I wouldn’t wish my situation on anyone, but I keep fighting because I know there are so many women who aren’t able to begin this battle.

Photo Credit: Chelsey Glasson

Every night after a long day of work, I put my two young children to bed and sit down at my kitchen table to tackle what feels like a third full-time job: pursuing a claim of pregnancy discrimination against my former employer. I spend hours writing responses to complicated discovery questions, combing through countless old text messages, and gathering thousands of pages of emails. I’ll use most of my vacation time this year being deposed by lawyers, interviewed by psychiatrists, and appearing in court.

I wouldn’t wish my situation on anyone, but I keep fighting because I know there are…


The New York Times today reported on a backlash happening in tech in response to benefits parents are using in the midst of COVID-19 to care for children who are now home due to daycare and school closures. Here’s a note I wrote to my Facebook coworkers on August 20th on the topic. I’m sharing here in an attempt to help people understand why such a backlash is harmful to parents and especially us moms.

(Disclaimer: The opinions below are my own and do not reflect those of my employer.)

The top question in this week’s company-wide Q&A was, “COVID…


Photos Credit: iStock

Obviously my title is a bit harsh, but now is the appropriate time to be harsh. While not everyone who works in the tech industry is racist, the industry as a whole does have a problem that needs to be addressed.

This is why in the wake of George Floyd’s death, if I read yet another tech company launching a marketing campaign towards fighting racial inequality, I might just throw up. And not because I don’t support speaking out in support of racial equality, but because I know in truth black people who work in tech routinely face discrimination and…


Photo of five papier-mâché lightbulbs of different color, with the fifth one swinging away from the other four.
Photo of five papier-mâché lightbulbs of different color, with the fifth one swinging away from the other four.
Photo credit: iStock

Graduate school taught me the basics of conducting user research, but little about what it’s like working as a user researcher in the wild. I don’t blame my school for this. There’s little publicly-available career information for user researchers, in large part because companies are still experimenting with how to best make use of our talents.

That said, in the midst of companies experimenting with how to maximize user researchers, there are a few things I’ve learned specific to the role of user researcher that have held true across the diverse companies I’ve worked for. …


Here are some questions I wish I had asked myself before making the transition.

A man dressed in a suit standing underneith a spotlight.
A man dressed in a suit standing underneith a spotlight.
Being a UX manager is not about being in the spotlight. Photo credit: iStock.

I remember a graduate student once asking me if she should continue on to a PhD program after completing her master’s degree. I asked her what she thought the benefits were to getting a PhD; she responded that having a PhD would put her on a faster track into management.

Her thinking was driven by a common and faulty assumption held by many — that eventually, to progress in your career as a UX professional, you have to become a manager.

The truth is, there are many career paths for UX professionals, including many leadership roles that don’t require managing…


Yet another reason why the tech industry needs to finally unionize.

Do you think, over the past decade, that tech companies such as Google have become increasingly fair, friendly, and generally equitable places for women, people of color, and other minorities to work? I’ve worked in that industry over that decade, spending more than half of it at Google. If your answer to my question is yes, you are mistaken. Sadly, with COVID-19 implications, there’s risk of losing even the modest gains made.

Google recently reported minimal improvement to its previous dismal record with regard to hiring and retaining women and people of color. Google failed to mention that at the…


Pregnancy discrimination remains common in the workplace and fighting it isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Here’s what has surprised me most about my experience thus far.

Licensed: iStock Photos

I remember learning, when I was a teenager, about sex discrimination against women in the workplace in the United States. I wrongly thought this was a once-common practice and thing of the past. Years later, I am among the 42% of US women who experience and report acts of sex discrimination — pregnancy discrimination in my well documented case — where we work.

Many of you will have your own encounters with this fact of life for women working in the corporate world. I write this article to share the most surprising aspects of my experience so that you, if…


I’ve shared my story of pregnancy discrimination and retaliation at Google. What most people don’t know is that I also experienced sexual harassment at a 2014 offsite in Cabo, not long after joining the company.

My first day at Google was March 3, 2014. I was thrilled to join a company that I perceived as more ethical and innovative than the rest.

The alarm bells should have gone off when I watched the movie The Internship a week before my first day as an exercise in preparing myself for what working at Google might be like. In the movie, a…

Chelsey Glasson

Staff User Researcher & Manager at Compass. You can find me on Twitter @chelseyglasson. Thoughts here are my own.

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