Weekly Reflection 5: Exploring the topic
This week, I do more secondary research and start to reach out to interviewees. I am fascinated by the secondary research I found, but it doesn’t help me to narrow down my topic. Diversity and inclusivity happen in all areas of workplaces, there are so many businesses trying to achieve their goals, but still fail to do so for many reasons (or maybe they aren’t failures, but just not changing fast enough). Hopefully, I can get some guidance through my primary research.
Since this project is about D&I, I want to force myself to reach out to people I don’t know. At that moment, I immediately understood why D&I is hard. Stepping out of comfort zones to reach out to diverse people is challenging because the world nowadays is still not making people feel inclusive enough. Even though I already have experience on finding people to interview online, I still feel intimidating that I need to message people I don’t know through Linkedin to ask if I can interview them because I have an assumption that people who are well known in the industry are busy and won’t reply to design students like me. Even though this assumption might be false, it takes practice to overcome it, just like D&I.
Also, a fight with my girlfriend this week makes me reflect on the topic. We were quarreling about whether marijuana should be legal in Taiwan and the result was that we failed to reach common ground. The disagreement might not be a big deal to us because we already know each other. However, will that matters if it happens between colleagues, who haven’t had the chance to know each other? If a person that you don’t know well is expressing an opinion that you make you feel upset, what should you do? What kind of expression is just a matter of opinion and standpoint, and what kind of expression is discrimination? In my culture, we tend to value harmony over personal freedom. But, sometimes, harmony creates an illusion of inclusivity. How can we define and achieve inclusivity? I guess the tricky part of the issue nowadays is that people avoid talking about sensitive topics because they don’t want to offend people. However, bias and discrimination are still there, creating a fake harmony environment with no inclusivity. Just like the obstacles that D&I now face: while policies and metics might successfully bring diverse people into the workplace, inclusivity doesn’t follow. While diversity can be achieved through regulations, inclusivity can only achieve if people want to reach our ideal selves, even though that means against our human nature.