Gender inclusivity in software companies is receiving a lot of attention these days, but it overlooks a potentially critical factor: the software itself. Research shows that different people often work differently with software, and that some of these differences statistically cluster by gender. GenderMag, a tool for finding and fixing gender biases in software, has been shown to have great potential in leveling the playing field across genders.
Professor Burnett presents some results of using GenderMag on real products, and some emerging practices for taking the method into real-world usage before being joined by Adobe’s head of inclusive design, Matt May, for a fireside chat.
GenderMag is freely available at http://gendermag.org
Major thanks to our sponsor and friends at Adobe Design
Adobe Design is a dynamic, cohesive, global team of designers, researchers, prototypers, content strategists, program managers, and more who work across Adobe’s three product lines: Creative Cloud, Document Cloud, and Experience Cloud. We design the tools and services that our customers use to create and communicate. Visit www.adobe.design to learn more about our team and what we’re passionate about.
Margaret Burnett is an OSU Distinguished Professor at Oregon State University. She began her career in industry, where she was the first woman software developer ever hired at Procter & Gamble Ivorydale. A few degrees and start-ups later, she joined academia, with a research focus on people who are engaged in some form of software development. She was the principal architect of the Forms/3
visual programming languages, and co-founded the area of end-user software engineering, which aims to improve software for computer users that are not trained in programming. She pioneered the use of information foraging theory in the domain of software debugging, and leads the team that created GenderMag
, a software inspection process that uncovers gender inclusiveness issues in software from spreadsheets to programming environments. Burnett is an ACM Fellow
, a member of the ACM CHI Academy
, and an award-winning mentor
. She currently serves on three editorial boards, and has served in over 50 conference organization and program committee roles. She is also on the Academic Alliance Advisory Board of the National Center for Women In Technology (NCWIT)
Matt May has been the Head of Inclusive Design since 2017 at Adobe. Prior to that he was the Senior Program Manager for Accessibility, a web developer for Amazon and the co-founder and director of Technology for Blue Flavor.