food for thought: critiquing the workplace

Stuff for you to chew over in the midst of checking in with #teamharpy.

In the Boston area with a flexible schedule? MIT is hosting a symposium on Challenging Technical Privilege this Friday (October 3rd):

Silent Technical Privilege occurs when those who “look the part,” or conform to society’s stereotype of what a tech-savvy, number-crunching programmer or engineer looks like, receive the benefit of the doubt or implicit endorsement in technical settings. The flipside of Silent Technical Privilege is Stereotype Threat, and other hidden obstacles that those who do not fit the profile often experience in pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education or technical careers. Women, particularly women of color, have been largely marginalized and underrepresented in STEM. On October 3, we will convene a symposium of researchers, industry representatives, students, and other nationally-recognized experts to discuss how Technical Privilege, Stereotype Threat and other forms of Implicit Bias contribute to this underrepresentation. This interactive symposium will ask how Technical Privilege, Stereotype Threat and other forms of Implicit Bias contribute to this underrepresentation. We aim to highlight, elaborate, and develop strategies to address these issues.

If you can’t attend, you can follow along at #techprivMIT.

Ashe Dryden | “Why Aren’t More Companies Putting Their Weight Behind Diversity Initiatives?

In a world where a business’s bottom-line comes before anything else, industries profit from the unequal treatment of their employees. Marginalized people often have to go above and beyond the work being done by their more privileged coworkers to receive the same recognition. The problem is readily apparent for women of color, who make between 10 and 53% less than their white male counterparts. The situation is such that compensating people equally is seen as a radical act. In maintaining an undervalued workforce, businesses create even more profit.

satifice | “On (Failing) to Break Into LibTech

Some of the jobs I’ve applied at appear entry-level… but only, it would seem, if you already have computer science degree (or some comparable educational background). Yup, I’m talking about the unicorn job postings. “We want someone knowledgeable in metadata standards, digital scholarly communication, experience in the org’s ILS, ability to code in PHP, XML, HTML, CSS, Java, JavaScript, Ruby, Python, etc and so on, is an experienced sysadmin, blah blah blah”. So, if this is entry level, then it precludes people like me. I don’t currently have all these skills, but some I’m trying to get, others I’d love the chance to learn, and all of them are interesting to me.

And finally, I think we have some #critlib folks in our group already — but I though I’d boost the weekly discussions of critical pedagogy and librarianship here. Next Tuesday (10/7) the discussion will be on “Labor solidarity within and across the library: librarians, paraprofessionals, ‘staff’ workers, student workers.” You can find out more here.

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