For taking radical steps to improve corporate culture
Diógenes "Dio" Brito is a designer and engineer who has worked at some of the most successful companies in the technology space. Born in New York City, Brito fell in love with tech from an early age, and taught himself Photoshop and website development before pursuing a product design degree at Stanford, where he prototyped everything from a new-age yo-yo (“the Dio-Yo”) to a futuristic Starbucks coffeemaker. During college, he became Google BOLD scholar and after, a Turing Fellow, and did design stints at both Squarespace and LinkedIn. In mid-2014 he set his sights on working for a promising then-11-month-old startup named Slack. In 2015, as the company was gearing up to launch a major new feature for customers called “Add to Slack,” Brito realized that the team planned to promote it with graphics that depicted Caucasian hands—and fell prey to the bad habit of portraying white people as the default, a tiresome trend common in ads ranging from Apple to Kay Jewelers. He suggested that the design team alter the image to a brown hand, a small gesture that turned out to have a large impact.
Hundreds of people tweeted in support of “the brown hand” and its role in expanding the perception of what someone who uses or works with technology looks like.