Even if we consider ourselves advocates for diversity and inclusion when it comes to considering gender, race, age, LGBTQ or ableness, how do we stretch ourselves even further? How can we create a truly diverse team in thought, background, and culture, and how do we make sure we are creating products that are inclusive to all? How do we break the molds that are exclusive in their very nature? On today’s show, I have a candid conversation with Timothy Bardlavens, an outspoken advocate for equity, about cultivating a culture of diversity and inclusion, and what that really means.
Timothy Bardlavens is a Product Design Leader, Cultural Strategist and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Specialist who approaches Organizational Culture challenges through the lens of of Design strategy. His work shifts the focus of DEI from a Human Resources to a User Experience challenge, helping business leaders to understand teams, organizations and companies are designed entities which need unique approaches to cultivate and thrive in an increasingly diverse space. Most importantly, Timothy works with business leaders to develop people-centric strategies with clear, actionable steps to increase diversity, retention, innovation and revenue. As a Sr. Product Design Manager at Microsoft, Timothy leads a team that focuses on core UX and Intelligent experiences in Outlook online in addition to platform experiences that span the O365 Suite and various endpoints.
Working with leaders at Microsoft, Timothy is able to teach them the actions to take relating to cultural initiatives, and how to create processes and actions around them.
● Tim explains how referring to himself as the “black guy” is an icebreaker when it comes to helping others feel comfortable and to be true to themselves.
● Tim speaks to how developing a culture of diversity relates to design and UX. How do we, the design entity, (the organization) help users (people within the organization) be effective, happy be productive and grow?
● Tim points out correlations between/among how we think about organizations, people and products, and relates all of this to a design challenge and tells how to meet the challenges.
● Tim says designers need to realize their own power, and need to provide others access to that power.
● For a designer or a PM who wants to create inclusive products, step outside yourself or outside what you’re trying to develop, and ask the questions from others. Watch others, ask for advice, and do the research. Tim says to go the extra mile to understand people unlike yourself.
● Culture does not have to be initiated by leadership, but should be supported by it.
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Timothy on the Revision Path Podcast, episode 215
Timothy on CtrlClickcast, episode 113
The Borderlands - Pakou Her, Tseng Development Group — LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pakou-her-tdg
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