Monthly digest from Harvard Women in Technology + Allies ABCD
Sent on May 13, 2020
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May 2020 Digest

Dear HarvardWIT+ community,
We hope all of you have been keeping well.
It was great to see over 150 of you at our virtual April event with Jessica Halem, the LGBTQ Outreach and Engagement Director at Harvard Medical School. Jessica led us in a great discussion on “Pronouns and Beyond: Understanding Gender Identity", where she explored the latest research for understanding terminology and concepts associated with gender identity and gave us some immediate ways we can all ensure the positive inclusion of gender diversity throughout our schools and workplaces.
We look forward to connecting with you in May for a virtual fireside chat with HarvardWIT+ and Harvard University's CIO Anne Margulies. In our conversation with Anne, she will talk to us about the move to remote work, challenges and successes during this time, and work/life balance. We will also have breakout sessions that will offer you a chance to connect with your colleagues, discuss the impact this pandemic has on marginalized genders, and explore how we can best support each other during this time.
HarvardWIT+ usually takes a break for the summer in terms of programming, but given the impact of COVID-19 on all of our lives, we are starting a new virtual series for the summer called "Summer AMAs," where we invite experts from across the university to give a short presentation and take questions on issues that are important to our members during this difficult time. Please hold the following dates, and we will follow up with more information:
  • June 15, 3:30-4:30: Increasing your Cash Flow with Migdalia Gomez, HUECU
  • July 20, 3:30-4:30: Labor Rights during the Pandemic with Danielle Boudrow, HUCTW
  • August 17, 3:30-4:30: Work/Life Balance with Karen Kelly, Office of Work/Life, HR
As always, feel free to reach out with any other ideas! We look forward to seeing you all virtually soon.
Your HavardWIT+ Co-Chairs,
Anisha Asundi, Deirdre Schreiber, and Donna Tremonte

HarvardWIT+ Speaker Series

Leadership during COVID-19: A discussion with Anne Margulies



Anne Margulies, Vice President and University Chief Information Officer


Wednesday, May 27, 3:30-5:30pm


Despite this unprecedented and difficult time, we have seen the Harvard community come together to support each other as we move to remote work. Harvard University IT staff have led the efforts in moving us to remote work quickly and efficiently during a time of stress and uncertainty. Anne Margulies, Vice President and University Chief Information Officer (CIO), will talk to us about the move to remote work, challenges and successes during this time, and work/life balance. The purpose of this conversation is to bring awareness to the impact this pandemic has on marginalized genders and how HarvardWIT+ can best support each other during this time.
 ALLY ACTIONS | May 2020 

How to host inclusive virtual meetings and events

Though we have moved to remote work, best practices to ensure we are running inclusive virtual events and meetings still apply.

1. Secure your online events and meetings
Reports of zoom-bombing during events and meetings can be a form of hate speech and harassment as it ends up targeting marginalized genders and people of color at higher rates. Secure your Zoom events to avoid this.
2. Use closed captioning
Ensure full accessibility for people who are hard of hearing by providing closed captioning on your online events and meetings. Check out Harvard's accessibility resources.
3. Make sure everyone in your meeting has the opportunity to speak
Recent findings have shown that women are still struggling to be heard in online meetings. If you are running a meeting, send the objectives and agenda ahead of time, and ask each of the participants a specific question to ensure everyone has the opportunity to contribute.
4. Create and adhere to community agreements and meeting norms
HarvardWIT+ has created a list of community agreements that we ask our community to adhere to during our monthly events. We now use these community agreements at our online events as we want to ensure microaggressions or any other harmful behavior is addressed. Look into using the "RAVEN" approach when addressing microaggressions online:

  1. Redirect the interaction
  2. Ask probing questions
  3. Values Clarification
  4. Emphasize your own thoughts and feelings
  5. Next steps

5. Make your informal workplace "happy hours" more inclusive
Informality in the workplace could increase with online meetings, due to easier access to chat boxes and private messaging that may exclude the larger group. If you plan on doing virtual happy hours, think about whether they are at a time where all can attend. Does noon or 5PM work for working parents? Are you including your employees who may not drink? Are you aware of religious occurrences that may be going on during your happy hours or events (e.g. Ramadan)?

By Anisha Asundi, Research Fellow: Gender Specialist, Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School and co-chair, HarvardWIT+


While many of the schools and departments across Harvard continue to have a pause on most non-essential hiring, we do have several hot IT jobs to share this month. Find the hiring recruiter in our May 2020 Jobs guide

Professional Development

There are plenty of professional learning and development opportunities online. In addition to HarvardWIT+ Training Portal Group, try LinkedIn LearningHarvard Manage Mentor, and IT ProTV.



Communicating with Empathy (LinkedIn Learning)

Description: When you seek to understand the perspective of another person, you are practicing empathy. When empathetic communication is encouraged at work, individuals feel more comfortable speaking openly, they feel like they matter, and they feel safe. That's why empathy at work is crucial to company-wide success. In this course, communication expert Sharon Steed explains the principles of empathetic communication and shares specific strategies to help improve your approach to difficult conversations.



Managing Virtual Teams (LinkedIn Learning)

Description: Working remotely has been on the rise for many years, and since March it has been almost everyone’s reality. While many trends feed into this way of organizing work, managing the work effectively will be key to the success of organizations globally. In this course, instructor Phil Gold provides managers with a clear approach for getting the most out of their remote teams.

Volunteer Opportunities

This month, we are listing Harvard-related volunteer opportunities to help in the fight against COVID-19.

Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership COVID-19 Volunteer Opportunities 
If you'd like to get involved in Boston-based and/or relief efforts in the U.S. and around the world—some spearheaded by national advocacy groups, and others by HKS faculty and students—CPL’s resource page is a good place to start. 

Food for Free
During this new crisis, Food for Free has been instrumental in getting food into the hands of the area’s most vulnerable residents, and they are looking for local volunteers to help keep the operations going

LivelyHood was created by a group of students from Harvard, designers and engineers across the country who are driven to help at-risk communities in this time of uncertainty. Their mission is to mobilize help for vulnerable, at-risk members of our local community. 

May Events

A round up of virtual events about diversity, gender, and technology at Harvard and in the Boston community. 


May 13 - Africa & COVID-19 Webinar Series: Shared Experieces with COVID-19 in African and African American Communities
May 14 - Seeing Citizens: Picturing American Women’s Fight for the Vote
May 14 - Infections and Inequalities: A Conversation with Paul Farmer
May 18 - Consciousness: Engaging Black and Latinx Youth in Analyzing, Navigating, and Challenging Racial Injustice (GSE)
May 19 - SEAS DIB Event "Is Graduate School Right for Me?"
May 19 - Is Graduate School Right for Me?



May 14 - Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women of Color in Tech: Day 1
May 14 - TLA Black Women in Tech - Raising your personal profile on LinkedIn
May 15 - Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women of Color in Tech: Day 2
May 16 - 6th Annual Women in UX Conference: Facing Forward in UX
May 19 - She+ Geeks Out: May Geek Out sponsored by edX
May 19 - Data Science: Tools of the Trade
May 21 - Latino ERG Digital Summit
May 27 - SGO DEI Virtual Meetup: Practicing Allyship (She+ Geeks Out)
May 27 - EMPOWERED: Virtual Women's Leadership Conference
June 8 - Women Impact Tech Virtual Conference
June 23 - WITI’s 2020 Virtual Summit (Women in Technology International)


View the full HarvardWIT+ Events Calendar
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Share with us

Do you have a job announcement, upcoming virtual event, social gathering, or training, or volunteer opportunity you'd like to share with HarvardWIT+? 

Email harvardwit@abcd.harvard.eduby the last Friday of the month for the next month's edition. 


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ABOUT HarvardWIT+ 

The Harvard Women in Technology + Allies Group, a sub-group of ABCD, meets informally as a chance to encourage, collaborate, and discuss our experiences as people from marginalized genders in technology at Harvard. All gender identities welcome. 

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