Spent a great #DEIday at Google Cloud 3rd Oct 2019!
The norms are pretty inspirational
Welcomed by Tim Synan with a moving 8min video of Googlers sharing their perspectives & personal experience on diversity
High quality panel on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Technology moderated by Darshini Santhanam with Anuprita Bhomick, Jay Jenkins, Erin McGowan Kiernan and Jason Karmody
Talked intensely and openly about our human unconscious bias (which is a topic dear to my heart) and training as a team, equity and what it means in practice.
Loved the fact that straight on Jay mentioned the importance of encouraging the introvert / quiet person to speak up at table and that we have to be conscious of own bias.
On Equity: Jay’s problem is that there are not enough women in tech team. Getting more women in the pipeline is a discussion with hiring / staffing team.
Jason mentioned the People operations: with mothers’ room or when candidate come with their child to an interview and need a room. The analogy is to customise a bicycle for individuals’ needs.
For Anuprita, it’s about recognising not everyone has the same starting point. She talked about accommodating people needs for the diversity video.
Heard about Google’s programmes like the “hero of the month” newsletter, women in PSO (Professional services) interviewing women about their background to open up conversations, calibration in hiring and performance, Blue dot employee group for mental health, and Womentechmakers.com which is a fantastic community with super useful resources (and the 12th Oct 2019 Design thinking with Public Workshop that I attended) born out of Google I/O conference.
Jay mentioned “How she does it” program, women sharing their story.
Erin emphasised the difference between mentoring (day to day) v sponsorship (more important in career, with helicopter view). She mentioned the “hero of the month” newsletter. Women in PSO (Professional services) interview women about their background to open up conversations with other women
Jason referred to the book “Work rules” with tips & rules inside Google. We-work network.
Erin called out the Culture club every month based on ethnic tradition, celebrating birthday, marketing & sales results
What about bias in performance conversation?
Anuprita mentioned meetings that are recorded, as a global team they rotate the time of the video call to accommodate day time in global teams. Other leaders think of peers teams for promotions.
Jay summarised this as calibration in hiring and performance (not 1 person makes the decision).
Erin talked about the unconscious bias training as a team, not just as an individual.
Diversity re-disabled employees: Anuprita called out the Blue dot employee group for mental health (to just listen) and Jay mentioned Mental health week at Google happening soon.
In the afternoon, learned about Google Cloud’s business proposition (biggest telco!), digital transformation at scale, pets vs cattles servers (in the data centre, Compute is on the right and servers are on left (behind silver screen) so you can add CPU if you just need more compute (ie. scale); and hands-on lab with Carl Bachman Kharazmi.
The whole experience made me put in perspective the slow move towards awakening and then change for diversity, equity and inclusion – as illustrated by the NYT: Big Business of Unconscious Bias – Companies want to avoid racism, sexism and misgendering. Consultants are standing by.