Episode 113: What's in a Name

It’s part of how we’re formed as a society – people assume we’re male unless told otherwise. And that’s interesting and also worrying.
— Alev Scott
Prior to this I had an assumed authority. People seemed to think I was capable of the job they had paid me to do and I guess I’d taken that for granted, because when I was working as Nicole that was often not the case.
— Martin Schneider
 Nicole Hallberg and Martin Schneider

Nicole Hallberg and Martin Schneider

Plenty of us work remotely, known to clients or collaborators by name only. In this show we meet Alev Scott. She's a writer and commentator whose first name means she is often assumed to be a man. We talk about how she deals with that, as well as her distaste for female titles - especially 'Ms.'

I also talk to Martin Schneider and Nicole Hallberg, whom you may have read about earlier this year when their story blew up on Twitter. They swapped names and identities for a week at the office. The results were...revealing. 

Thanks to radio producer Danielle Fox for taping my interview with Nicole and Martin.

Further reading: Alev Scott's FT piece on ambiguous names.

Nicole Hallberg's Medium post on the identity-swapping experiment she and Martin conducted at their office, and a longer piece for Vox in which each writes their side of the story. 

You can also read a transcript of the show