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From one to more: Why sharing our narrative matters

Anthony D. Mays
Software Engineer at Google
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Google Cloud Next 2020
July 14, 2020, Online, San Francisco, CA, USA
Google Cloud Next 2020
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From one to more: Why sharing our narrative matters
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About speaker

Anthony D. Mays
Software Engineer at Google

About the talk

Diversity and inclusion in the tech world is growing. How is Google becoming an ally and advocating for inclusion during this positive change? Hear how exactly in this session, where Anthony D. Mays shares his commitment to help improve inclusion and diversity in tech, the work he’s putting in and the role he’s playing. He will share learnings and steps that you can take to help grow the diversity in your workplace and the inclusion of underrepresented groups in tech spaces. Learn about how sharing personal narratives within teams launches inclusion.

Speaker: Anthony D. Mays

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Google Cloud Next ’20: OnAir → https://goo.gle/next2020

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fullname: Anthony D. Mays;

event: Google Cloud Next 2020; re_ty: Publish;

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I'm Anthony bmaze software engineer, Google and I'm here to talk to you on the topic of once more, while sharing our narrative matters. I get my name is Anthony Mays. I'm a software engineer Google just a software engineer but I also happen to be a DEA and I think it'd be interesting to start off by just talking about what I how I became a DVI after. The first place I saw it off my life as a foster kid and top it after being exposed to physical and sexual abuse. And throughout that journey, I learn how to be a programmer and learn how to code when I

was very young, you can become very interested in computer science, and went to the University of california-irvine at the kids agreed that in that area was about my career. Not thinking that I was giving us to replace like a Google or one of the other big tech companies, but I always wanted to work for Google inside. So after failing, the interview process and then succeeding on my second try, I now find myself a googler and it's been the culmination of a lot of things and a dream come true for me. And I didn't anticipate becoming a DVI advocate.

Stands for diversity, equity and inclusion if you didn't already know. And these are things that are very important to me, which is wondering why I've become a passionate about advocating, for more diversity, equity, and inclusion, have any more belonging in the space that has traditionally been challenged with not having enough representation that from various individuals. And so I want to talk to you today about how I do this. How I advocate for Saturday, I threw something that I like to try to sharing your narrative. There's three things that

enables me to do what I do as a DUI Advocate first is just having a strong company culture, that enables need to do. What I do is having a support and participation of people from from throughout all levels of the company that's been very important for me, as others have championed and supported me in my work. And then lastly this idea of sharing your near the song. I'm just going to break each of these down. Got to be more clear for things that I think work well, about of the

culture at Google. First of all, the culture is strong and well-defined. There's things that make Google culture unique. The people that we hire intend to be very intelligent that we described it as an innovation is encouraged Where people work hard but are also able to collaborate a culture where you can have fun and enjoy what you do. But at the same time at Taco, very deep and hard and Beauty problems. And that kind of culture is well suited for someone who's working in the d e r space, because there are so many challenges, there's a lot of

obstacles to overcome and having a culture that that Champions is the force. The best and brightest is important. Part of that leadership is it? I don't need managers. And it managers, which managers, what I mean, is there is people who are naturally inclined to the problem and see it and want to tackle it. If you want to find people who can be leaders, even if they don't have the form of OSI, don't You want support them in leadership and it's important that when you finally realize that you trust them to be leaders and support them in their Journey.

Con result was not just about staying cool things. It's about you and cool things. And as a d, I haven't hit. One of the things that is important is that I'm held accountable for showing the results of the work that I do in making sure that we're moving in the right direction, measuring result is important to that. So having regular survey to gauge employee sentiment, and really understanding how people are thinking and feeling is a very important part of ensuring that the culture remain strong,

and then last but not least, there are enabled in order to be able to get there. A lot of tools that I need everything from scheduling and calendaring to social media tools to templates the program guide. You name it. There's a lot of tools that are used in the work that I do to help me be effective and it's important to have quick and ready access to those tools off the times. I'm not needing to ask for permission to use these tools, I'm just in courage to use them and to use them responsibly and having that kind of Freedom, that enables me to be very

effective as a D. In addition to the culture, another thing, that's a very important is making sure that everyone is helping to drive changed. You know the culture. It's not just up to one or two people to decide how they cook is going to be. Every time you add a new person to the company, every time you add a new person's to culture is impacts that the color. And it's important that everyone understands that they have a role in place in this discussion. And in this changed it's not just up to buy black people such as myself residents.

The power to participate in places of burden, on those who really seek and desire, maybe Ben needs changed to do the work and that's not healthy. At one of the challenges of being a person who happens, that's why identify as a black man. And as a Christian, is that there are there aren't that many of me in Tech, at least, not yet. And it's unfair to place all of the burden on change on the people who are the least represented our who aren't well. Represent for the more important for everyone to

understand why you want more representation, why you want more inclusive, this and belonging so that everyone can buy into the same vision going in the same direction. What are the things that I believe, it's very important that towards helping us achieve. This goal is the idea of the narrative, and it used to be called diversity in there, and if you can call it that our belongings narrative, however, it is, the idea of the narrative is that it is a story that flushes out who you are that, it really is out just who you are. But why you care about, diversity, equity and inclusion?

And I would like to think that the narrator reflects the things that don't show up on your resume, write a lot of us have skills and qualifications that we know make us suitable for executing the business pass that we are signs excuse. But there are other things that inform how we are the way that we are. These are attributes and qualities that we gained over our lifetime that inform the technical aspects of what we do. And it's really about as Martin Luther King. Ten of your character and we weren't have a

good understanding of how our Charter is shaped. The way that is in and how does it relate to other people and how the difference is that we bring most importantly inform how we make decisions whether in a team on a project at so that were able to build one another half. This is really about making sure that we've got a culture of belonging right where everyone feels like they have a part in the discussion where everyone feels like they have a part in a role that's a play. A part of the team in helping to achieve the right results. In

today's climate where you have such under-representation, it's common for people like me who come from a non-traditional background to sometimes feel excluded or to not feel like we belong as we should. I talk to many people who have had that Narrative of this over the years, whether it's a woman whose software engineer, but it is treated as though that she's a project manager or whether it's a black person who is Miss identified or any of those other things, you know, those kinds of interactions cause people to not feel like they belong as a result of that.

Sometimes when we Chase diversity before I clusion, we end up making this revolving-door effect where the diverse people that people from diverse backgrounds that we hire end up walking, right? Back out the door because they don't feel like they're part of the organization and so nearest can help build more representation within the organization. People who are hired a new power, becomes a large know that they are part of the organization that they're part of the team and that label on and can do a productive work more than

anything else. Is a d, I have a ticket is to empower other people to share their narrative. That's an open up about what makes them them and how they contribute to the culture into the team into doing the things that they do in a more holistic way. And so this is what brings me to a special initiatives that I started with a Google and I like to share with you because I think you may be wondering what how do you share your narrative? How do you share? How do you encourage people to share their narrative in the talk about who they are and what they're going to take a

while? I think that once you understand how to encourage other people to do that and can have a very powerful and transformative effect as well talk about shortly. I'm starting to think our share your narrative with in Google and what it does is it provides a platform and a framework and a space for people to talk about their narratives and I think that it's one of those things that really helps to scale my impact as a DVI Advocate. Because I'm just one person. And I want to have as much impact as widespread as possible while I'm sitting in my seat. And I

believe that the Sharia narrative initiative has helped me to do that. As I mentioned before the share your narrative and it really has three components is the platform. That is a built-in used, in order to encourage people to pursue understand what a narrative is and then share it to the framework. And so there's a specific things that make up a good narrative and we talked about that. And then, lastly, we provide an environment where you can explore what that narrative is and understand how it works and How you can improve it and make it better go. First

thing. The platform when I built the share, your narrative cycle is very simple. It was just a Google fights fight and it leads to a Google Plus a community, which is now Google card. And that's really all I needed was great for providing a place for folks to post video images of as they're sharing a story from their life that they were able to show a picture of maybe that time. They're like to help folks. Visualizes going on or maybe 20 to help a video. You know how rich multimedia on a social media platform is very important for helping people to to

Really share parts of themselves that maybe they wouldn't otherwise shared. I didn't have that kind of a platform on the website that we have for sure. Your narrative is just a static age, is inclusive instructions and FAQ really pretty simple but it's a One-Stop place of the one-stop-shop for What a narrative is and how to share it and make it very easy to Sarah. Share websites. We have special inks. So I crafted the special link that points to the site and made it very easy and memorable for people to get to Next comes the framework and I'll admit that. I didn't invent the

diversity narrative framework. More than hardly use it. No parts first. There is the reason why you care about the eye and tell you if you talk about what are the things that are meaningful to you about improving representation or more belonging or those things and you just briefly touch on Deck. Theme in the theme will set up for the second part, which is a story that helps illustrate. Why you care about that aspect of diversity, equity and inclusion? It should be something real humping the happened. It can be something

that relates to a business situation that you've encountered, where you saw, an optimal results achieved, because of the day or the opposite, if not the lack of representation, I didn't result in the outcome that you were hoping for. So, there's a story if there isn't a story that you How to resign yourself to something that you've noticed in another situation that that didn't directly happen to you. That made, you think about why the eyes of portent, certainly the events pertaining to George Floyd. Has caused many to, to not just hear about that also. See

some of the reasons why this work is important and impactful in. So you can talk about that in your narrative and share maybe a moment from your life, where it really hit home for you. And then the last thing I'll talk about the framework is actions. So you'll have the purpose, ydi matters to you. You'll have the story that connects to that purpose. And then, lastly, some call to action in the contacts in is super important in the contacts. And you want to make sure that you're inviting people to join you in the work because hopefully in park until you've

inspired people to to understand why they too should care about d. I and If they're ready to ask, you can provide them away to join you in the work. The last thing that they share your narrative Community does is provide a safe environment for people to share their narrative and to feel supported. And so they never one. There's someone who reviews The Narrative for spelling and grammar and just to make sure that things are cohesive and succinct then want someone decides to post within the Google Christ Community. Other people can like on the Merritt is or

share. Their comments are in support support. The people who were riding in, from what I've seen. It's always been good at when people post these narratives and are able to say nice things about specifically for post by a number of different factors. And so if you were writing a post that focused on why Aid representation matters, you could categorize your post that way or if you're talk about race or gender. How to dry those Indian against the community. A great way to be able to see the narratives from these various

activities of diversity, of that one, they care about Community is rather small. It's just 156 community members and growing, and I'd say that's not bad for a software engineer. But if those number seems small, I want you to think about the multiplicative effect of sharing your narrative. A narrative isn't just shared within our community often times. It can be included in an email late, it can be shared during a team meeting. It can be spoken in an off-site used during a speech before a great technical presentation. There's any number way that you can

do that. You can just share them with your own family and friends by sharing your narrative, you connect with other people and help them to understand why it matters to you and if they care about you why it should matter to them as well? Inside the nearest has a multiplicative affect my own story about my journey to Google from Compton was featured in the Buzzfeed video that had over five million views and certainly It is probably safe to say the hundreds of thousands of people all around the world and heard my store in there that they encouraged by my journey. As I've given up myself to

talk about how it is that I came to be in the space and how I encourage other people to do the same. And so there is this multiplicative effect of each and every single one of those individuals, who are Engineers like myself, executives are on sale that come from all different parts of Google and all around the world and they participate in this community and also share their own narrative in places that we may not be able to see it. So there's a great positive benefit of being able to see these narratives grow and be shared widely. You know, this really is about scalability, right?

There's only so much that I can add you as an individual, but I want to make sure that I can empower the Next Generation to do what I'm doing it to do it even better so that we can encourage more inclusiveness and belonging in the space. In with a couple of final thoughts that I think are important. First of all, understand that knowledge is a power is powerful. In this really what this is about. A lot of us have been learning that over the past few months about why the conversations about race about

inclusion about belonging, not just attack. But in the world, why these things matter, it's not enough, just to sit on that knowledge, you're not doing anything. It's important to do something and you're near the computer. One of the easiest ways for you to be in taco and terms of inviting other people to the conversation, inviting other people to the work, even though it's one of the easiest ways, it's still not easy. And I know that it takes you sharing a bit of yourself that maybe you didn't plan on sharing that work and that's okay. You're not allowed. And one of the

best things about the share, your narrative program, is that it is showing people that they're not alone, I'm not alone. As a person who is struggle through. A rough upbringing to become a software engineer beating the odds. There are other people like me across all different backgrounds and all different shades. And that's really what the long is all about all about. At the end of the day. I know that as a result of this program and other things that I've along just as much as anyone else because I'm a googler and so I hope that this time has been encouraging to you. Thank you for

tuning in to watch this presentation and the best of luck to you. And as you pursue greater diversity, equity and inclusion in your company or organization. Thank you.

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