Building and Cultivating Diverse Design Teams

TUESDAY, NOV. 5 | 10.50 AM

Studies show that diverse teams innovate better, make decisions quicker, and build better, more valuable products. Dropbox Design had already made huge strides in gender balance. In the course of three years the Design team grew to more than 50% women on the team, including in senior leadership. While that’s notable, we still have room to grow when it comes to underrepresented minorities.

Most of the “diversity challenges” you’ll hear about these days relate somehow to what people have dubbed the “pipeline problem.” In short, the “pipeline problem” is the idea that there aren’t enough people in underrepresented groups with the requisite skills to fill available roles in engineering, product & design at technology companies. The numbers do not support this “pipeline” hypothesis. The real issue is more likely that the pipeline is leaky.

Enter the most critical component of creating diverse teams: Ensuring that people who land on your team feel like they belong there. Every day. Not just in employee resource groups or certain one-off events, but as part of their day-to-day work experience. Consistently reinforcing the importance of diversity, and making space for people to express their unique experiences is critical to the health of any team.

This discussion will provide an overview of ongoing DEI efforts at Dropbox, what’s worked and what hasn’t. We’ll aim to equip design leaders with specific strategies and practical advice for addressing long-term cultural changes as well as providing a number of small things that you and your teams can do right now. Like, literally before you leave this room 🙂

About the Speaker

For more than 20 years, Jenna’s built a career as a product-focused designer, entrepreneur, team-builder, and design leader in consumer and enterprise software . Through her work on YouTube and Gmail, she designed some of the world’s most familiar products, and brought passion projects to life through her own VC-funded startup, Avocado. At Dropbox, she leads a team focused on getting the most out of Dropbox, both at home and at work.

Jenna Bilotta

Director of Design, Dropbox

Design Leadership Summit 2019 Speakers


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