Inclusion in Technology in Japan — GCP Global

Amanda Cavallaro
Jun 26, 2017 · 4 min read
GCP Global in Japan

A topic we should all be talking about, not only in Japan but all around the world — inclusion in technology.

We have to balance our work life, family and personal life. It can get challenging and discouraging to work in IT-related areas or even attending events in which you feel you are not welcome there, and that much effort: who to leave the kids with — Can we take them with ourselves to the event? How to have work-life balance?!

I have talked to many Japanese people througout my life — I must say I am fascinated by their culture, I have volunteered to teach Japanese foundation to kids in Brazil. I am constantly trying to get a better understanding of their culture, and finding ways I could use my experience to suggest improvements and hopefully help workspaces and tech events be more inclusive and welcoming.

I went all the way to Japan to both co-organise this brilliant event with Women Who Go and GCPUG Tokyo and to give a talk there. During my presentation, I encouraged and supported women in technology.

Talking about role models

It was acollaborative event between (GDG Cloud London) www.meetup.com/gdgcloud, (GCPUG Tokyo)https://gcpug-tokyo.connpass.com/, and (Women Who Go Tokyo)
and https://womenwhogo-tokyo.connpass.com/. It took place at Mercari in Japan. A huge thanks to Mercari and Google for making this possible.

In this video you can see a bit of the overall event and my presentation. Thank you for everyone who took their time during a weekday to be present, and for the others who could not be there, my message is: be inclusive, do your best, you can do it!

We talked about diversity in technology, how important it is to know English for the IT related areas (English 101 class), API.ai demo by @tenntenn, image recognition at Go and Cloud vision api, Google’s expert Q&A after google next @soundtricker @sinmetal @tenntenn.

Below you can find my tweets and also the attendees’ tweets (including GDGs, newcomers, experienced developers, googlers, womentechmaker leads, and many others).

I am very happy to know I made a difference to so many beginners and more experienced people in IT in Japan. Please count on me, and remember: you are stronger than you think, you can do it!

I was really pleased to read Lily Okamoto’s post. She describes the event in detail in her point of view. I appreciate so much you taking your time to write this.

How can you be more inclusive?

There must be a change of mindset and you can help minorities feel included by stating in your company or events that everyone is welcome.

During the #wtmsummit in Prague my group (Amanda www.meetup.com/gdgcloud, Aviv www.meetup.com/Women-Techmakers-Israel, Katja www.meetup.com/meetup-group-xJLtjnlG/, Magda www.meetup.com/Women-Techmakers-Romenia, Corina www.meetup.com/Women-Techmakers-Berlin/, Alev https://www.femaletechleaders.org/) took our time to answer these questions:

(I recommend you read Alev’s medium post)

How do you reach out to female speakers? How do you source new female speakers within your community?

  • Be remembered — Become known, attend events so people can remember your name when recommending a group. Introduce people to each other.
  • Be clear what you want from the speaker, what your community would benefit from them.
  • Have a 1 on 1 informal meeting, dinner, time to get ideas from speakers — sometimes they are not sure what they can talk about.
  • Ask from your own community to suggest/ connect you with women there who can share a talk. Ask inside your own company, clients, partners
  • Where to search women: github, communities, universities, previous talks at other events
  • Reward speakers — Give swags, tickets to speakers — share about them on social media

How to mentor women speakers?

  • Compliment speakers — After the event — reach to the speaker thank them, share their material.
  • Share success stories on social media
  • Organise lightning talks during the events
  • Ask speakers to give tips
  • Inspire kids at schools — give them an event and have them present a short presentation
  • Public speaking workshop — encourage women to talk, compliment what they can do well. Online courses, webinars example: toast masters

If you’d like to read about the #wtmsummit, you can do so by clicking here.

I would like to share some links I recommend, they are worth your time:

  1. Tech Diversity: 12 Things Allies Can Do — Melinda, founder of Change Catalyst — https://goo.gl/Zs9PCq
  2. Code can change your career prospects, Eva Tkavc https://goo.gl/AtYBSB
  3. Successful female innovator, Eva Tkavc https://t.co/4Nxr8M6Tug
  4. Google Code Labs — https://codelabs.developers.google.com/
  5. Top techie programs change — https://goo.gl/HeLJqG
  6. Japanese Female Entrepreneur — Emi Takemura Miller — https://goo.gl/qRL6YC

I have a huge respect for the Japanese culture, I have studied Japanese language for many years, I am an aikidoka, I helped a social project teaching kids in Brazil about the Japanese language and culture after the aikido classes

I am a co-organiser of GDG Cloud London (www.meetup.com/gdgcloud) and one of the Google Women Techmakers leads in London.

I would like help increase the number of minorities in technology (to start and remain in the area) not only in Japan and in the entire world. I once said I wanted to change the world, I know I cannot change the it entirely, but I definitely can inspire people near me, and I will try my best to do so.

If you would like to find me on social media:

amanda@gdgcloud.com
www.twitter.com/chibichibibr
www.instagram.com/chibichibibr
https://www.facebook.com/amandawtm/

The GDG Cloud London group I co-organise

gdgcloud.slack.com
www.twitter.com/gdgcloud
https://www.facebook.com/gdgcloudlondon/
www.meetup.com/gdgcloud

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