Tech Inclusion

Tech Inclusion

I’ll be speaking on a panel at the first Tech Inclusion conference in Australia, in Melbourne, on 13 February 2018. Tech Inclusion is aimed at various practitioners from the tech industry to discuss issues of diversity. This includes: executives, hiring managers, human resources, data scientists, educators, entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers and diversity and inclusion advocates.

I’ll be on the panel hosted by Cory-Ann Joseph, UX Lead at ANZ, and fellow panellist and UX designer Danya Azzopardi. The panel is called: We’ve got a time machine, now what are we going to do with it?

From the event website:

Growing up in Australia came with a sense that we were lagging behind our bigger, ‘cooler’ brother of the USA – movies, pop music, concert tours all took weeks or months to get to us – if at all. But Silicon Valley doesn’t always lead the way. Mistakes were made in the ‘early’ days of diversity and inclusion: centering men at Women in Tech events, a focus on women first instead of race, and the victim-blamey rhetoric of women needing to change their behaviour. And perhaps the biggest mistake of all is that despite a decade since the first D&I efforts – not much has changed.

How can the tech industry in Australia avoid the same and chart a different course for the future?

Date: 13 February, doors open 8.30 am.

Book on the event website below.

#sociology #socialscience #inclusion #equity #diversity #inclusion #technology #stem #woc #melbourne #event #australia #techinclusion #womeninstem #womeninscience

The Value of Research Careers Beyond Academia

The Value of Research Careers Beyond Academia

This is the second of a two-part interview with me on Mendeley. The following is an excerpt on the positives of working as a research consultant on equity and diversity workplace issues, and the benefits of research to other industries.

Positive aspects of working in research outside academia

The positives are that I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing my impact on organisations. I generally work for small businesses and nonprofits: it makes a world of difference to them to explain research, which can be quite dense, and turn it into practical outcomes for them. I see my work adopted quickly, rather than have a publication go through the peer review process.

There’s also an intellectual reward in finding new ways of communicating research skills; I enjoy engaging with clients. One of the big surprises has been not just positive interactions with clients but also with their audiences: there’s a lot of pluses that come out of interacting with new groups who really need that scientific input presented in a digestible way.

Stigma and benefits of working outside academia

A lot of researchers feel that a non-academic role is a consolation prize, hence, there’s a lot of stigma around considering a non-academic role. There are sociologists who I look up to, who have known me since I was student, who still ask when I’ll come back to academia. The underlying assumption behind their query is that such a return is the only way in which I can be truly recognised.

Yet everyone knows how hard it is to get a tenure track role, but we maintain this illusion that this is the only way we can have a fulfilling job. I advise researchers to look beyond the stigma: once you step off the academic track, there’s a world of opportunities. I’ve done work with government, I’ve led a research team investigating environmental health and safety, I’ve worked with nonprofits. I come to my career with the knowledge that there is a lot of fluidity in what I can do. I may do a lot of consulting for a while, and then go back into working for a traditional research organisation.

Researchers should know: our skills are highly valued outside academia, we need to learn how to market them. We should find a way to show to clients and employers how those research skills can be useful. If you can master that, potential employers and clients will give you amazing opportunities. For example, I once went to a job interview for a role as a researcher, and based solely on the questions I asked, the employers in question offered me a management role on the spot.

A non-academic career role is nothing to be ashamed of; it is a source of pride that strengthens research impact on society, as it brings knowledge to new sectors. There are many, many organisations which are in dire need of scientific skills and expertise; in the process, you can achieve great progress for a variety of communities.

Read more of this interview on Mendeley Careers: https://www.mendeley.com/careers/article/interview-sociologist-at-work

Learn more

Part 1 of this interview is about my work as a consultant on equity and diversity, and how organisations can embrace more inclusive practices: https://www.mendeley.com/careers/article/interview-sociology-at-work/

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Commenting policy

Before commenting on this post, please read the article.

I moderate comments to maintain a safe space first and foremost for women of colour of various backgrounds, and also to support the voices of other minority groups who are marginalised. I welcome comments but please note that I do not allow abuse. People commenting should discuss sociology; be polite; stay on topic; and be aware of their own bias. My commenting policy is in my About section of G+ and also here: https://othersociologist.com/about/commenting-policy/

Please note I often lock my posts overnight or close off comments after a few days when I’m unable to moderate. This keeps my threads free from abuse.

#sociology #socialscience #equity #woc #socialpolicy #medeley #science #womeninscience #womeninstem #diversity #academia #inclusion #sciencecareers #sociologycareers

Interracial Dating: Pushing Past Prejudice

Interracial Dating: Pushing Past Prejudice

Last week, I was interviewed on triple j radio for the program, The Hook Up. The show explored listeners’ experiences of sexual fetishisation and prejudice in relationships, as well as what it’s like being partned with people from minority backgrounds. A few minority-background callers described feeling reduced to only one facet of their identity due to sexual racism. An Indigenous woman talked about the explicit and implict racism she faces as someone perceived not to look and act like a “typical” Aboriginal woman (despite the diversity among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people). A woman of Indian background felt no strong cultural connection to India but was often placed in the position of being tokenised because of her heritage.

The discussion featured the talented Zambian-Australian journalist and documentary filmmaker Santilla Chingapie. She reflected on her SBS documentary Date My Race, where she shared her personal experiences being discriminated against as a Black Australian woman on dating apps. White Australian counsellor Sue Pratt talked about the challenging patterns that interracial couples experience as they attempt to work through cultural differences, as well as strategies to manage intercultural respect in relationships. Andy Trieu, Australian-Vietnamese co-host of the SBS TV show, Pop Asia, discussed how the only women who respond to him on dating apps are from similar Asian backgrounds. He expressed a curiosity about dating White women and why they may not be interested in him as an Asian man. Shantan Wantan Ichiban discussed the racist implications of the question “Where are you from?,” which is often used as opening line in bars and other pickup situations.

I discussed how people often try to frame sexual fetishes as a positive compliment, but that this is misguided. Racial fetishes are the twin side of the same coin of racism; on the one side are stereotypes that emphasise exotic otherness and on the other side are those same people who must navigate multiple experiences of being discriminated against as they go about their daily lives. I note that one thing we can collectively do to start tackling sexual racism is to start having broader conversations about race and racism in Australia. Most of the people who have racial fetishes and those who exclude being open to dating particular groups have never had to think about their race. There are many resources available, including on social media, that are produced by minority groups, that help us all to better understand other cultures without fetishising differences and which break down negative biases.

Listen to the discussion below on Triple J.

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Commenting policy

Before commenting on this post, please listen to the podcast.

I moderate comments to maintain a safe space first and foremost for women of colour of various backgrounds, and also to support the voices of other minority groups who are marginalised. I welcome comments but please note that I do not allow abuse. People commenting should discuss sociology; be polite; stay on topic; and be aware of their own bias. My commenting policy is in my About section of G+ and also here: https://othersociologist.com/about/commenting-policy/

Please note I often lock my posts overnight or close off comments after a few days when I’m unable to moderate. This keeps my threads free from abuse.

#sociology #socialscience #socialjustice #equity #woc #diversity #interracial #inclusion #dating #relationships #triplej #australia #racism #unconsciousbias #prejudice

Interview: Sociology at Work

Interview: Sociology at Work

I was interviewed by Mendeley about my work in equity and diversity in research environments. Below is an excerpt.

My focus is on gender equity and diversity. I have worked with many different organisations as a consultant and project manager; I’ve instructed them on how to review, enhance, and evaluate effectiveness of different policies. I’ve also provided consultancy on how to provide training at different levels so organisations can better understand their obligations and responsibilities.

My work includes enhancing workplace culture, particularly, the everyday cultural dynamics that impact on working life. For example, by offering more flexibility for workers, and looking at where there may be gaps or opportunities to enhance existing procedures. I also study how everyday interactions can enhance productivity. In other words, I don’t just look at how organisations can meet their legislative requirements, which are merely the minimum standard. I also work with teams to see how they interact and how organisations can create policies to suit their unique workplace needs.

In the course of my career, I have worked with a number of research organisations, mainly here in Australia, such as the Academy of Science. I helped them implement their gender and diversity programme. I have also worked with several other national and state research programmes, looking at how they can meet the challenges of intersectionality issues; that is, how they can better understand how gender equity and racism intersect along with other diversity needs, including those associated with class, sexuality, and disability.

I’m sad to say that the research community is far behind other sectors: bullying is much higher in academic and research contexts. Although there ought to be a better understanding of diversity, minorities report they are targeted via a variety of forms, including microaggressions – everyday comments and “jokes” that exclude or demean differences. Furthermore, compared to industry and government, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA) people in the research sector are more likely to remain “in the closet.” Studies indicate people working in universities feel less safe in disclosing their sexual identity to their managers, and they feel more susceptible to harassment and homophobia. This is particularly prevalent in Australia and English speaking countries including the UK and USA.

Read more on Mendeley: https://www.mendeley.com/careers/article/interview-sociology-at-work/

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Commenting policy

Before commenting on this post, please read the article.

I moderate comments to maintain a safe space first and foremost for women of colour of various backgrounds, and also to support the voices of other minority groups who are marginalised. I welcome comments but please note that I do not allow abuse. People commenting should discuss sociology; be polite; stay on topic; and be aware of their own bias. My commenting policy is in my About section of G+ and also here: https://othersociologist.com/about/commenting-policy/

Please note I often lock my posts overnight or close off comments after a few days when I’m unable to moderate. This keeps my threads free from abuse.

#sociology #socialscience #socialjustice #equity #woc #socialpolicy #medeley #science #womeninscience #womeninstem #diversity #academia #inclusion

Making the Most of Diversity Lessons from March for Science Australia

My latest on Women’s Policy Action Tank discusses the various delays in addressing equity and diversity at the March for Science Australia. At the national level only around half a dozen of the promoted speakers were representative of Australia’s multiculturalism. I also discuss the gaps in the national agenda for the march, and its local goals for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Stronger integration of equity and diversity in leadership would improve outcomes in future science events. Below is an excerpt of my article.

Continue reading Making the Most of Diversity Lessons from March for Science Australia

Why Memphis Has Two Marches for Science

I was interviewed by WIRED on the disunity caused by scientists who have tried to split the March for Science from social justice work done by scientists, and who undervalue our collaboration with activists. The case study in this article is the appalling treatment of organisers in Memphis, USA. Scientists split from the Memphis March to form a separate rally in the same city. Both groups have scientists but the March has centrally been led by women of colour activists with more experience in social movements, and they incorporate a focus on inclusion of minority communities. This is symbolic in their decision to march to an historically Black university. Participation of minorities in science is not mutually exclusive to the goal of enhancing evidence-based science policies.

I’ll point out what I said in my interview: scientists from underrepresented groups have always been part of, and learned from, social justice movements.

“Both groups feel that their work isn’t done—and with the perception that science is under attack in the US, they wish they could show a united front. But ‘that in itself is a false picture of science, because we are not united,’ says Zuleyka Zevallos, a sociologist at Swinburne University in Australia who has studied the online reaction to the March for Science’s shifting messaging. Saturday’s marches, rallies, and other events around the world will surely pull some science supporters together. But they’re just as likely to highlight the clash over science’s priorities. Should the science community focus on fighting back against a hostile administration? Or on improving itself from within?”

Learn More

Read the rest on Wired.

Check out my science articles on the March for Science.

Scientists and Activists Look Beyond the March for Science

Scientists and Activists Look Beyond the March for Science

I was interviewed by the The New York Times:

‘It set off alarm bells,’ said Zuleyka Zevallos an applied sociologist from Swinburne University of Technology in Australia. ‘How can we trust them to look after inclusion and accessibility if they are going to buckle under pressure?’

The statements from the organisers in this article are easily disproved from public record. For example, the organisers resisted the idea that science is political, and they have created a series of sexist, racist and ablesit problems (discrimination against people with disabilities). They have completely ignored the needs and representation of LGBTQIA scientists.

The organisers have also inadvertently created an anti-diversity discourse the fuels exclusion amongst their supporters.

Most tellingly, several women have left the organising committee due to a toxic organisational culture, with influential women of colour in particular leaving after months of problems.

The problems with the march reflect broader issues of discrimination in science and academia. This includes a lack of awareness about the structural barriers inhibiting the full participation and success of minorities and White women in research. The march is also plagued by ineffective leadership, policy and practice responses to diversity, which is another troubling hallmark of science.

We must do better to ensure everyone can achieve their full potential in science.

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Read my science articles on the March for Science

>The March for Science Can’t Figure Out How to Handle Diversity, Latino Rebels: https://goo.gl/2mskSK

>Analyzing the March for Science Diversity Discourse, DiverseScholar, 8:1: https://goo.gl/FNV5WW

Commenting policy

Before commenting on this post, please read the original article, and the scientific sources referenced in my articles above.

I moderate comments to maintain a safe space first and foremost for women of colour of various backgrounds, and also to support the voices of other minority groups who are marginalised. I welcome comments but please note that I do not allow abuse. People commenting should discuss sociology; be polite; stay on topic; and be aware of their own bias. My commenting policy is in my About section of G+ and also here: https://othersociologist.com/about/commenting-policy/

Please note I often lock my posts overnight or close off comments after a few days when I’m unable to moderate. This keeps my threads free from abuse.

#sociology #socialscience #socialjustice #inclusion #diversity #sciencemarch #nytimes #newyorktimes #woc #urm #poc #socialprotest

Bill Nye And The Science March’s Fight To Fix Its White Dude Problem

I was interviewed for this article by BuzzFeed on March for Science:

“It took one tweet by one high-profile male scientist for the organisers to completely retreat from the diversity statement that they put out” Zuleyka Zevallos, a sociologist at Swinburne University in Australia, told BuzzFeed News. “It’s important because it shows that there’s a wavering commitment to diversity that is swayed by the status quo in science.”

Continue reading Bill Nye And The Science March’s Fight To Fix Its White Dude Problem

International Day of Solidarity for Indigenous Australian Woman Ms Dhu

International Day of Solidarity for Indigenous Australian Woman Ms Dhu

[TW violence] The tragic and preventable injustices suffered by Indigenous Australian woman Ms Dhu deserves urgent international attention.

Earlier this week, the West Australian Coroner found that the death in custody of 22-year old Indigenous woman Ms Dhu was preventable. She was imprisoned for petty fines that White Australians are not jailed for, let alone ultimately die over. The police abuse includes denying Ms Dhu medical attention as she lay dying.

Ms Dhu died of respiratory complications due to infection.

Racism in policing

The footage below, which her family wishes to be shared widely, shows how police dragged her body as she lay dying. She was denied medical attention by police officers until long after she lost consciousness. The police insisted that they acted lawfully and dared to emphasise the “distress” of the 16 police officers and one assistant police commissioner in front of Ms Dhu’s grieving family (https://goo.gl/CMx5EF).

Unwarranted concern for the police officer’s feelings was shamefully echoed by Western Australian Premier Colin Barnet, who said: “there was a difficult situation that the police were facing then, a lot of aggression,” despite the evidence showing Ms Dhu showed no aggression (https://goo.gl/ePRiH7).

The footage and other evidence from the Coronial Inquest shows Ms Dhu was the only person in distress at the hands of police brutality.

Social science shows that police accept racist stereotypes of Black and Brown people, which affects their excessively violent treatment of people of colour.

Indigenous Deaths in Custody

It has taken two years for the Coronial Inquest to be finalised. If this was a White woman, not only would she never have ended up in jail, this case, and the footage would have led to swift national reform of police practices. Australia’s national racism is evident in the relative lack of public action on this case.

Indigenous deaths in custody has been a shameful ongoing problem for Australia, even 25 years after a Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody made recommendations to end practices that lead to systemic racism in the justice system. Indigenous Australians continue to have poor health, educational outcomes, lack of access to basic services and basic justice due to our ongoing colonial practices.

Solidarity

Ms Dhu’s family are asking for national and international solidarity today, 22 December 2016 (https://goo.gl/kG5NL5). Please watch the video and spread Ms Dhu’s story. Demand justice for Ms Dhu and justice for Indigenous families who continue to see case after case exonerated, excused and ignored.

Credits and learn more

Footage of CCTV released by The Guardian, posted by Ms Dhu’s family. https://goo.gl/oVZ4S6

Research on police racism: https://goo.gl/xLU2ZB

Royal Commission: https://goo.gl/9izLjH

Incarceration rates: https://goo.gl/LHG8tK and https://goo.gl/LJckOk and https://goo.gl/gM2vOC

More research, links and background on the case on my blog: https://goo.gl/6mIJ9f

#sociology #msdhu #australia #indigenous #indigenousaustralian #blacklivesmatter #socialjustice #socialscience #woc

Preventable, Inhumane Death of Indigenous Australian Woman, Ms Dhu

Preventable, Inhumane Death of Indigenous Australian Woman, Ms Dhu

The West Australian Coroner has found that the death in custody of young Indigenous woman Ms Dhu was preventable. The police abuse, which included denying Ms Dhu medical attention as she lay dying and dragging her body “like a dead kangaroo,” was found to be cruel and unprofessional. Ms Dhu was taken into custody for petty fines and died of respiratory complications to infection. Ms Dhu was a victim of domestic violence, and like many Indigenous Australians, did not have adequate access to services and support for this trauma and her ongoing health issues.

Ms Dhu’s family fought to have the footage of police brutality released. Her grandmother says:

“People need to see with their own eyes how my girl was treated. All Australians need to see this footage – we all need to stand together and say enough is enough, no more Aboriginal deaths in custody.”

Please share this story – Indigenous deaths in custody and police brutality of Indigenous Australians are grave issues that have been documented thoroughly, including through a Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody 25 years ago. Indigenous Australians continue to have poor health, educational and basic justice outcomes due to our ongoing colonial practices.

Credits and learn more

Photo [Ms Dhu’s family outside court] and more information: NITV: http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/nitv-news/article/2016/12/16/coroner-ms-dhus-death-preventable-police-unprofessional-and-inhumane

History, health and educational outcomes of Indigenous Australians: https://othersociologist.com/2013/11/23/indigenous-education/

Impact of colonialism on Indigenous Australians in Western Australia: https://plus.google.com/+ZuleykaZevallos/posts/8TJ8Sgzmvsi #sociology #socialscience #indigenous #indigenousaustralians #australia #justice #blacklivesmatter #woc