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Alcohol & Inclusivity in Tech

Alcohol & Inclusivity in Tech

Alcohol is a major theme in tech culture, whether it's bonding with peers near the office keg, letting off steam with afterwork drinks, or meeting industry giants over some conference beers. Unfortunately, tech culture around alcohol often excludes people on the basis of gender, medication, religion, pregnancy, addiction, age, and more. We'll learn some of the basic pitfalls to avoid, and then talk solutions with easy-to-practice ally skills for how to discuss, serve, and approach alcohol in the workplace.

Talk given April 11th 2018 at Zapproved for their Ally Talks series

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Kara Sowles

April 11, 2018
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Transcript

  1. Alcohol & Inclusivity at Zapproved, April 2018 @feynudibranch

  2. Kara Sowles Kara Sowles Community Team Manager Tech Co. Inc.

    @feynudibranch
  3. Manager of Community & Evangelism Puppet @feynudibranch

  4. Things this talk is NOT about: - The Things You

    Love are Bad - Alcohol is the Devil’s Blood - Inclusivity Means Lighting the Booze on Fire & Throwing It Away
  5. LET’S GET PERSONAL

  6. None
  7. You’re at a conference afterparty, and you try to hand

    the person next to you a drink from the open bar. They decline. Why did they decline? Write down as many possible reasons as you can in 2 minutes.
  8. None
  9. “Why not?” “You want a drink?” “No, thanks.”

  10. Religion

  11. Age

  12. Addiction

  13. Medical

  14. Pregnant

  15. Feeling Unsafe

  16. Alcohol Intolerant

  17. Just don’t like alcohol

  18. Why aren’t you drinking?

  19. What’s your religion? How old are you? What medications do

    you take? Are you pregnant? Are you an alcoholic? How safe do you feel?
  20. Federal / Oregon Protected Classes -- aka some of the

    things people in the US are most likely to discriminate based on (and it is illegal to discriminate based on) - Race - Color - National origin - Religion - Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, related medical conditions) - Disability (physical or mental) - Age (18 and older) (40 and older) - Citizenship status - Genetic information - Marital status - Sexual orientation - Parent with court-imposed medical support order - Domestic violence victim status - Refusal to attend an employer-sponsored meeting with the primary purpose of communicating the employer's opinion on religious or political matters
  21. I imagined that there was me, a teetotaler….

  22. ...and then everyone else

  23. ...And maybe there would be another person who doesn’t drink

    there.
  24. I was wrong; it’s not that clear-cut.

  25. never drinks alcohol not drinking alcohol at this time/place always

    drinks alcohol
  26. never drinks alcohol not drinking alcohol at this time/place always

    drinks alcohol
  27. *shrug*

  28. Many temporary reasons people don’t drink alcohol ❖ Driving or

    biking home ❖ Headed to an activity afterwards they want to be sober for ❖ Not feeling well ❖ Going out for drinks later instead ❖ Working early the next day ❖ Working later in the evening ❖ Hasn’t eaten yet ❖ Don’t feel like drinking right now People want or need different things from moment to moment.
  29. What Peer Pressure?

  30. Peer pressure - Personal “We are all going out for

    drinks later.” Your peer makes it clear that drinking alcohol is part of fitting in with the team. At an industry event, someone you’re networking with says “I got you a drink!” expectantly. An executive congratulates you on a job well done with a glass of expensive scotch.
  31. Peer pressure - Systemic Your team celebrates a successful release

    with champagne. Important watercooler conversation happens after work in a bar. You need the context to do your job well. “We got a keg in the office!” Every work event has alcohol; the alternative is the soda fountain.
  32. None
  33. This talk is about letting people make their own choices

    That’s all it is In order to allow people to make choices we need to give them options
  34. LET’S GET SYSTEMIC

  35. We’re at a tech event. Let’s grab a drink! Approach

    the bar
  36. What drinks do you have? Nevermind, I’m fine.

  37. Nevermind, I’m fine. What drinks do you have?

  38. Some dark beers, some light beers, wine Nevermind, ’m fine.

    Nevermind, I’m fine. What drinks do you have?
  39. Some dark beers, some light beers, wine Nevermind, ’m fine.

    Nevermind, I’m fine. What drinks do you have?
  40. STAR T OVER

  41. DRINK MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine

    White Whine Local Beer
  42. DRINK MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine

    White Whine Local Beer Nevermind, I’m fine. Do you have anything non-alcoholic?
  43. DRINK MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine

    White Whine Local Beer Nevermind, I’m fine. Do you have anything non-alcoholic?
  44. DRINK MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine

    White Whine Local Beer Nevermind, I’m fine. Do you have anything non-alcoholic? Yes, we have sodas.
  45. DRINK MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine

    White Whine Local Beer Nevermind, I’m fine. I’ll have a soda please.
  46. DRINK MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine

    White Whine Local Beer Nevermind, I’m fine. I’ll have a soda please.
  47. DRINK MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine

    White Whine Local Beer Nevermind, I’m fine. I’ll have a soda please. Here you go.
  48. DRINK MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine

    White Whine Local Beer Nevermind, I’m fine. I’ll have a soda please.
  49. DRINK MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine

    White Whine Local Beer Nevermind, I’m fine. I’ll have a soda please.
  50. STAR T OVER

  51. DRINK MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine

    White Whine Local Beer Coke
  52. Do you have any non-alcoholic drinks that are fancy? Do

    you have anything non-alcoholic that’s not Coke? Nevermind, I’m fine. DRINK MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine White Whine Local Beer Coke
  53. Do you have any non-alcoholic drinks that are fancy? Do

    you have anything non-alcoholic that’s not Coke? Nevermind, I’m fine. DRINK MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine White Whine Local Beer Coke
  54. Do you have any non-alcoholic drinks that are fancy? Do

    you have anything non-alcoholic that’s not Coke? Nevermind, I’m fine. DRINK MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine White Whine Local Beer Coke
  55. Do you have any non-alcoholic drinks that are fancy? Do

    you have anything non-alcoholic that’s not Coke? Nevermind, I’m fine. Uh, not really. I have ginger ale for mixers? DRINK MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine White Whine Local Beer Coke
  56. Do you have any non-alcoholic drinks that are fancy? Do

    you have anything non-alcoholic that’s not Coke? Nevermind, I’m fine. DRINK MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine White Whine Local Beer Coke
  57. Do you have any non-alcoholic drinks that are fancy? Do

    you have anything non-alcoholic that’s not Coke? Nevermind, I’m fine. DRINK MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine White Whine Local Beer Coke
  58. STAR T OVER

  59. Just give me the ginger ale, thanks. Do you have

    cocktail ingredients? Nevermind, I’m fine. DRINK MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine White Whine Local Beer Coke Ginger Ale
  60. Just give me the ginger ale, thanks. Do you have

    cocktail ingredients? Nevermind, I’m fine. DRINK MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine White Whine Local Beer Coke Ginger Ale
  61. Just give me the ginger ale, thanks. Do you have

    cocktail ingredients? Nevermind, I’m fine. DRINK MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine White Whine Local Beer Coke Ginger Ale Yes, we do!
  62. Can you make me a mocktail? Nevermind, I’m fine. DRINK

    MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine White Whine Local Beer Coke Ginger Ale
  63. Can you make me a mocktail? Nevermind, I’m fine. DRINK

    MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine White Whine Local Beer Coke Ginger Ale
  64. Can you make me a mocktail? Nevermind, I’m fine. DRINK

    MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine White Whine Local Beer Coke Ginger Ale Sure, I can figure something out.
  65. Can you make me a mocktail? Nevermind, I’m fine. DRINK

    MENU Light Beer Heavy Beer Belgian Beer Red Wine White Whine Local Beer Coke Ginger Ale
  66. YOU WIN!

  67. Let’s make this easier for the next person! sometimes it

    really does feel like I’m playing the same game over and over and over...
  68. What kind of events are we talking about here? -

    Office hosting an after party for a local conference - Company holiday party - Team celebrating a big win - Departmental hangouts every Friday From small groups <---> big events
  69. 1) Provide an equal number and quality of alcoholic and

    non-alcoholic drink options
  70. I see a lot of this

  71. also this

  72. None
  73. My formula: for every 3 non-alc drinks 1 high sugar

    1 low/no sugar 1 wildcard in addition to the default soda + diet soda
  74. HIGH SUGAR Fancy / local sodas Ginger beer Non-alcoholic cocktails

    Sweet Tea Milk Tea Lemonade Juice / Sparkling Juice
  75. LOW / NO SUGAR Soda water + bitters Flavored sparkling

    water Unsweetened Iced Tea Water with fruit in it Herbal Tea
  76. WILDCARD Kombucha Non-Alcoholic Beer Drinking Vinegar Rootbeer *or* anything from

    the previous categories
  77. Artificial Sweeteners Sugar Low/no sugar Caffeine Caffeine-Free Non-Alcoholic Beer Alcohol

    Non-Alcoholic Decaf Coffee
  78. Artificial Sweeteners Sugar Caffeine Caffeine-Free Non-Alcoholic Beer Alcohol Non-Alcoholic Low/no

    sugar Decaf Coffee
  79. 2) Display alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks together If the non-alc

    drinks are hidden under the counter, they may as well not be there.
  80. Big sign that can be seen without getting in line

    for drinks Small sign at drink counter Drink options clearly visible Line for drinks
  81. 3) Advertise alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks equally beforehand

  82. ...We do our best to meet the needs of our

    community, and while the scope of DrupalCon makes it impossible to accommodate every single request that comes through the door, we feel very strongly that offering more drink choices is a no-brainer. That’s why, at the Opening Reception on Monday night, we will have a number of non-alcoholic options that are equal in value to alcoholic drinks. Attendees can choose from a variety of delicious craft sodas, or try our tangy alcohol-free cocktail “Don’t call me Shirley.” We hope that offering a broader spectrum of nonalcoholic drink choices will help all attendees enjoy the social events at DrupalCon, and will empower them to make the choices that feel right for them. After all, it’s not the drink in your hand, but the people you are with that will make the evening fun and memorable! - Excerpt from DrupalCon 2015 blog post https://events.drupal.org/losangeles2015/news/alcohol-drupalcon-social-events-%E2%80%93-making-choice
  83. XOXO

  84. None
  85. None
  86. 4) If listed cocktails are being served, list an equal

    number of non-alcoholic mocktails.
  87. ★ Specialty drink? Make both alc + non-alc versions ★

    Small gatherings: Let people spike their own punch ★ List mocktail options clearly on the drink menu
  88. None
  89. Source: https://ernest.ly/blog/conference-beverages.html

  90. https://alcohol.stanford.edu/alcohol-drug-info/staying-safe/eanabs

  91. 5) Have water freely available, in clear sight, and easy

    to obtain.
  92. None
  93. Big sign that can be seen without getting in line

    for drinks Small sign at drink counter Drink options clearly visible Line for drinks Water table
  94. 5) Have & enforce a Code of Conduct

  95. Institute, enforce, and promote a Code of Conduct. Ensure everyone

    understands what behaviors are acceptable. Workplace - Employee conduct guidelines External event - Code of Conduct
  96. Complete Section

  97. So it turns out this isn’t so hard Personal solutions

    -- - Don’t pressure people - Don’t question why they’re not drinking alcohol - Discourage others from associating ‘culture fit’ with alcohol Systemic solutions -- - Have options; the absence of choice *is* pressure - Make those options clear - Have & enforce a Code of Conduct
  98. Why is this so tough for tech to talk about?

  99. Is it because alcohol & morality get tangled up in

    ways that discourage people from seeking help?
  100. ...and that make people imagine that someone who’s not drinking,

    is judging them?
  101. Is it because alcohol is often used to cover over

    sexual assault in tech, blaming the victims and letting harassers and rapists off the hook?
  102. Is it because alcohol is treated as currency, used as

    a substitute for monetary compensation for labor?
  103. Is it intertwined with tech’s need to set itself apart

    from the stodgy world of business?
  104. None
  105. Oh --- and not serving alcohol at all is a

    great option, too.
  106. What’s next? You may not run events, but your actions

    can have a big impact. You can shape the practices on your team. You can help others learn how to be more thoughtful around alcohol. You can ask if there will be tasty non-alcoholic options. We’re building this industry’s culture together.
  107. How did this talk happen? Zapproved paid me money to

    make it! Go Zapproved!
  108. Thank you! Kara Sowles @feynudibranch April 2018 at Zapproved karasowles@gmail.com

  109. Read on for a few bonus slides

  110. Free tools I used to make this talk To get

    photos: Flickr, searching by Creative Commons license To pixelate the photos: http://c64.superdefault.com/ To draw pixel art: https://make8bitart.com/ by @jennschiffer
  111. Want to share this talk? Here’s a handy blog post

    from way back in 2014 with most of the salient points called “Alcohol & Inclusivity” https://blog.valerieaurora.org/2018/03/30/cross-post-alcohol-and-inclusivity-planni ng-tech-events-with-non-alcoholic-options/ It was originally published in Model View Culture; this link is a repost on Valerie Aurora’s blog.
  112. Read more More articles on alcohol in tech to check

    out Tea and Tech Culture, by Alice Goldfuss http://blog.alicegoldfuss.com/tea-and-tech-culture/ On Alcohol and Tech Culture, by Ryn Daniels https://ryn.works/2014/10/28/on-alcohol-and-tech-culture/ The UX of Alcohol Abuse, by Victor Yocco https://modelviewculture.com/pieces/the-ux-of-alcohol-abuse-reflections-on-a-year-of-sobriety This is...Teetotaling in Tech, by Jess Vadino https://medium.com/@jessv/this-is-teetotaling-in-tech-91f7b1b902a0
  113. A question: Analysis of the answers: https://ernest.ly/blog/conference-beverages.html

  114. Image credits All photos listed are from Flickr.com Desert by

    Gerben van Heijningen, (CC BY-NC 2.0) Bacardi Daiquiri by Paul Shen, (CC BY-NC 2.0) Talking by Klarika Huszar, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) (overpriced) peppermint tea by poppet with a camera, (CC BY-NC 2.0) Svyturys Wheat Beer by Mike, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) Wheat by Rafał Malinowski, (CC BY-NC 2.0) danger sign by Devlon Duthie Follow, (CC BY-NC 2.0) there's a baby in there! by Mark von Minden, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) Pills by Jay, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) Broken bottle by Long PHAM, (CC BY-NC 2.0) Youth Classes Gallery by The Crucible, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) Dome by Leo Reynolds, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) Mosque by Hovic, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) Nara Todaiji by Andrew, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
  115. Okay that’s all! Have a great week, stay kind. @feynudibranch