Neville Southall made 578 appearances for Everton Football Club. He also played for Wales, winning 92 caps between 1982 and 1998. Now – Football isn’t exactly known as a hotbed of understanding on LGBTQ issues, so it’s been heart-warming to say the least, this week, to see his big, open, heart at work. Earlier this week, he asked, what’s difference between sex and gender? He got schooled, and here he was yesterday summing up what actually matters
If your gay straight trans or anything else you should be able to be what u want
Not live a lie
Without discrimination or prejudice
— Neville Southall (@NevilleSouthall) October 12, 2017
Fuck Yeah Neville Southall. So that’s a football player.
How’s tech doing? At least two interviews this week were made of purest facepalm. I mean seriously – what ever happened to public relations? Who on God’s earth thought it was a good idea to unleash stuff like we heard from Apple and Uber this week this on the world?
First up, Apple’s Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, Denise Young Smith, said:
“There can be 12 white, blue-eyed blonde men in a room and they’re going to be diverse too.”
Yeah, especially if they’re Phi Beta Kappa, am I right? Young Smith apparently continued:
“Diversity is the human experience. I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of color, or the women, or the LGBT.
Sorry I am definitely in camp Jason Shen here.
I appreciate the idea of "intellectual diversity" in theory, but in practice, gender and race shape our lives in such meaningful ways that it's almost guaranteed that a group diverse in those ways would be intellectually diverse as well. https://t.co/18Bs4fPxkS
— Jason Shen (@JasonShen) October 11, 2017
The problem here is not diversity of thought. This is not about white male engineers having technical arguments with each other, it’s the lived experience and contribution of groups that are not so privileged or well represented. Apple, like every other company in tech, needs to level up, and do a better job of hiring and management and support of under-represented groups. Which brings us nicely to our friends at Uber.
As was recently pointed out, when a journalist asks a question in a headline like this… the answer is always no. Uber’s issues are deep seated, and go way beyond hiring a new CEO. The fallout from Susan J Fowler’s post about Uber’s toxic culture is very much not over in terms of Uber being an aspirational place to work. Yet Liane Hornsey, Uber’s human-resources chief, says she sees no need to talk to Fowler. Instead she popped up in the Wall Street Journal this week explaining how Uber had its eye on a (very small) group of women it would be interested in hiring. Maybe fix the culture first?
About to hit publish, I realise I haven’t said anything about an issue I had this week with an all male panel, my thoughts about it, and the ongoing fallout. That is, I have called out two women discussing D&I, but left out discussing problems with all male panels. That post is coming. I have many things to say about how we all need to do better.