How are you hacking the diversity & inclusion gap?

defending diversity, heatherlee nguyen

Our differences create opportunities.
Opportunities for a more equitable world.

How are you empowering those people who look and who talk and who live & love differently than you? How can you do better? We all need to confront our biases and check our privilege at the door. I see promise in our future products in services. I believe we can build a more equitable world!

Don’t you?


Peace & love are universal concepts.
Now, more than ever is the time to defend diversity.
We all belong.


Tแ•ผE Iแ‘Žแ—ชIE แ‘•Oแ‘Žแ”•แ‘Œแ’ชTแ—ฉแ‘ŽT
๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐˜ ยป๐—–๐—ซยซ ๐—ฆ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐——๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ป

I’m Heatherlee. An independent research and design consultant with a background in UX, a passion for service design, an interest in biomimicry and a stake in your strategy. Iโ€™m passionate about helping you bridge the gap between your product teams and the people you design for.

Contact info & more about me here.

Your local library.. the original co-working spot

defending diversity, heatherlee nguyen

Co-working spots are cropping up in all major metros. And who wouldn’t be lured by all the free coffee, networking and sexy surroundings? With remote work and startup culture in full swing, we all saw this coming.

In the Twin Cities where I am it seems like a new spot opens every few months. Very cool ones too, I dig the digs. Some spots come with the message of inclusion and female empowerment, some serving the savvy startups, some kind of exclusive and all come with a significant price tag.

One day driving I needed to duck into a room for a call and found Iโ€™d have to pay $50 for the day at one of the popular ones. Sure, everyone here can probably afford that. But what about the rest of the community? Are we actually closing ourselves off from people right in our neighborhood by creating these exclusive clubs?

I walked right into my local library and got to use a room for free as long as I needed. (Library staff are some of the best! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ) There was no free coffee.. I wasnโ€™t surrounded by women like me or people in tech.. but I saw cool art, people getting tax help, students, families, and I realized how important it is to support our libraries too. Not only a ๐™๐™๐™€๐™€ resource ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™–๐™ก๐™ก.. but they do ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ for our communities you might not even know about.

I love the swanky new coworking spaces as much as the next gal.. but is this actually filling a gap? Or could it be widening the gap between people like you and people not like you..


How might we show up for our libraries?





Tแ•ผE Iแ‘Žแ—ชIE แ‘•Oแ‘Žแ”•แ‘Œแ’ชTแ—ฉแ‘ŽT
๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐˜ ยป๐—–๐—ซยซ ๐—ฆ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐——๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ป

Iโ€™m Heatherlee. An independent research and design consultant with a background in UX, a passion for service design, an interest in biomimicry and a stake in your strategy. Iโ€™m passionate about helping you bridge the gap between your product teams and the people you design for.

Contact info & more about me here.

Living & working the gaps. .

defending diversity
Blog_FirstimeonPlane-02

5 years ago I was 5 months pregnant and about to step on an airplane for the very first time. It was for work. I was stoked to be visiting NYC, but not so stoked to ask my (frequent-traveler) manager for tips.

I swallowed my pride as I pushed away triggering memories. Like that one time my manager made me feel like crap for not having a smart phone (because everyone and their mom had a smartphone before me…) Just like that time I cut class because I was about to be picked to go to Poland, and there was no way I could leave my job and my rent behind…

Everyone in my professional circle had been on a plane before, duh. Everyone at MCAD, double duh! I learned to not embarrass myself by exposing my truth but I never straight up lied either. I mean, most people I met go abroad on the reg, no way I would reveal I took my first vacation at 30.


Shame..

Vulnerability..

It’s a thing.

I swallowed it, surrounded by the privilege of the industry and my cities elites, as I tried to survive student loans and leveling up. I felt left out, less than and embarrassed all through college because of this. Why did I think this would change when I got into my career?

 

We are still seeing and living the privilege gap more and more and more each year…. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

10919771_10203835098299461_7853115150660132635_o
Outside my hotel window they were building the Westfield World Trade Center – “The shops at the Oculus” while 70,000 New Yorkers slept on the streets…


We think we’re good, but we need to do better Twin Cities. Stop hiring your best friends. Start recruiting in the inner cities. Recognize how you speak and live and work widens the gap between people like you, and people not like you- and why this is systemically problematic.


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I was 26 and finally went on an airplane! You won’t believe the story of me getting this picture….


I have it good. I am so thankful for these awkward experiences. This silly travel story.. absolutely nothing compared to the absolutely crushing realities our neighbors live with daily.   We can do better.

 

How do we start to hack this gap?






Tแ•ผE Iแ‘Žแ—ชIE แ‘•Oแ‘Žแ”•แ‘Œแ’ชTแ—ฉแ‘ŽT
๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐˜ ยป๐—–๐—ซยซ ๐—ฆ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐——๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ป

I’m Heatherlee. An independent research and design consultant with a background in UX, a passion for service design, an interest in biomimicry and a stake in your strategy. Iโ€™m passionate about helping you bridge the gap between your product teams and the people you design for.

Contact info & more about me here.