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Interview

Interview: Creating Inclusive Products, with Annie Jean-Baptiste, Google’s Head of Product Inclusion

Today, the issues of diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of people’s minds, especially business leaders. For brands, it is more important than ever that inclusivity is built into your products throughout the entire process, from ideation to marketing and merchandising. Annie Jean-Baptiste, Google’s head of Product Inclusion, has literally just written THE book on why and how to build inclusive products. Peter spoke with Annie to dig into the principles and processes in her book, and how they apply to brand manufacturers, at a time when connecting deeply with each and every targeted consumer is vital to your brand success.

Check out Annie's new book: Building for Everyone

Transcript

Peter:

Today the issues of diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of people's minds, especially business leaders. For brands, it is more important than ever that inclusivity is built into your products throughout the entire process. From ideation to marketing and merchandising. Today, we are joined by Annie Jean-Baptiste, Google's head of product inclusion, who has literally just written the book on why and how to build inclusive products. I spoke with Annie to dig into the principles and processes in her book and how they apply to brand manufacturers at a time when connecting deeply with each and every targeted consumer is vital to your brand success.

Peter:

Annie, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast. Just so appreciative. I want to get up right out front. The name of the book "Building for Everyone: Expand your Market with Design Practices from Google's Product Inclusion Team". Go get it. It's on Amazon. It's everywhere, it's a wonderful read. Thank you so much for coming on to share perspectives for brand manufacturers.

Annie:

I'm happy you're having me.

Peter:

So Annie, maybe we just kind of start with the elevator pitch of it, just to get people in. I mean, if you were early on, as you were developing this whole product inclusion program at Google, if you found yourself in an elevator, was Sundar Pichai, what would be your elevator pitch to him for why this program needs to exist?

Annie:

Yeah, that's a good question. I think, you know, product inclusion is all about bringing an inclusive lens throughout the product design process to build better products for everyone, right? So I think it really leans into Google's mission of organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful. So, you know, whether you're five or 105 years old, you should feel seen, thought of, and uplifted when you use Google's products in the moments that matter for you most. And so no matter where in the world you live, who you love, what color your skin is, or any of the things that make a user who they are, they really are integral to how we think about product design and the output of the product design process. And so I think that it's really about doing well and doing good and making sure that we are always asking who else? And making sure that we're intentional about bringing voices that have historically been at the margins into the center.

Peter:

Yeah. There was a great quote towards the beginning of your book by joker stand. He says, reminded us, if you do not intentionally deliberate and proactively include you unintentionally exclude, merely wanting to do the right thing isn't enough is how he knew he sort of added onto that.

Annie:

Yeah. I mean, I think it's so true, like with anything, right. And so I think the product inclusion is also something that, you know, can be embedded into existing processes, but if you're not intentional about any part of building something, right, like you unintentionally will likely forget about it or deprioritize it. And so I think that this is just like that you want to make sure that when you're building for a target consumer, you're always broadening who that user could and should be. Right. So an example I sometimes use is, you know, if you're, you're building a program for moms or an app for moms, right? Like why wouldn't you expand that? You know, there are dads, there are other parents, their grandparents, their babysitters caregivers. Right. And so, um, a lot of times I think, you know, you can be kind of too narrow in the funnel already, right. As to who your target user is. And it's it just behooves you as a business to kind of expand who your target users could and should be.

Peter:

What's that in your business section case, when you, I mean, you said it just a little bit ago doing well by doing good, that the subtitle of the book is expand your market with design practices. So it really,it serves both ends, right. Wanting to show up better in the world for any of the people that are going to use or consume your products in the case of a manufacturer, um, and help your bottom line at the same time. Totally, totally. Yeah. So it felt like going through your book, it's such a detailed blueprint for any company that's thinking about how do I make sure we form ideation all the way through to every interaction with the consumer, the customer is, is an inclusive experience. But in addition to that blueprint, there's, there's a big emotional component. I mean, it's real, it matters to you. And, and I was wondering, where did that come from? Like, do you have a memory growing up, um, of an experience and engaging with a product where you felt excluded? You know, how did that, how did that build into sort of your path here?

Annie:

Yeah. So I mean, both of my parents are civil servants. They both came from Haiti. And so I think that I've always had, you know, multiple dimensions that make me who I am and always kind of the need to kind of show up and give back. I can definitely remember I've been a dancer my whole life, and I, I remember, um, going to pick up, you know, pointe shoes and ballet shoes and tights, and they're obviously meant to be kind of nude or neutral. And, um, they weren't neutral, neutral to me right there. They're pink or peachy colored. Um, and, and even as a young person, right? Like you can tell the distinction where, what it looks like on someone that it was made for and made with them in mind versus when something's not made with you in mind. And I think that that's, there have been points in my life where it, you know, you definitely have felt excluded and that might've been unintentional, but I think we have to move from the intent to the impact, right? Like what does that feel like a kid picks up something that everyone has to write. It's a record it's a requirement to use and it's not made with them in mind and it feels othering. Right. And that's, that's harmful. So, um, I definitely think that that's where my kind of like passion comes from is, you know, making sure that the communities that I'm a part of, but also communities that I care about that I'm working to become a better ally to across multiple dimensions of diversity, have a voice and have their perspectives matter. Right. At key points in the product design process.

Peter:

Yeah. Fast forward then, you know, you already have this personal experience of, of what this feels like. And then, then you fast forward to Google. And I know there's a lot in between those two things, but I'd love to hear sort of, how did you get involved with this work at Google and how did you end up taking charge of it really? And now there's 2000 people working

Annie:

Yeah. So, you know, this Google we're allowed to do 20% project, so you're allowed to spend 20% of your time doing something that you're passionate about, even if it isn't your core role. And I definitely have taken advantage. I'll say that. It's not a bunch of 20% projects. Um, all of them being in the kind of diversity equity and inclusion realm. So I started with my director, my former director, um, Christian teal, who has always been kind of straddling business, um, and diversity and, and w you know, we created this program called accelerate with Google, which was a 12 week boot camp to get underrepresented, um, SMBs online. Right. So that was kind of the first, um, point touch point where I found, you know, two things that I'm passionate about can kind of come together. I moved to the diversity team and was a diversity business partner. So helping our senior leaders create, um, their holistic diversity equity inclusion strategy as it relates to culture or presentation, et cetera, for their product areas. And while I was doing that and learning more about the different products and the different product areas, I was definitely really excited cause I love testing products. I love just being able to have a part in that, but also realize that the way we were talking about diversity equity inclusion, we could expand it. Right. So we were talking a lot about internal diversity equity inclusion, and we could also talk about, you know, diversity, equity and inclusion, as it relates to the billions of users all over the world, who may not look after things like the product teams that are making them. Right. So how do we make sure we bring those perspectives into the table? So that's really where product inclusion started. A few of us just saw that there was an opportunity to kind of, you know, build this and we had no idea what we were doing, honestly. It you know, picked up, we worked with a few teams in the beginning, like the sensors team that I mentioned in the book, uh, where they realized, you know, they were doing a lot of sensory testing for cameras and the proximity sensor, um, they said, you know, measures this, this far accurately. Right. And they realized, Oh, you know, the people that are testing are all white. Like how would we know that that is inclusive of all different skin tones? And so things like that started to manifest, we started to work with Google assistant before it launched. And so it just started to pick up. And so then we did, um, a lot of work to kind of build resourcing out at key touch points in the process. Um, finally we just started doing research, right. Because after we kind of figured out that this was a thing we wanted to validate, you know, with some rigor baseline. Exactly. Exactly. And I think it's still nascent we're on a journey, right. It's definitely not perfect, but we're really committed to it. And it's really exciting to see kind of people from all different areas of Google really kind of take this and make it their own,

Peter:

The generosity of you being able to share these learnings through a book like this. I just, I think it's tremendous. And, and, uh, so let, let's keep moving on it. Cause there's so many interesting things to talk about in it. You did talk about that research, that sort of capstone research that you put out. Can you talk to me a bit about what were the questions you're looking to answer when you do that?

Annie:

So I think, you know, what we wanted to understand was one, no, do people actually care about this? Right. So we care about it obviously, but the consumers care. If they see inclusive marketing, if they see inclusive product design and they know that that was an intentional focus to who can do this. Right? Like, so, you know, I think I definitely went in with a hypothesis that you really needed to have, um, a fully representative team to kind of get the outcomes that you were expecting right. Across multiple dimensions of diversity, which obviously is very hard. Right. I think a lot of us are working to build more representative teams and organizations, but you want to make sure we want it to see if, you know, you could only do product inclusion when you had a super diverse team. Right. Um, and then the third piece was like, what, what points in the process do you actually have to bring an inclusive lens? Right. So, you know, we have, I think like a 20 point process and we've built out right. Resources around all of those, but that's probably not feasible for every team right. Within Google and outside of Google. And so what are the points where disproportionally, if you do bring that inclusive landscape will lend to a more inclusive outcome. So those were the three kinds of buckets of things we were looking at. Um, I think what was surprising to me one and, and very exciting was that, you know, regardless of team makeup teams can build more inclusively if they're intentional about it. Right. So it doesn't mean that your team has to have, you know, the 12 dimensions of diversity that, you know, I talk about in the book, like you don't need to necessarily have it. Of course you should be working to get to a team that is reflective of the world around you. Right. But in the interim, you can be really intentional about building more inclusively. Um, but you have to think through what points you need to bring other voices in and not just bring them in. Right. That means change the trajectory of how you're building. Right. It's not just about getting perspectives once and just doing what you were going to do anyway. Right. Like it really needs to be a co-creation. And then two, I think, you know, what we found is that both underrepresented and majority consumers care about, um, care about inclusive storytelling and inclusive product design. Right. So I think that there's also this misconception that it's just, you know, let's, I'll use myself as an example, you know, Annie is a black woman, she wants to see black women reflected in product design. She wants to see black women reflected in marketing and storytelling and commercials. That's actually not true. Right. Like the majority of consumers want to see more diversity in what they're picking up. And I think that's really exciting, right. So it's not just for the quote unquote underrepresented, right? It's it's for the majority of your consumers who are expecting to see your products and marketing reflect the world around us,

Peter:

That is encouraging because it does feel, and I want, I'd love to know if you felt this way. I suppose it's not in the research, but to me, I hope that that's a reflective, that's reflecting a desire to be in an inclusive society at large, that there's hopefully at least a majority of people that want that, and that it's as important to them that that happened in their communities as it is that it happens in the commercials that they see in the product pages that they see, et cetera.

Peter:

Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, I think the thing too is like, everyone wants to feel seen and validated. Right. And that's like a core human need, but I also think that, like, it's not just, um, you can't just see yourself as someone that's exactly like you. Right. So I think, you know, for other underrepresented groups, right. When I see someone who is LGBTQ or someone with a disability on the screen, like there's something that I can identify with, right. Because we're humans. And I also understand at least at the high level, right. The different challenges that someone can go through and how, you know, their identity kind of shapes how they move through the world. Right. And so I think that we all can find that empathy and connect and step outside of ourselves. And the more and more that we all kind of push for that. Right. I think that products and services and marketing will continue to become more and more inclusive, which is really exciting. And I think it's appropriate, right. Because the world is diversifying, it's globalizing. And so we really need to step up to that. And any other,

Peter:

Any other highlights from the research that either drove the business case for doing this program at all, or influenced how you structure the program?

Annie:

I mean, I think, you know, the, what we found were the teams that were building most inclusively, they didn't just do it at one point. Right. So it's not like, um, you know, they, they would talk to a few users at the beginning and then they just like, couldn't continue on. Right. The theme that we found was building inclusively didn't. So, um, at at least two of the four main points that we found, right. So those four main points are the ideation, um, user research and design user testing and marketing phases. So the teams that we're building more inclusively found at least two of those points, maybe more right. Um, where they were really intentional. Um, and I think that it was also good for us to crystallize those four points in the process. Right. I think they're general enough that, um, you know, if you're in another industry, you can probably take something from those. Right. But I think most teams, right. Do some sort of research, user research or focus groups or something. Right. So that was a key point. Obviously the earlier you bring something in, the easier it is to do. So I think the ideation point is obviously a good place to start. Right. You know, it's much harder to try to retroactively fix something or, you know, launch something and then find out it doesn't, you know, meet the needs of, you know, a broad swath of consumers. Right. So it's, it's much easier to start at the beginning. Um, user testing is something that, you know, is, is a huge part of Google. Right. We call it dogfooding. Um, and so we're always kind of testing, you know, eating our own dog food as you were. And so, um, that is something that is embedded into Google's culture. And so how do we make sure that we have a multitude of perspectives and something that is so, um, important right. To, to the product design process? Um, so yeah, I think finding out those four points and then finding out the teams were looking more holistically right. Than just like one point in time around product inclusion was, was really awesome to see and kind of validated how we should be focusing the structure.

Peter:

Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. And, and as you know our audience, our brand manufacturers, the people who are making the products in the world that, you know, that people use every day and consume, um, when you, when you think about that mindset, more and more brands are moving towards creating more niche, more niche products to serve this particular population. And, um, how would you, and in a lot of ways that can be a very strong thing because you can, uh, by, by creating something intentionally for a group of people, it, it is, it is intentional from the beginning and it sells really well for that audience often, but I'm wondering how you align that to this idea of making everything inclusive. Cause I would understand for Google largely you want your products to appeal to the broadest mass possible that everyone would feel seen in that product experience. How would you sort of take that and think about it sort of in a brand manufacturer lens?

Annie:

Yeah. It's, it's a good question. So I think that what I would say is like, even if you have a target, a consumer, right. Which is, there's nothing wrong with that, right. I would just be really pointed about saying like, who is included in this and who is excluded. Right. And, and to just name that and to see how you can get those perspectives in. So I think an example that I would use here is, um, there's this watch company, I forget the name now, but there's this watch company that has like these really beautiful watches, you know, they're there, I think clearly kind of, there's a target consumer that they're kind of kind of going after. Um, but what I think is really powerful about that is the watch. Um, you can use it to tell time, um, visually, but also tactically. Right? So you can tell if you are low vision or blind, for example, right. Like you can also tell the time and you can also have this really amazing watch. And so for me, it's like, they were intentional about right. About expanding that user population. It doesn't, it's not bad to start with a target consumer. I think you have to a lot of times, right? Like you need to understand what use cases there are. You know, what, what need you're fulfilling. Right. But then how do you kind of broaden the circle to make sure that you are, you can, you can kind of, you know, grow kind of who can use the product. And then I think the other thing I would say is you can also start to think about intersectionality, right. So if you say, you know, your target consumer, you know, are women age, you know, 45 to 65, let's say, right. Um, you know, have you thought about women of color? Have you thought about LGBTQ women? Have you thought about women with disabilities? Have you thought about women who don't live in the U S if you live in the U S have you thought about women who speak English as a second language? Right. So even within a target market, you can expand it because you have, you can start to think intersectionality, but I think a lot of times, just because we all, you know, have our own kind of experiences and backgrounds, we forget that like, there is more than just one model of a target consumer, right. So I think thinking intersectionality can really help expand that.

Peter:

And that's where I think that, you know, your, um, your thinking around really start as early as possible in the process, uh, comes out and you shared a anecdote from your childhood, sort of your inspiration for that, um, through your experience, uh, in track. Can you talk a little bit about

Annie:

Sure. Yeah. So, uh, I, yeah, I ran track for way too long now I have an aversion to running. Um, yeah. So, you know one of the events I ran was the four by 100 relay. Um, and so for, you know, there are four people on the track. We each get a quarter of the lap, right. To make a full lap. Once the race was done, I was the anchor. So the anchor is the last leg, which is, um, you know, sometimes the glory spot, but also sometimes the high pressure spot. Right. Cause it's all ending with you. And so, um, what I said in the book is, you know, if you have someone who kicks off and starts strong out the gate, right, it builds a lot of confidence for your team members, right. They're motivated. Um, and it's a lot easier to finish strong if you started strong, right. It's a lot harder if, you know, the first person starts out kind of slow, they, you know, mess up the handoff. The second person is kind of struggling and starting to recoup and you have to gain momentum back right. Versus starting really strong out of the gate. I think the product inclusion or product design in general, right. It's just like that. Right. If you start really strong in the ideation phase, um, that cascades throughout the research phase, right. Because they understand how you're being very pointed about bringing those inclusive lenses, then you can be really, um, intentional about saying, okay, you know, we're going to do research outside of the U S in rural areas with XYZ demographics. Right. So that cascades into the testing as when you get to the forthright that anchor spot telling us, uh, inclusive story is a lot easier when everything backs it up. Right. It's much harder to tell a story about, you know, we've built this for everyone in mind, it's inclusive and nothing in the, in the process back set up. Right. And it's also a risk to do that because consumers can tell that. Right. Um, so I think it's, it's really it behooves people to really think about asking who else and thinking about, you know, building with an inclusive lens from the beginning, or as early as possible because it'll just make it a lot easier.

Peter:

Yeah. Then, when I think again about this brand manufacturer audience, they are such that the process and the teams involved in bringing products to market are super complex. articularly so global companies, you had an example of a gap doing this, you know, really having a commitment to this process, uh, at their organization. And I was wondering if you could, maybe through the gap story, talk about, uh, if, if one of our listeners is there and thinking, you know, who would I possibly connect with? How would I sort of pull off seeing if there's Hey, how are we, you know, how would we grade ourselves, but also who are the constituencies I need to bring in to see if this can start to gain energy.

Annie:

Yeah. So gap, they, yeah, I think they've done an incredible job. It's really inspiring to see the kind of what they've done. So Basha is the point of contact that I mentioned and is a friend. I think it's really powerful that she was able to kind of mobilize from her kind of fashion merchandising space right. And mobilized senior leaders. Right. So I think that the first takeaway I would say is it's top down and bottom up. Right.It’'s not something that can live within one team. It has to be kind of throughout an organization. So I think having that support from senior leadership, having her kind of voice a gap pun intended right. And what they were creating.  I think it was really powerful. I think the second thing is going back to, to like the nude writing example, which is like what I talked about before. Right, I think that there are some things where, you know, in, in common culture it's become just normal, right. For us to say nude and mean beige, right. Like, but that's actually not precise and that's not actually what your, all your consumers need. Right. So I think also just really having that talk about things that can feel uncomfortable is, is also the first step. Right.You're not going to fix something you can't talk about. Right. And it also gets easier. The more you talk about it. So I think when they started to think through true Hughes and started to think through saying, we're going to, you know, make a line that does reflect all different shades of skin tones. Right. they were, they then said, okay, well, who's going to help us tell this story. Right. So they had to obviously have marketing and advertising around it. So I think what, what gap did really well was it was a cross functional effort which is, which is really powerful to see. Yeah, I was, I was definitely really inspired by that.

Peter:

It seemed that a lot of, uh, you know, back to the, sort of your examples of Google, you, it seems like in the beginning you started small, like you work with a team and you sort of started to work this out. It took, you know, it took a while to get to the sort of depth and sophistication of the process that you have today.

Annie:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it started as a side project. Right. It's continued to build momentum. We have a small core team and have had one for years, again, formally under my old director that I've been working with for a while. And so I think it's really it's not something that has to be this big, audacious, scary thing. Right. I think it's really about saying, okay, you know, here's our process and here are points in the process where we could bring in more perspectives. Right. It doesn't mean you have to do, you know, all of this research all over the world, right? Like maybe you start with an online survey and you make sure that you're getting different perspectives. Right. Maybe it's starting with an ideation phase. You're bringing people from marketing, from, you know, human resources from engineering. Right. Like you're bringing in a cross functional group because even with that, right. Like you're going to get different perspectives. When you're, when you're doing storytelling, you know, our marketing, how are you making sure it's real stories with real people, right. How are you making sure that multiple perspectives are reflected or even looking backwards and saying in our marketing, who has been represented in who hasn't. Right. So they're, they're easy. I think things you can start to do or questions you can start to ask. And I think once you start asking questions, it, you know, it, it just kind of snowballs, right. It's like once you see you can't unsee. Right. So I think it's really important just to say, what are one to three things we could do differently that are going to help us make sure that more people feel like they were they were thought of,

Peter:

Yeah. I think of the somewhat of an equivalency of how ratings and reviews have affected product companies once essentially once Amazon made it possible for anyone to go on and say, this is how I feel about your product. The smart people started looking at those and realizing that it could impact the vocabulary that they use to describe their products, all of the, sort of the merchandising all the way back to, how do we make this product better? And I feel like applying that same lesson of wow, that really made a difference and they've seen the results there. Shouldn't be that hard to leap to think if I think include diversity and inclusion inputs into that process, it should have a similar,

Annie:

Yeah. I think that, that makes no sense. And it's super smart to where, right? Like that's a form of user research in itself, right. Like listening to what customers are saying and reviews and parsing through kind of what's working, what's not working. Right. And, and I think that, that, that's all about being humble. Right. And knowing that we, none of us have all the answers and like, you have to be close to the person that you're trying to serve. Right. So you have to, you know, as, as Brian Stevenson says, get proximate right. To these users understand what, what are pain points? What are challenges? What are opportunities, what are they excited about? Right. And, and build around that. Just make sure that that's a kind of a diverse group of, of customers that you're talking to

Peter:

Investing in internal education is so important. One of the most fun things in the book is you're learning on the loo example where Google would put up, you know, essentially sort of, I don't know, I don't know what you call them, whether you call them cartoons or infographics or something, but essentially it would remind people, you know, while they're sitting there, put away your phones and instead read this door. And I just think that kind of like trying to, as we would with any sort of, uh, initiative to sort of bring people in the organization into something, it just makes sense to have it start showing up everywhere across the company.

Annie:

Absolutely. Right. And it's, it's again, you want it to be cross-functionally. I think everyone can have their own stake in this and own a piece of it. Right. So I think learning on the loose is really fun, I think that, you know, I've learned a ton of different things on the learning on the loo. Right. And it's, it's digestible, right. It's saying here are three things you can think about, or this is what, the definition of what product inclusion is, right? Like to your point about education, you have to spend time to help people have a shared framework and a shared language around what you're talking about. Right. When you're introducing something new, even though it does lean into a mission that, you know, a company has had. So yeah. I think any way you can do learning on the loser, even, you know, we do a lot of lightning talks at Google. So like a 10 to 15 minute talk that introduces a topic and kind of gives people an opportunity to learn more. I think that that's really helpful because it's, it's digestible and it doesn't feel overwhelming.

Peter:

I imagine every time you do that, it brings people out of the woodwork to join in the, in the battle that you would never have found otherwise.

Annie:

Totally. And I, that's what I love about this work. Right. It's with engineers, product managers, marketers, you know, everyone can have a stake in it. And I think that you also walk that, right. Like I remember with the checklist, that's in the book, I had created one for product managers. I was like, this is so good. Like these product managers are gonna love this, you know? And I had a product manager come to me and he was like, this, no, this is not applicable, like no one is going to use this. Right. And that was really helpful. Right. Because then I could say, you know, interesting. Tell me more about why that is. And also like, would you be interested in helping me create, and then it's like, you've now volunteered to help us create a for PM's and it's been super fruitful, right. To have him and his perspective and his feedback. And again, co-creating right. It's like product inclusion within product inclusion. I can't expect that I know everything and how to frame things for a product manager and engineer. I'm not a product manager and I'm not an engineer. Right. So how do I make sure that I understand enough, I speak the language enough and listen enough to make something that is actually fruitful and helpful for them to then take it and make it their own.

Peter:

Yeah. Uh, many of our listeners come to this with a marketing mindset, a Mark under merchandisers mindset. I loved the story of Maria Clara at Google who ended up searching and searching brand marketing and how this kind of transformed the way she felt about it. And how did that, I felt like you developed some, some top guidelines for inclusive marketing. Can you just, uh, just run through that in a, you know, in a quick way, just to give people something to think about.

Annie:

Yeah. So Maria Clara, she's, she's incredible. And she does you know, marketing in Brazil. And I think a lot of times, you know, we, people can assume that what works in one place is going to work in another place. Right. And so what she did was she went directly to the users. Right. And understood, you know, where do you feel included? Where do you not, where do you feel and see yourself reflected and where do you not right. And built her programming around that. And I think that one not assuming that like what works in the U S for example, is going to work in Brazil. Right. To understand who the people are that need to be included. Right. So she talks specifically about black women and you know, black people are the majority in Brazil, but that's not necessarily always right. And in marketing. And so understanding that, understanding that nuance and understanding what people are, are wanting to see right. Is really important. And I think it was really powerful for me to learn about her work and, to understand that, you know, there's, you can't copy and paste right. Things everywhere in the world and expect them to work. Right. Like there are different nuances, there's different contexts, right. So product inclusion is going to look different depending on where you are. Right. And so that's why there are 12 dimensions of diversity. Right. They, a few might over-index depending on the context and nuance, right? Like I use the example of, you know, me being a black woman, who's left handed, right. I'm not black on Monday, left hand on Tuesday, a woman on Wednesday. Right. I'm always all of those things. And so if I'm using scissors, obviously being black and a woman, hopefully not coming into play definitely is. Right. If I'm using some sort of technology being black and a woman definitely could intersect and affect, right. How, what my experiences. And so I think, you know, really leaning into that kind of empathy and stepping outside of yourself and really going to the user is something that she did really well. And I think that that was really powerful.

Peter:

Yeah. And so for the readers of the book, when you pick up the book, if you want to go right to the top guidelines for inclusive marketing, they're on page one, at least in my copy. I didn't have any final books. I hope it is right. Pages one 66 and one 67. So Annie, to close, you know, this is not a journey you can go on by yourself. Uh, you can start it by yourself, but you know, the most extraordinary feeling that I got reading your book was just the amazing human beings. Like you were talking about this product manager that popped up along the way, the human beings and everything that they bring with them that joined in, you know, if somebody listening to this is really excited about seeing how I can spark something? How do they recruit? Like, how do you, how do you do that?

Annie:

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I'm, I'm so inspired by the thousands of Googlers that are helping power or this work across the organization. Right. So I think the first thing I would say is, start small, right? Like you don't have to try to get everyone on board. Right. Start small, start with a few friendlies that even though it's not all figured out, they're excited to help you figure it out. Right. So that, that definitely happened when we first started doing this work where, you know, we had an engineer, Peter Sherman, who was like, I want to help. Right. I have this challenge and I would love to figure out how we make that better. And hopefully we can use that moving forward. Right. So I think you'll see a snowball effect. Right. But think of one part of your organization where you think that you could make a difference, right. Start with a few people there and prove that out. Right. Like once you have one example of it was positively affecting that team, right. Other teams will hear about it or you can bring it to them. And they're like, Oh yeah. Like I'd love to, you know what I mean? Like, let's take half an hour and think through this. So I think you can always start small. I also think that you should think through, you know, not everyone has to do this stuff full time and I get that, you know, a lot of people are resource constraints right now. So, you know, thinking through, you know, are there singular projects or side projects that people can do, right. Maybe someone is  doing marketing as a 20%, right. Or a part time project. Right.If someone is doing research, maybe they pick a few dimensions of diversity that they're really going to kind of make sure that they name and lean into moving forward. Right. So I think it's really just about starting small, finding a few people who are excited and encouraged, even if you don't have it, I'll figure it out. Just to work,

Peter:

That's great advice. And, and I know you couldn't plan this, but your book has come out. But at a time when I think more and more people are looking around trying to figure out what's my role in making this world a more diverse and inclusive place, how can I contribute? And for people that are in the product making business and the products selling business, I feel like this book is an inspiration for people that are taking on this, uh, this role, this, this responsibility to find out how we participate in this improvement of our society. So I'm glad for the timing. I'm just grateful for the book and for your spirit and just a reminder building for everyone, expand your market with design practices, from Google's project inclusion team, it's available, everywhere books are sold. Isn't that right? And it, thank you so much for joining us. I'm truly grateful.

Annie:

Thank you so much for having me, Peter. I really appreciate it.

Peter:

That's it. For today, we will continue to make the vision of how to be an evermore inclusive brand, a consistent part of the DSI's content mission moving forward, start by reading Annie's book. We will include a link to it in the show notes. If you have any thoughts on this topic, I would love to hear from you peter@digitalshelfinstitute.org. Thanks for being part of our community.