How we’re building living services that grow and adapt with user needs

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Laura Trujillo leading a working session for

We hear and feel the chorus from around the world that cities are where we can solve problems. Working at the City of Austin, we totally agree. But before we’re able to move forward as the champions of change, it’s time for some real talk.

The same problems that exist in federal and state governments are present at the local level; in my short tenure with the city, I have multiple horror stories about systems built 15 years ago, of monolithic vendor solutions that — while they may have been the right investment at the time — create more problems than they solve and are feared as too big to replace. …

I have lady-bits. I am a lady-boss of ladies and gentleman and I have been in the tech world for 16 years starting from when I began my college career at the University of Texas as one of the 10% of females in the Electrical Engineering program.

I by no means think that the gender inequality I have experienced in my own career was done cognizantly. In fact I can’t think of one situation I have encountered at work where the bias displayed was a conscious decision.

BUT neither was mine….

So one afternoon I moved on to my next meeting where I sat on a conference call and listened to a young 20-something colleague “like, valley girl” it through a discussion with a client. Every time she talked in my head I was screaming, “STOP SOUNDING LIKE AN IDIOT! YOU ARE MAKING US ALL LOOK BAD.” At least it isn’t the Kardashian vocal fry, am I right? Nails on a chalkboard. …


Head of Digital Transformation - Office of Design and Delivery - City of Austin

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