Gender Bias

I read this post today. With a husband in the game industry, it’s something we’ve talked about, and I’ve seen when I go to his company parties. I think it’s a complex problem, and this post has some great ideas about how to help get women into games. Into all computer related industries, really. In fact, we need a much more diverse workplace in computers, as seen from the article in today’s SF Chronicle: http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/How-tech-s-lack-of-diversity-leads-to-racist-6398224.php

I don’t think there is an answer I can give in one blog post. How do we make computer science a desirable, accessible, affordable, and compelling destination for women, blacks, Latinos, gays, transgenders, etc.?

I’d like to say something infinitely wise right now, and get reposted and become famous for my great wisdom. But really, life is complex, and there are lots of reasons why things are basically unfair. There is institutional racism, sexism, homophobia, etc, and something as simple as playing with LEGO® bricks can’t possibly end all that. However, one thing that attracted me to LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is that it does level the playing field. To an extent. As much as possible. And I feel that when life is inherently unfair, anything we can do to help make it more equitable is important.

This Is Me

Identity Plate Talia Dashow

Identity Plate Talia Dashow

This is my new identity plate from my latest LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® training. Want to learn more about me?

The front corner shows a strength/ability that I have. I started building it to show flowers made out of industrial materials since I also have a small crafting business where I make flowers out of zippers. Then I realized this also works metaphorically, since I can find the unique and beautiful parts of people when they show me the mundane and even dark parts of themselves.

The yellow and black striped column shows how I deal with adversity. In elementary school, I followed a friend through the woods and she stepped on a yellow jacket nest. She was stung once and was instantly hysterical. I got stung, and stung, and stung, and still managed to stay calm and get us both back to school and near people who could help us before I started crying and wailing too. In a crisis, I can propel (hence the propeller) myself and my companions through until the crisis is over and I can fall apart in safety.

The pillar and ladder show a major hurdle in my path, and what I hope to accomplish. At the top of the tower is business success – a person in a crown of respected ability, next to a bowl of money. I know many of the steps to take up the ladder, but there are gaps which make it challenging. If I can make it up the ladder, I can help people see farther and learn more, and I can make a living doing it.

And the crowd of heads around the sides represent both my great challenge and my great strength – I work best in community. This make it difficult to work alone to build my business, and it makes me powerful helping a group come together to become a community. I help people find common ground, find ways to fit their ideas together even if they are different, and find connection and belonging. I didn’t have enough LEGO® heads so I also used small bricks. All of them are different, and they all (even the skull with the helmet, walled off and unappealing) belong and contribute.

What do you want to know about your teammates? What do you want them to know about you?