How many times have you felt underrepresented and ignored as a consumer?
Even though diversity and inclusion are two of the buzz words of the decade, we’re still hearing more talk and less action.
Looking at the majority of the advertisements we see, the content we consume, and the products we buy, it’s pretty obvious that we’re still way behind with incorporating inclusivity when considering how the world looks today.
In many industries, especially the tech industry, we’re still experiencing a lack of diversity and inclusion in products and services – and it’s probably because these same industries are still at the majority, very male-dominated and white.
For this reason and more is why it’s so important that we have people that look like us heading up these major corporations and of course, building our own. It’s critical that we are building innovative products and having a seat at the table where critical product development and marketing decisions are being made.
Thankfully, we’ve have game-changing leaders like Annie Jean-Baptiste who unapologetically works every day at one of the leading tech companies in the world to change that narrative.
Currently, Annie is the Head of Product Inclusion, Research, and Activation at Google, but to my surprise, she never dreamt of working there (who doesn’t want to be a Googler?). However, after the encouragement of her brother, she joined their team and is now working to make sure we all see ourselves in products.
Now, eight years later, working in a traditionally homogenous, male-dominated industry, Jean-Baptiste is fighting to ensure Google’s products and workforce accurately reflect its diverse user base.
“My role is to make sure our products are inclusive for everyone and to make sure that everyone can see themselves in products such as Google Home and Pixel,” Annie told ESSENCE. “As we know, there aren’t many women of color in tech. To be able to bring those different perspectives to our products is something I’m extremely passionate about. What success means to me is that we’re building for everyone across the globe.”
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania and studying International Relations & Political Science, she soon began her career at Google working on the diversity talent management and career development teams. In this role, she was responsible for helping the tech giant hire and develop diverse talent.
Recently, we got a chance to speak with Annie for Her Agenda and learned more about her journey at Google in building inclusive products, and we also snagged some tips for founders on how you can incorporate inclusive measures in your own business operations.
feature photo credit: https://thehaitianroundtable.org/honorees/annie-jean-baptiste/