Diversity & Inclusion Abstracts

JUNE 8-12, 2020

ONLINE! Copenhagen, Denmark

Diversity & Inclusion Abstracts

Why Diversity & Inclusion Matter
Heidi Musser

Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) has become increasingly important to the Agile community over the past several years. In this short experience report, I’m going to present both my experience and the facts about why Diversity & Inclusion Matter, especially as it relates to women in STEM. I want to thank the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT) and their amazing research staff for providing much of the data I’ll be presenting in this report.

So, just what is D&I? Diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people unique while inclusion refers to the behaviors and social norms that ensure people feel welcome. Another way to think about it is this:
Accessibility is being able to get in the building. Diversity is getting invited to the table. Inclusion is having a voice at the table. Belonging is having your voice heard at the table.
In addition to presenting the FACTS about Why Diversity and Inclusion Matter, this report will explore how we can reduce subtle biases and barriers. Minority and under-represented groups are not broken; our biases are the problem. This report will conclude with a call to action to share out stories and ideas for interrupting subtle biases and improving diversity & inclusion in the Agile community.

We need the community creating technology to be as broad and diverse as the people it serves. It’s that simple!

Women in Agile and Tech: building a network of support, learning and growth
Deepti Jain

Women in Agile and Tech (abbreviated as W.A.T) is a group originated in India that intends to create a network of women and non-binary so that they can support each other, educated each other and exchange opportunities. This group runs a virtual mentorship program connecting non-binary and women across the globe.

W.A.T runs a 6 weeks mentorship program with AgilityToday, where we help our fellow women seek mentorship on the areas they want to excel. Under this program, we call for Mentee and Mentors.

This presentation is to share what we gained from this mentorship program. The gain that we got was much more than what we thought.

Unexpected Empowerment: Agile Magic for Neurodiverse Teams at Ultranauts
Art Shectman

At Ultranauts we are proving that Neurodiversity is a competitive advantage. We recruit, train and then employ software and data quality engineers who also happen to be on the Autism Spectrum. The majority of our team are Agile trained, and our quality engineers are valued scrum team members across the majority of our customers. When we began our journey, everyone told us that Agile would be hard for Neurodiverse individuals. We think “everyone” is mistaken. When practiced reasonably strictly, Agile creates a fantastic workplace for Neurodiverse individuals.

In our session we’ll explore how Agile practices helped to tame a seemingly insurmountable work backlog into a knowable, regular increment of work, to break down staff barriers, rekindle innovation, and ultimately improve productivity by 10X.

We’ll start with an overview of our core inclusive practices from our recruiting pipeline to details you can leverage from our Universal Workplace Design. Part of our Universal Workplace, the BioDex was featured in Inc: This Company Invented a Genius HR Tactic for Remote Workers — or Anyone

We’ll do a deep dive on a case study, around how we implemented Agile and the benefits we have seen from having done so.

Building an effective ecosystem for women to excel
Archana Joshi
Globally women in IT are a minority and there is a focus to improve gender diversity at workplace. IT departments practicing agile are no exception to this. So, does agile help when your voice is one of the minority? What does the new momentum towards digital initiatives mean for women in Agile? This talk is my attempt to explore answers to these questions based on the experiences that I had over my 10-year journey as a woman agile practitioner in India. The talk will address 3 key problems across timezone, forums and skills that I have seen more prominently faced by women working in agile teams. Addressing these problems helps to create an ecosystem which will aid not only women but overall teams to excel and thrive.