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  • Writer's pictureHeather Watt

The "Joke" behind JPEG

In our second podcast episode, we talk about the Losing Lena campaign. This campaign was aimed at getting an image of a Swedish playboy model removed from educational materials in Computer science. The image was first chosen as a test image for JPEG compression in the 70s and is still one of the most widely-used test images today.

A 20 min documentary has been filmed to tell this story and to share the importance of making tech a more welcoming environment for a diverse workforce. There is also a pledge that can be signed to remove the Lena image in your company or institution.

You can watch the documentary and sign the pledge here:

Throughout the episode we cover the key points from the documentary. First, discussing the “Tech Bro” culture and how it perpetuates imposter syndrome among women. We also discuss the history of women being involved in the industry and how since the 40s they have been pushed out by harmful stereotypes and biases in the recruitment process.

This brings us onto the topic of diversity and why diversity of all types is so important and necessary in the tech industry. We express the value of ensuring everyone is given the same skills and opportunities in the industry as the world quickly move into a more digital age. Finally, we share our thoughts on what would be different today if there had been more diversity since the emergence of the industry; and what could change in years to come as workplace diversity continues to increase?

Listen to our new episode now on Spotify!


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