Towards an Ethics of Care: Understanding and Acknowledging Care Work in Technology Companies

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Accepted Session
Short Form
Beginner
Scheduled: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 from 3:45 – 4:30pm in B201

Excerpt

This talk explores dimensions of care work and best practices for acknowledging and understanding care work in technology teams, and makes the business case for considering all involved with building and maintaining technologies in strategy and planning. I explore ways in which to track the hidden costs of care work, and build a discourse of sustainability and inclusion around care work in technology companies.

Description

This talk explores dimensions of care work and best practices for acknowledging and understanding care work in technology teams. As managers often say, “our biggest expense is people”. Yet, the time spent by workers providing care and affective labor, both inside and outside of the workplace, is often left unexamined and unaccounted for.

I advocate for a proactive approach to understanding the impact of care work and its value. Business as usual frames care work in reactionary terms, focused on individuals and particular circumstances. But what if care work could be framed in terms of larger impact, like accessibility or environmental standards? What would our metrics look like if we gave care work equal priority as other performance areas?

In this talk, I will share a set of cases for evaluating and assessing care-related dimensions of technology, and share actionable recommendations for inclusion and recognition of care work in technology companies.

Speaking experience

2015 OS Bridge Speaker, this talk is based on an ongoing writing project on care ethics and technology

Speaker

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