Podcast, VideoJune 2 2021

For Leaders and Researchers: Bringing Equity into the Remote Workplace

Yang Hong, McKensie Mack, Ellen Pao

Databite No. 144

Over the past year, Covid-19 has exacerbated suffering across every section of life. Harassment and hostility, work pressure, and the strain of a pandemic, along with trauma from ongoing racism, sexism, and other discrimination, have taken a toll on our mental health. Until now, little research has been done on the impact of Covid-19 on the tech workforce. Project Include surveyed almost 3,000 people and interviewed dozens more about the shift to remote online workplaces.

In their latest report, “Remote work since Covid-19 is exacerbating harm: What companies need to know and do”, they take an intersectional lens and data equity-focused approach to understand specifically who has been harmed, how they were harmed, and how to fix it.

About the Speakers

One of Silicon Valley’s leading advocates for fairness and ethics, Ellen Pao is also a long-time entrepreneur and tech investor. Her landmark gender discrimination case against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins sparked other women, especially women of color, to fight harassment and discrimination in what’s been called the “Pao Effect.” Currently, Ellen is CEO of nonprofit Project Include, which uses data-based, practical solutions and recommendations to give everyone a fair chance to succeed. At reddit, she was the first major social platform CEO to ban revenge porn, unauthorized nude photos, and cross-platform harassment, with other social media sites quickly following suit. Ellen has written and spoken extensively, including in The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, Recode, and WIRED. Her book “Reset” recounts her long-time advocacy of diversity and inclusion and her own experiences with discrimination.

Yang Hong works as Shoshin Insights, an in(ter)dependent data and machine learning consultancy with a justice-centered approach for societal issues. She’s worked on the global refugee crisis, hearing aids, data poverty, climate justice, tech equity, and more. As a community builder, she has tended to gardens such as Work On Climate, Activist Teahouse, and South Park Commons. Yang is a creative apprentice to lifelong practices of tea and collective liberation.

McKensie Mack (pronouns: they/them) is a trilingual anti-oppression consultant, researcher, facilitator, and the founder & CEO of MMG. MMG is a global social justice organization that specializes in organizational change management through a lens of data equity; helping people transform culture, practices, and policies at the intersection of race, gender, class, disability, and LGBTQ+ identity. Their clients are currently based all over the world in the U.S., the UK, France, South Africa, Nigeria, Germany, Spain, and Peru. McKensie is the former inaugural Executive Director of Art+Feminism, one of the largest gender equity focused projects on Wikipedia.

About the Hosts

About Project Include
The mission of Project Include is to give everyone a fair chance to succeed in tech. We are a non-profit that uses data and advocacy to accelerate diversity and inclusion solutions in the tech industry.

About Data & Society
Data & Society is an independent nonprofit research organization. We believe that empirical evidence should directly inform the development and governance of new technology. We study the social implications of data and automation, producing original research to ground informed, evidence-based public debate about emerging technology.

Resources

Remote work since Covid-19 is exacerbating harm: What companies need to know and do https://projectinclude.org/remote-work-report/ 

 

On leading scholar Timnit Gebru and the failure of Google AI leadership:

 

On diversity, equity, and inclusion:

 

On the social construct of race:

  • On race as a social construct to justify systemic racism, in 3 minutes
  • How the U.S. Census changes categories of race over time to perpetuate racial capitalism and imperialism
  • How France, Germany, and the UK’s refusal to gather data on racial identity is a refusal to recognize patterns of systemic racism and racial harm

 

On language choices:

 

Reports using data equity to reveal systemic harm — and their contextual power dynamics:

 

A few data equity researchers and guides: 

 

A few organizations working towards data justice: