Conversations for Change | Powertilt: Examining Power, Influence, and the Myth of Meritocracy Within Technology Teams | Brad McLain and Catherine Ashcraft

Date: May 16, 2022
Location: Online
NCWIT Summit
Photos of Brad McLain and Catherine Ashcraft

Evidence demonstrates that even when tech companies diversify their workforces, members of historically marginalized groups still face difficulty accessing core innovative technical roles. This lack of influence in key innovation processes results in what we term a powertilt phenomenon — that is, a differential distribution of power and influence along lines of gender, race, and other intersecting social identities. We present findings from our study examining what counts as power and how it operates on technical teams and provide an overview of a practical assessment tool that leaders can use to assess how power and influence are distributed within their teams. This instrument also helps teams implement strategies for creating more inclusive team cultures that improve team decision making and technical innovation.

This session is part of the 2022 Virtual Summit. To learn more and explore all of the Summit sessions, go here.

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