At the school playground a parent was impressed at my kindergartner tying her own shoe laces. She asked if my daughter could teach her son, which as you can imagine, my daughter was thrilled to show off and help. She asked not because kids learn better from other kids, or he would be more motivated to learn if his classmate could do it, but because both his parents are left-handed and he is not! The instruction set is quite different you see 😊. That’s a simple case of why diversity in your environment is important, but does not need to come in one size or form!
Extending it to the business world, imagine the use cases they will be missing out on when there is too much similarity in backgrounds. Or maybe we don’t have to look too far. We have all seen that health app that was missing the menstrual cycle tracking (isn’t that 50% of the user base?) or the credit card readers that need to be swiped on the right side. The diverse thinking in these cases was needed on the design side first, not implementation. That reminds me of another incident at a Women In Tech (WIT) forum at a local university. A English major soon to graduate asked how she could position herself for roles in the tech industry. Does she need to broaden her skill set by taking programming classes? Is there a technology product or service that would not benefit from better messaging on how to use the product or when users run into errors?
This article was shared by someone at my workplace and resonated with me and probably with many fellow qv women.
Here is an excerpt:
If everyone is focused on the nuts and bolts of making software quickly at scale, where will they learn to design it with equity and care? “Critical thinking is what the computers won’t be able to do,” she said.