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Thursday, May 10 • 1:00pm - 1:45pm
Hope is not a method: How to actively build a diverse design team that produces inclusive products and services.

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Did you know that seat-belted female drivers and children in actual crashes have a 47% higher chance of serious injuries than belted male drivers in comparable collisions?

Did you know that certain brands of automatic public bathroom soap dispensers and faucets can’t activate when approached by dark-skinned hands?

The lack of diversity and inclusion in product and service design is how things like this happen. When a homogenous group of designers and engineers is producing products and services for a vast set of diverse people, they intentionally or unintentionally pass on their biases. And if those teams are designing products where safety is a factor, it can become an issue of life and death.

While these are obvious examples of gender and race discrimination, design bias is equally problematic when it comes to socioeconomic class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, social class, age, and more. Even the most well-intentioned designers, regardless of the amount of research they actively perform, can be grossly unaware of their own blind spots. And without a diverse group of teammates around them to raise awareness, biases will perpetuate.

The ability to improve diversity in a design team falls squarely on the shoulders of the design managers with budgetary and hiring duties. And the responsibility to promote and sustain an inclusive environment belongs to all of us.

In this talk I will explain what diversity and inclusion means, the business benefits of building or being a part of a diverse design team, and 3 things you can do tomorrow to improve the diversity of your candidate pipeline while understanding discrimination laws. Lastly, I will discuss how you can begin to raise awareness in your larger organization.

avatar for Lisa deBettencourt

Lisa deBettencourt

VP Design, Confer Health
Lisa is currently the VP of Design at Confer Health, a biotech company building the first ever clinical-grade diagnostic testing for use at home, where she leads the user experience of IoT hardware, consumables, and software. Prior to that, she built and grew the UX design team a... Read More →

Thursday May 10, 2018 1:00pm - 1:45pm

Attendees (14)

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