Sharing resources from recent NCWIT talk on counteracting bias

Published: Oct 4, 2021

On Thursday, August 12th, US-RSE held the second talk of our speaker series organized by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) working group. We were joined by Joanne Esch and Andrea Bowen-Jones from The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). They spoke with us about the biases and barriers that face women and other underrepresented groups participating in the technical workforce, and interventions that NCWIT has developed to help address these biases.

We would like to pass along some of the resources that the speakers shared. The first resource is the NCWIT’s critical listening guide. This guide addresses common misunderstandings that arise during discussions of these topics. In it you’ll find concrete responses and links to primary research to help you deal with problematic statements, like “Women need to learn to be more confident.” The guide provides questions to ask and comments to add that can prevent these problematic statements from derailing a discussion. Two more guides we’d like to highlight are aimed specifically at interrupting bias in industry and in academic settings.

The DEI working group is building a collection of resources like these so that we can learn from organizations like NCWIT and help US-RSE uphold the values stated in our DEI mission statement. These resources are guiding our own discussions, along with other material like books we’ve read in our media discussion group.