Thanks for reading and taking the time to respond, Enrico. The disparity in our ability to empathize carries across gender and races. It is not an issue tied solely to white guys. However, we live and operate in a system where it is rarely assumed that a team of women could design for a man or a team of black people could design for another race, but it is frequently assumed that men can design for women and white people can design for other races. This is the entire basis of the asymmetrical power distribution in the system. Most teams have white male representation, and most teams have white male leadership. This is asymmetry of positional power, and in terms of ability to influence outcomes, asymmetry of personal power as well. This is the problem that more diverse teams, where voices carry equal weight, begins to solve.

And yes, I fully agree that common ancestry does not equal empathy. I explicitly call out that even for people who closely resemble each other empathy can still be challenging. Humanity is complex and varied. However, the more proximity a person has to another persons experience the higher the likelihood is of improved outcomes. There is no perfect here, but increased representation will lead to better outcomes.

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My newsletter: | Director of Entrepreneurial Design @cmci_studio | Founder @ Design Like You Mean It

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