THREAD. Balanced teams vs. "diversity".

Some people are confused about whether, at @Atlassian, we've shifted our focus from creating intersectional justice and equitabe opportunities for everyone, with a spotlight on those who are underrepresented in tech.

That's easy: NOPE.
We're moving away from *language* that is outdated and a *barrier* to the progress we want to see. Our 2018 State of Diversity report (…) showed us two problems with the word "diversity" (on top of other issues holding back #diversity & #belonging in tech).
1. People overwhelmingly associated the word with underrepresented or minority groups.
2. The minorities people associated with "diversity" with were gender and racial minorities.

Let's unpack why this is problemmatic af, A LESSON.
On the first point. Language has constructed meaning, which evolves (ask the @textio team!). "Diversity" was first used to placate those who weren't comfortable with the explicit idea that advocates were trying to create equitable opportunities (in the U.S., for Black Americans).
Now, "diversity" *can* mean any mix, but in our usage today, it largely means "underrepresented people". That puts diversity & inclusion in a brand positioning issue, but one that is solvable, if we're willing to evolve.
By insisting on using language that *excludes* folks from majority groups, we are giving them a reason to opt out, to not pay attention (sure, I'd love for folks to do all the right things for all the right reasons 100% of the time, but that's not realistic).
On the second point. Our data showed that folks associate the word with *specific* underrepresented groups: women and Black Americans. Why is this bad? It's too narrow: it ignores #intersectionality and ignores folks with disabilities, neurodiversity, #Indigenous people, etc.
But adopting new language, by defining our goals as building balanced teams, we are NOT changing the underlying construct of our goals. We are affirming them, and beginning to use language that creates space not only to create gender and racial equity at @Atlassian...
...but to build the structural foundations of true intersectional equity.

Do I think others should adopt this approach? Yes. It's helped us drive significant engagement internally while creating greater clarity and alignment around our goals. I'm very happy to chat about this.
In case you want to read the full report, check out We're not changing our goals, we're changing how we achieve them.

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