Let’s change the conversation

Naomi Freeman
Sep 25, 2015 · 3 min read

Last night I had the absolute privilege and honour of speaking at and helping launch the Google Developer Group and Women Techmakers at the gorgeous G Hotel in Galway, Ireland.

I just want to highlight and share a key piece of my talk last night.

What I hear over and over from everywhere is what women and diversities are not: not CS grads, not gamers, not whatever.

The approach is glass half-empty. The conversations we are having fundamentally pinpoint everything we are apparently missing. Language is important. Defining us as fundamentally glass half-empty, deficient and otherwise missing components has real world impact.

I think it’s about time we change the conversation.

So you didn’t spend your teen years playing video games.

Ok. What did you spend your teen years doing?
Making clothes?
Fishing?
Dancing?

So you didn’t spend college studying Computer Science.

Ok. What did you study?
Marine biology?
Writing?
Math?

Whatever it is, it is valuable. It is not only valuable — it is essential. These experiences are your unique strength.

Let’s celebrate and highlight all of the beautiful, wonderful, varied experiences that have brought us to tech, to code, to start-ups, to this place we are now.

Let us see the glass half full — full of everything we know from other industries, full of all of the experiences we have doing great work, full of our unique passions, strengths and perspectives.

Let us encourage others to see their glass half full, and promote the unique strengths, vision and context they can bring to tech, code and start-ups.

Let’s change the conversation

I invite you to change the conversation.

Inspired by Jen Myers’ (@antiheroine) <strong> </strong> stickers

and this Instagram post from codergirl_

I invite you to place yourself between the <strong> </strong> tags and let us know what your strength is. Let us know what your unique strong is that you bring to conversations, communities, your job and your industry.

Bonus: You can get your own <strong> tag stickers here.

How-to:

  1. Grab a blank piece of paper and a marker.
  2. Write down what your <strong> is.
  3. Grab a whiteboard, 2 chart papers or some cut-outs for the wall and set-up your <strong> </strong> background.
  4. Get a friend to take a snap of you in between the <strong> tags holding your unique strength.
  5. Share!
    #mystrong
    @naomi_freeman
    @GDGGalway
    #GDGGalway
    #WomenInTech
    #code

Send us your Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr — wherever links, and we’ll share them too :)

<strong>

@dren79 owning the <strong> tags at the GDG Galway launch

It’s time for us to change the conversation. Let’s own everything we bring to the table. Let’s celebrate everything everyone brings into the space. The whole world needs code, and we need the whole world to be part of the project-every expert, every beginner, every industry, every kind of person. Let’s invite them in. Let’s celebrate, respect and learn from everything their glass is already full of.

Cheers!

Naomi Freeman

Written by

http://www.naomifreeman.com

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