences at the end of all our journeys stem from differences in the beginning. And truthfully I think a big point of divergence is college where they gain a lot of privilege from their academic network and being in the right school for its brand (where, also, they're not hindered by exorbitant tuition or recommendation letters). They make the right circle of friends who all end up, by virtue of being in said school, being successful, who then connect you with an even broader group of sameness.
But the question is now everyone ended up in the same company (we're a big one, not a startup btw), then these white male still gets promoted all the time. Why? This has nothing to do with the experience before the current job I guess.
jlsigadel's profile thumbnail
I think just by virtue of white males being in those positions in the first place. There's a reason why companies across industries/different sizes/etc all have mainly white men in leadership positions.
cynthiachan's profile thumbnail
Men work with men then when they go to other companies, guess who they call if there's an awesome opportunity that opens up? That's how you end up with men who are similar at the top. I think the most insidious thing is that they likely don't even realize they are doing it.
maddogS's profile thumbnail
confirmation bias:"I am a good UX leader... this person is like me... must also be a good / promising UX leader..."=> this is a subconscious bias (that we all have) and it takes some insight, humility and effort to overcome... a strategy I've sometimes used to deal with this is being my weird / authentic self... (because clearly not a "white male", the fit in strategy is a lot of effort : )I am signalling to the person across the table that I "cannot be put into any box you've seen before... now watch" ... feel free to give this a shot...
Pay attention to how "these guys" speak, how they handle projects, how they present themselves. You'll find clues there.
vanessaw's profile thumbnail
Another thing to think about is that there is research that shows women and POC are less likely to get feedback from their managers, have meaningful conversations with senior leaders, etc. All these things are important to grow and get promoted and be put in a leadership position. So it's not every thing equal, but they are just cherry picking the white men to promote. It's unequal even before which sets them up for the promotion and actually helps make them look like the right person for the job because there's just been more investment in them from the get-go. You can read the Black Women in Corporate America report. Speaks on Black women who suffer from this the most but also shows other POC and women groups also are suffering from it.https://leanin.org/research/state-of-black-women-in-corporate-america?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIt42kia217QIV5h-tBh05mwWhEAAYASAAEgIxL_D_BwE
vanessaw's profile thumbnail
But also I'm surprised you're finding it that your company is even diverse on the junior levels. I hardly see that. As a Black woman I'm often looking for Black women and I hardly see us anywhere unless it's HR