John Maeda is the new global head of computational design and inclusion at Automattic, the parent company of WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Jetpack, and others. Maeda describes his role as someone who is making sure all races, genders, disability levels, and backgrounds are included when utilizng “the power of computing to analyze and solve design problems.” As an Asian American, Maeda cares deeply about representation for everyone. In his essay discussing his relationship with his race, he “vowed to be more aware of the challenges that Asians face in tech as a model minority.”
“I’ve been bothered knowing that my desire to just stay focused on ‘fitting in’ has conditioned me to ignore a lot of my responsibilities as an Asian-American leader," Madea wrote.
Although Maeda is still new to his role, he is asking the right questions. In order to truly increase representation from across all communities, you have to know where to look.
According to Maeda, "I’ve [lived] most of my life in the U.S., and I lived in Japan for a while, but [Automattic] is a truly international hive. I’m asking, do we have any designers from Africa? How broad are we in our influences? But I’ve just begun.”