Catt Small on Designing an Inclusive Workplace Culture

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In 2013, I wrote a lengthy rant about culture in tech workplaces. It was a symptom of larger problems I was experiencing at the time—I was a woman of color drowning in a tech bro’s paradise. Constant rumors and bullying caused people to form cliques; alcohol was the only escape most employees had from the hostility. It was impossible for me to be productive, and I wanted to understand why.
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Jules Walter on Diversity in Tech: The Unspoken Empathy Gap

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Photo by Scott Schiller

Ken Norton recently published a great piece about the importance of authenticity and psychological safety in order to help teams succeed. In his article, he cites research from Google that suggests psychological safety is the most predictive characteristic of successful teams. As a minority working in tech, this article brought to mind a pressing question: given the lack of diversity in tech, how can tech workers foster a psychologically safe environment for minorities, many of whom struggle just to be their true selves at work? For me, it starts with empathy. Read More

Sarah Cooper on 9 Tricks to Appear Smart in Brainstorming Meetings

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The following is an excerpt from Sarah Cooper’s new book, 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings (Andrews McMeel)

In a brainstorming meeting, the pressure of coming up with incredible new ideas can be debilitating. Luckily, the last thing most corporations want is new ideas.

Here are 9 tricks to make you look like you’re the creative force on your team. Read More

The E-lephant in the Room: Jocelyn Glei Examines How Email Took Over Our Lives

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Over the past 25 years, email has quietly usurped a massive portion of our work energy, luring us into focusing on urgent, inconsequential tasks at the expense of meaningful, long-term creative projects. According to a recent report, we currently spend a whopping 28% of our time at the office reading and responding to email. Read More

Courtney E. Martin on the Coworking Revolution

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Photo credit: Ryan Lash Photography

Coworking is a growing movement of spaces and people, usually independent contractors, who have realized that working together makes for happier, more productive work lives, so they’re making it happen without the hierarchy. The spaces vary, but they’re generally membership-based and value-driven. People who belong tend to believe in collaboration, openness, accessibility, and sustainability. There are thousands of coworking spaces listed in the coworking Space Directory (a wiki collectively owned and updated). More than 450 of them participate in what they call a coworking visa program, where you can belong to a space in Iowa, for example, but spend a few days working at the one in Italy. Read More

Sarah Burstein on ‘Design’ & Design Patents

sarah_edited.jpgThis fall, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Samsung v. Apple. The Court hasn’t considered a substantive issue of design patent law for over 100 years, so naturally the case has attracted a great deal of interest from the design community. But the “design patent case of the century” isn’t actually about “design”—at least, not in the sense that the word “design” is used by design professionals. Read More