, 15 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
5am thoughts: One of the challenges for men in #leadership positions in #tech who want to increase #inclusion and #diversity in our orgs, is that first we need to first recognize our own #privilege before knowing what conscious actions to take in our orgs & company-wide... 1/14
First, credit to my colleague @bjohnso5y. Her post on how to be a better #ally for #womenintech emphasized the mechanism of #recognition (e.g. crediting women for their ideas in public spaces). The goal of better #allyship inspired this thread... 2/14

In the sphere of political debate, you’ll often hear white people (especially men) arguing they don’t have privilege and don’t get special treatment. "Everything’s a meritocracy!" "Nobody 'gave' me anything!" - Nothing to see here, move along… 3/14
A lot of the reason is because recognition is like the air we breathe to us dudes. We don’t think about it, but hoo boy do we notice if it decreases, even a little bit (hence some of the backlash to this line of thinking, but that’s for another post)... 4/14
Sometimes guys will say “I get criticized a lot and am not the CEO, so I can’t possibly be privileged!” Now we're "defining privilege down" so it only means "is the top person/life is perfect" as opposed to the more relative, macro-level comparison that's the point here... 5/14
So, back to men in tech - especially us folks in positions of "relative" power (e.g. middle to upper-management, senior ICs) and not just starting out our careers. We do indeed get special treatment, recognition and so on - It's just so endemic we've stopped noticing... 6/14
It can be little (being invited to events, having your boss reference your name, getting asked your opinion in a big meeting) or big (asked to take on strategic challenges, stretch promo). If you observed it from outside, you’d realize how prevalent your #recognition is... 7/14
Conversely I see leaders (often, but not universally, men) in tech getting bent out of shape when their directs bring up issues of feeling under appreciated, or when employees drop hints on how they'd like to be recognized.... 8/14
And just like w/white privilege arguments, leaders will say “I don’t get special treatment” or “The big bosses know anyone at your level, don't worry about it!"

I'm here to tell you if you want to create an #inclusive, #diverse, high-performing team. STOP doing this now... 9/14
1st: It's just false. 2nd: Being a leader is not about you (did you read my article?). 3rd: It dismisses the person & everyone else who's feeling the same who's too nervous to bring it up (if you're hearing it, it's 10x as bad as you think)... 10/14

And 4th: Assuming you're like me, you believe the highest-performance teams are ones with the most diverse perspectives & backgrounds, you'd be CRAZY not to listen and act on this feedback. Stop "looking a gift horse in the mouth" just because it makes you uncomfortable... 11/14
So while I’ve probably lost a bunch of you by veering into the “political” I think the analogy makes a lot of sense. Privilege is important for us men in leadership positions to grok. But assuming you're still here, what do I think we/you do about this?... 12/14
Make #recognition for women & #PoC a priority in big & little ways: Name them, elevate their voices & celebrate their accomplishments. Not just via all-hands “awards” that only a few get - but in everyday emails, or meetings with *your* boss when your employees are there... 13/14
And especially when it's just you and your fellow bosses. You're setting a new standard for the #culture.

If you do this in a way that's situationally appropriate & relevant, you'll stand out to *your bosses* in a positive way.

Bonus: Recognizing others feels great! 14/14
PS. I realize those most in need of reading this, aren't. But #diversityintech can't be solely the work of women & PoC. If they could fix this, they would! So hopefully this makes a difference, even a little - like the woman in the "Starfish Story" (corny, but work with me here)
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