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Achieving Inclusivity Through Remote Work

Achieving Inclusivity Through Remote Work

As presented at DevConf 2023 in Cape Town and Pretoria

Jameson Alea

May 25, 2023

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  1. DevConf 2023 - @jameybash Stack Overflow Developers Survey, 2022 Fully

    remote: 12% -> 43% Fully in-person: 43% -> 14%
  2. Benefits of Remote Work > More flexibility > No commute

    > Freedom to work from anywhere > Better productivity / fewer interruptions or distractions > The comfort of working from a space you’re comfortable in DevConf 2023 - @jameybash
  3. “Benefits” > “something that produces good or helpful results or

    effects; or that promotes well-being” - Some benefits are nice to have; they make your life better than it would have been otherwise - Some benefits are things you need; they make it possible to do something you wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise DevConf 2023 - @jameybash
  4. Why strive for a diverse team? > Because it’s the

    right thing to do! > It will make your team stronger - Having different perspectives represented will make you better at anticipating problems and having empathy for users - You will land talented people who are often overlooked and will be great additions to your team DevConf 2023 - @jameybash
  5. Diversity vs Inclusion > Diversity: having a team that doesn’t

    all look the same > Inclusion: making people who don’t look the same feel comfortable, welcome and integrated on your team DevConf 2023 - @jameybash
  6. Chronic Illness or Disability > Accessibility concerns > Difficulties getting

    out of the house/to work > A tangible need for flexible working hours > Energy conservation worries > A desire to keep their health issues private DevConf 2023 - @jameybash
  7. Underrepresented Minorities (URMs) > Energy conservation (again) - Code-switching -

    Microaggressions > Feeling like an outsider > Resources are often an issue DevConf 2023 - @jameybash
  8. Location-based diversity > Not everyone has the resources to live

    in major urban areas - Can’t afford it - Family obligations - Visa issues > These are factors that may disproportionately affect URMs DevConf 2023 - @jameybash
  9. Transitioning Remotely > I’m trans! > The number of trans

    people working in tech is growing > I believe the reason for that is because: remote work is possible in tech, and remote jobs can be attractive to trans people for unique reasons DevConf 2023 - @jameybash
  10. > What should I wear? > What bathroom should I

    use? > The existential horror of being perceived in my physical form > People learning your new name/pronouns > Time off for surgeries Transitioning At Work Challenges DevConf 2023 - @jameybash
  11. Fostering a healthy remote environment > It takes work! >

    It’s a skill that takes practice! > It’s something you have to be intentional about! DevConf 2023 - @jameybash
  12. (Text-Based) Communication Is Key > Messages exist and you can

    go back to them in the future > More time to think about what you’re going to say > Tone is really hard to convey > You have to be more explicit about expectations > Give as much context as you can for your messages DevConf 2023 - @jameybash
  13. Being a good advocate > Push for a “remote-first” culture

    - Otherwise remote people can miss out on opportunities - Which is something URMs already struggle with! > “We should include X on this…” > Video calls w/ everyone on separate videos DevConf 2023 - @jameybash
  14. Avoiding (Some) Microaggressions > Don’t comment on people’s appearance on

    video calls > Allow people to keep their video off, at least sometimes > Correct others if they use the wrong name/pronouns for a trans coworker DevConf 2023 - @jameybash
  15. DevConf 2023 - @jameybash A weird situation… > A LOT

    of people recently tried working remotely for the first time… > during the most stressful era of modern history… > and I’m not shocked that they didn’t all like it!!!
  16. Recommended Watching > “Understanding Spoon Theory & Preventing Burnout” -

    https://youtu.be/rPtUR4kDXeY > “Things I Wish I Knew Before Going Remote” - https://youtu.be/nUQ41-vBtdg > “Trans Eye for the Cis Ally” - https://youtu.be/EtouMNnLIzM DevConf 2023 - @jameybash