There was an event this past week, touting the benefits of designing for the employee experience. It had been luckily postponed a few times, and this time, I could actually attend.
I walked a kilometre or two, exposed to sun, hot air, and the unfamiliar sensation of sweat. Arriving at what was an office park built with shipping containers, I saw what was the only indicator of something happening, a person scurrying in between heavy glass doors into what I imagined was an air conditioned interior.
When I arrived, the room was filled with chairs, the type you'd find in university lecture halls, with that rotating desk attachment, that can barely fit an A4 sheet of paper.
You see, the talk was being hosted by a design outfit. I saw the slide, and noted the name, I'd assumed the speaker was yet to join us. That the person sat up front, facing us, was our host. It turned out the person was the speaker, a director, and my mind did a shameful double take.
I shared this with a friend, and we lamented at the stereotypes we may be perpetuating in silence, we resolved to check ourselves.
How might that take shape? I think, for one, I'd share this example with a friend who I know has been impacted by not seeing people with a design background in directorial positions.
One other thing I could try, is to listen for bias, and ask questions in a curious manner. So that I allow others the opportunity of doing a mental double take.