I recently came across Diversify Your Feed. It reminded me of a tool I forgot, called “Proporti.onl.” Both tools estimate the gender distribution of people you follow on twitter. I was interested to see how my twitter feed did.
What a surprise and disappointment!
There are many reasons to support diversity. A 2018 study from BCG found that diverse management generates up to 38% more innovation revenue. The analysis went further to find four key diversity factors that influence this too:
- Industry background;
- Country of Origin;
- Career Path; and
Inclusion matters as much as diversity. After all, there’s no point in finding diverse sets of people if your environment excludes them from contributing. I also realise there are many other types of diversity other than gender. I can imagine writing a tool to categorise other types of diversity may be much harder.
I wasn’t expecting a 50-50 ratio for men/women for my twitter. I was surprised that my twitter account scored really really low! Here are five steps I took to diversify my own feed. I hope they serve you well too.
1. Collect data on your feed today
Run “Diversify Your Feed” and “Proporti.onl” to see how far off your feed is. You influence less the followers you have, but you can control who you follow.
2. Find inspiration from tech conferences with a diverse set of speakers
Many modern tech conferences recognise that diversity and inclusion are important. Many support blind CFPs, or specifically ask if people identify with a minority group. Others reach out to proactively build a diverse speaking group. Many try to support and inclusive environment with tools like a Code of Conduct.
Find conferences who list speakers from previous years. Focus on connecting with different speakers from more diverse backgrounds. My favourite diverse and inclusive conferences include the GoTo series (Amsterdam, Berlin,Copenhagen, Chicago), LeadDev (Austin, London, New York), Craft Conference, and the Pipeline Conference.
3. Look at curated lists
Some websites have done the hard work of searching for people and give you a good springboard to start following new people. Try:
- Meet The 50 Most Influential Women In US Tech, 2018;
- 18 Inspiring Women to Watch in 2018; and
- Forbes Europe’s Top 50 Women In Tech List 2018
I searched for terms like “inspirational women twitter”, “women in tech 2018,” and “great women leaders list.” I’m sure you’ll find others too.
4. Look at their “Followers”
People are often connected to people like themselves. Twitter makes it very easy to look at people’s followers. Look through a person’s followers list for inspiration. Using this approach helped me find connections I would never have before found.
5. Take action and follow them
I used to have specific rules when following people. For example, I had a rule that I would follow someone I either worked with before, or least met them in real life. Don’t let rules like these hold you back from being exposed to more diverse ideas and opinions.
You can unfollow people if your feed becomes too noisy or less relevant.
Give people a chance. Follow a broader selection of people today.
You may wonder what applying these rules did for me. The result? See below:
What’s your tip to diversify your feed?
With a little bit of data and a few concrete tips, I am exposed to more diverse thoughts and people. I hope these tips help you as well.
Leave a comment if you have additional resources or tips!
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