My big thing is inclusive teams and inclusive design, that's really crucial when I'm deciding where I want to work and what type of work I want to do. That guides me.

It's the reason that I joined FutureGov because I talk about diversity and inclusion and equality a lot. I'm often quite blunt about it in ways that some organisations can't stomach.

I knew I could have those kinds of conversations and be able to contribute to moving some of that forward here. So for me, I'm disabled, I'm also gay, I'm neurodiverse and I've been a woman in tech for a long time. I've worked in a lot of heavily male-oriented teams and I was a developer back in the days when women developers were less common.

For a woman working in tech, your experience is often not ideal. The place that I worked at before FutureGov, I would go into meetings with my delivery manager who was male. I would talk about the technical side of what we were doing and they'd refer back to the delivery manager who wasn't there in a technical capacity. That sort of stuff still happens on a regular basis.

I want to create better career experiences for everyone, but particularly for people who are part of minoritised groups. That’s my guiding principle, how can I build that environment that I didn't have early in my career? In some ways we're pushing on an open door, and not in others. There's been a massive emphasis on getting more women in tech but there are still not enough.

Pursuing change can be tiring. As a manager, I make a choice to actively educate myself as much as I can. While I do fall into multiple groups that are protected classes, there are also lots of experiences that I can't know.

So I educate myself as much as possible and because of that I often see things, particularly as a manager, that other people don't necessarily see. And have conversations that other people don't necessarily have.

It’s amazing that people trust you to have those conversations. Sometimes, it also means you get far deeper than a line manager without this kind of background and context would.

Speaking out can be tiring, but it's a lot less tiring for me to speak out about transgender rights for example than it is for someone who is transgender and living that experience every day. I can choose my opt-in and out of that conversation. And they can't.

Lily Dart is a Design Director and joined FutureGov in February 2020.

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