This quote from Brene Brown is inspired by Theodore Roosevelt and an excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic”.  This speech is a powerful reminder when deciding whose voice matters to your work.

This quote holds true for the Thrive study conducted in partnership with RedChairPGH.  This group is in the arena!  They seem best suited to identify what is working and how we can better meet the needs of a more inclusive environment for women in technology.


RedchairPGH is a network of women and men who are committed to creating gender balance in the Pittsburgh technology professions.  They believe diverse teams increase innovation, opportunity and organizational results.

These are the active participants in the creation of a more equitable workplace in Pittsburgh. The feedback this group offers is important as they are not a passive group, waiting for someone to fix things, they are in it and ‘being’ the change.

A first step in design thinking is to empathize with your audience.  Rather than assume big-data studies hold the key to change for all, Thrive enabled an in-depth conversation to validate thinking and better understand a very specific population in Pittsburgh.

Those who participated, were also privy to all the raw data through the Thrive personal portal.

Here we will share the ‘official’ results from the Thrive Research team as well as a few key takeaways that we will elaborate on further in the coming weeks.


What Stood Out To Us

~  The group feels more included when they have higher positivity and higher self-efficacy (confidence).  There are studies that women need to build confidence, and while the data indicates it does make a difference in feelings of inclusion, we also find that confidence appears to be situational. It shifts and the environment plays a role in those feelings.  We will dig  more deeply into confidence in the coming weeks.

~  This group had higher levels of confidence when they had 3-5 people in their ‘support’ network.  There is a need for connection.  This group still shows a gap in mentoring.  We will explore this magic number of 3-5 people in your support network as well.

~  We wanted to validate this assumption in Pittsburgh with regard to the “Culture of Computer Science is Openly Hostile to Women”.   While we have some stark comments that shows there is work to do, the data clearly indicates there is positive momentum and optimism within this group.   We want to explore a more concerted effort around fair work place protocols and a shift from identity diversity to cognitive diversity.  There may be an opportunity to elevate the understanding, moving us beyond the him vs. her focused conversations.


What’s Next

Our intention is to provide more detail around ways to make progress not only in the area of technology, but in creating a more Inclusive Pittsburgh. We look forward to sharing and making progress together using data collected directly from the people involved.

If you would like to host a Thrive Digital Conversation around a sensitive topic, with a dispersed audience, or to quickly gain fresh data from those you are serving, contact me at


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