News from Karen Holtzblatt on New Website, New Book Edition, and CHI 2016
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Summer greetings to everyone!

I hope you are gearing up for a fun and productive summer – perhaps you’ll make us part of your plans.

Contextual Design Version 2: Design for Life
The news of our upcoming book is being well received. We’re working with clients now to help them innovate with the techniques we’ve added to Contextual Design so they can make the best possible products. Why not try them? Contact me to learn more.

Women in Technology Project: Initial Reactions

Our first offerings at the CHI 2016 Conference were a big success and got men and women alike thinking. Thanks to everyone who attended. Kudos to the men who asked how they could help – stay tuned for some recommendations.

The panel on Beyond the Pipeline: Addressing Diversity in High Tech was a great crew sharing their experiences which encouraged attendees to share their own challenges. Thanks again to Tina, Troy, Emily, and Aruna!

The SIG shared our data with participants so they could use it to generate possible interventions. The goal is to create things you can try now with yourself and your friends, with your team, and start to advocate for in your company. I was frankly impressed at the wide-ranging thinking generated. 
Please go look at the solutions, which we’ve posted in a blog on our website. We’ve categorized them by framework factor so you can focus on anything you particularly care about. You can also go to the Women in Tech Discussion Forum to add your own ideas and share what happened when you tried things.

Short Survey – Please Take It

I’m pleased to let you know that you and your team can now take a shorter version of our Women in Technology research survey if you  have not already taken the long form. We need this deep information about what must addressed on the ground to inform interventions. Then we can assess how a company is doing in its efforts to be inclusive.

Volunteer great managers, women leaving a job, and men to be interviewed
We will be doing more interviews over the summer and organizing the data in late August. Please send me great male or female managers, women leaving their jobs under duress or for bad fit, and men who are great team members. Either go to the Women In Tech page and look for the Sign Up or Volunteer button or contact me directly.

Creating Intervention Games
I believe strongly in grassroots efforts for change that really takes. Yes, upper management and overall culture must be ready to support the effort and most tech companies at least speak that talk. But are they willing to reach deeply into the daily life of product development, management behavior, team values, and real people support that is needed to ensure a diverse and productive workforce – remember this is what is needed for a truly innovative environment and increased financial success.

Volunteer to help me invent games for teams and individuals to become more aware and to help them change themselves. Then they can become an inspiration to their company and the industry. Please contact me to become part of the game development effort.

The more I talk with women who stay and women who leave the more I’m convinced that the answers lie in things we can start to do today – what we can stimulate our teams to do, our managers (and ourselves as managers) to do, and how we can act together at the team level to change the culture and expectations of the team. (Hey men, this is where we need your help!) But we want to have fun doing it – being moralistic and heavy never moved a team into action. So while at CHI I got inspired looking at the work of people developing games.

Working together we can start to move the industry – please reach out to those you know and tell them about what we’re doing. We need your help and can put a little fun in your summer!


Karen Holtzblatt
InContext Design
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