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Research & CV

It's been a decade since I have been drawn into the study of technology and society. Interests that grew out of a master's course in Science and Technology Studies (STS) in 2014, further developed in a course in Feminist Science Studies (FSS) and my discovery of Feminist Technology Studies (FTS) during my MPhil. These ideas drove my 2017 dissertation titled 'Cyberhate on Twitter: Perspectives from Feminist Digital Sociologies'. This research project on gendered hate on Twitter, examined the nature of online harassment in the form threats of death and rape, among others. Certain questions that emerged during the process felt especially significant at the time. These questions concerned the role of design (of the Twitter platform) in the inequalities experienced in the use of technology (disproportionate levels and nature of hate experienced by women and other minorities). I asked whether Twitter would have been a safer space if more women and marginalised groups had a hand in its design. Twitter, with its lack of safeguards, was not an outlier. Self driving cars were more likely to drive into black people and voice assistants, like Siri and Alexa were, by default, disproportionally voiced by female voices.


I wasn't alone in my observations (surprise!). Increasingly popular Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) discourse was also saying something similar - that diverse teams create better and more inclusive products. This line of thinking however, glosses over several process that exist between the hiring of diverse teams and the finished tech product. One of them is how diverse hiring 'transforms' into inclusion and how this possibly influences the process of 'doing' tech design.


In 2022, as a recipient of one in ten National Gender Fellowships on Gender and the Digital Economy awarded by  IT for Change and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung with support from the European Commission, I was fortunate to be able to begin this research.  The grant funded my research titled 'Diversity and Inclusion in the Technology Industry: Gendered experiences of women designers in India' over a 6 month period. During this time I interviewed women tech designers to understand their experience of inclusion in the design process of the tech companies they worked for. The findings from this research were published as a paper in 2022. 


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