@debbieblox Disrupting the Pink Aisle
Culture, Technology

Toys R’ Us and the Power of Pink—or Purple—“when I feel like it”.

In 2006 I wrote a paper about gender in toys, “Toys R Us—Engendering Children Are Us” for my UW Sociology of Family course.

Now it’s 2014 and we’re demolishing gender stereotypes and disrupting the pink aisle…

Sterling realized she was one of the only female engineering majors at Stanford University.

The Story of GoldieBlox | Cassie Jaye from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

“When Debbie Sterling set out to create GoldieBlox engineering toys for girls, she was hoping to sell much more than a product. She was hoping to inspire a movement that could eventually change the gender ratio in the engineering industry,” reports  from the Dallas Business Journal. Continue reading

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Documentation, Ethics, Technology

Microsoft: On Karma and Protecting the Innocent

“Knowing and having faith that the system … that might be one of the additional super powers, that quite frankly, that women who don’t ask for raises have… because that’s good karma. It will come back.”—Nadella, at the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference

Publishing today in response to Microsoft’s CEO Nadella’s perspective of the super hero powers of women like me who don’t ask for raises.

Bad Karma Coming Out of the Closet

I treated this situation as confidentially as I could, to the extent possible, as asked, for as long as I possibly could. I think I did pretty well, no?

Photo credit @DotBen “SpunkyGidget at Mix ’06

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Documentation, Ethics, Technology

I never asked for a raise, but I did get sexually harassed at Microsoft.

“Knowing and having faith that the system … that might be one of the additional super powers, that quite frankly, that women who don’t ask for raises have… because that’s good karma. It will come back.”—Nadella, at the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference

“I’m absolutely reeling,” said Rachel Sklar, who in 2010 founded Change the Ratio, a group focused on increasing visibility for women in tech. “He put to words the massive fear women have in asking for raises and told them to trust in a system that is proven to be broken.”

Nadella also said he would “not fall for the crutch of the supply-side excuse” of women in tech, and that Microsoft was attempting to improve, despite recently released Microsoft diversity numbers that were similarly dismal to most tech companies. He advised women to be persistent in breaking into the industry.

I wonder what the percentage was when I was at Microsoft?

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Cannabis

PBS “Clearing the Smoke”: The Science of Cannabis

MontanaPBS’s new documentary, Clearing the Smoke, reveals how cannabis acts on the brain and in the body to treat nausea, pain, epilepsy and potentially even cancer. Extensive interviews with patients, doctors, researchers and skeptics detail the promises and the limitations of medicinal cannabis.

Renowned Cannabis Activist Dr. Lester Grinspoon

Renowned Cannabis Activist Dr. Lester Grinspoon featured in Clearing the Smoke: The Science of Cannabis (MontanaPBS)

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Neuroscience, Technology, Writing

Creative Tools Specification

Stephen Jenvey, as per my style I am listening to waves crash to some

[thesaurus: words for beautiful sounds; retrieve:images, music; sort: color, timbre; todo:look for a better word here. i’m trying to capture how magical it is to be able to think freely and design the future because you can see clearly, now the rain is gone.]

does that designer language speak to your interface?

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Health

Clonazepam

We were launching Microsoft Expression, and it was my job to bring together a group of people to be known as Microsoft User Experience Evangelists. I also worked with my friends to connect influencers with the right people inside Microsoft to get all kinds of good gooey goodness flowing in the community. I was so proud to work with Dave Shea, Molly Holzschlag, Eric Meyer, Tantek Çelik, Andy Clarke, Jeremy Keith, and Lynda Weinman (whom I’d met previously, and adored)—and then there’s Joe Clark—people who I had “grown up with” on the Internet: they were my idols, soon they were my friends… And then there were the legendary technology & design focused agencies AvenueA/RazorFish, Adaptive Path, Blue Flavor, IDEO, FrogDesign, Zaaz, Y&R (the rest of my Mad Men era I’d already taken care with Creative Services at the Bank)… I’m sure I’m forgetting people (and companies), it was a whirlwind and my memory has never been all that great,—wow—just talking about that year exhausts me.

San Francisco January 18, 2007

January 18, 2007

San Francisco. Snowing trying to catch a cab outside the Dogpatch Studios. Destination: The Clift Hotel to meet @t and @meyerweb.

I was kind of tired of not being tired, I was a little tired of not sleeping. I just wanted to chill out, I’d felt like I’d been running on adrenaline non-stop for the good portion of a year. I watched Tantek nod off, sitting next to me, while Eric and I caught up. Yes, I was working full time learning a new job as a product manager (I wanted to apply design to a different role, I’d been doing design for 10 years and just finished the user experience strategy for another entire Microsoft product lifecycle… time for a change!) going to school carrying more than a full course load  by cutting out of work early. Maybe doing it all wasn’t all I wanted to do right now. Little did I know I’d soon be the one falling asleep, only for me it was at the Playboy party as SxSW tucked away in a corner of the VIP room, a true disco nap, if I’ve ever had one!

January 25, 2007

Chicago. I don’t really remember anything about being here besides dinner. But I don’t remember eating, not even sure I was there. I just remember that steak house I wanted to go to. I think I showed up after everyone was done. Oh! and there was some fantastic pizza. Who ever’s is the most legendary deep dish Chicago style pizza—we ordered from there. I remember that was yummy!

From 2006 to 2007, there was Mix ’06, Microsoft Expression Sessions, designertopia, ReMix, Web Directions North, SxSW, along with the various ones I can’t quite remember, like dropping in on BarCamp—was it? with Tantek—and meeting Chris Messina, and Jina Bolton for the time—the conversations we all had.

These were the women who really got it done—Miwa and Tiffany, the dyna-duo behind Microsoft Expression.

Miwa & Tiffany, the dyna-duo behind Microsoft Expression

January 30th Corrina & Angela NYC

January 30th

New York. Corrina came to meet me in New York City, or maybe she was there for the Vista / Office launch? I can’t recall. I remember being up all night, coming back to grab my bag and catching a cab straight to the airport in the dark, leaving both her—and my running shoes!—behind in the dark. The hotel was lovely and mailed my shoes home for me, where they would be waiting for me on return. Truth be told, I wasn’t using them anyway.

February 1st

073

London. I was there for my European conference for the Microsoft Expression Launch : designertopia.

Angela & Pete at Web Directions North

February 8th

Vancouver, Canada. Web Directions North.

I remember I was only “home” for a few hours in Seattle for right around the middle of the Super Bowl, but even that was actually spent over at Flores’ Super Bowl party…

DSC_1929

So I gave up my hippy-natural-Momma ideals, and went in to see my doctor (who I came to adore) and she prescribed me Clonazepam for my jet lag/insomnia, and said that it would also calm me down. She warned me that they were highly addictive and were more for “symptom” use, but if it worked then we’d see what she could do long term. I also told her about the blue light therapy device, as all the travel had caught up with me—Zürich, London, Reading, Vancouver, Whistler, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York… did I forget any?—and the light seemed to work; it’d put me back on schedule, no matter what time zone I was in.

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…to be continued.

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