I do a lot of reading about diversity in technology. I do this because I'm a black woman and I want to mentally and emotionally prepare myself for when I do gain employment at a company as a software engineer. Mentally and emotionally prepare myself for what? Imposter syndrome, unconscious bias and the statistical fact that the number of people like me in tech is extremely low.
I'm generally a super positive person, so when I first began reading articles about tech's diversity problem, I believed that these instances were the exception and not the rule. The more I read (and the more I speak to people in tech) the more it seems that it is actually the reverse. Action is being taken, but at the same time everyone is still learning. It seems that everyone is still at the stage where there is no definitive route to a diverse and balanced tech community. Especially for bigger, more established companies. Startups like Slack seem to be doing a better job at diversifying, than companies like Apple.
But then again, Intel (an undeniably big company) is doing a good and steady job at diversifying their company (though retention is another story). So you see - no definitive route, no one specific group or (kind of) company has the answer (yet). It's interesting to see and read. There are new roles being created, consultants being brought in, programs being created, yet I rarely see news of a significant increase of PoC/WoC in technology. I do realize that this is going to take time. Companies like Girls Who Code, Code 2040, Hack the Hood, and Black Girls Code are readying the new generation, which makes me so, so happy! But what about right now? It's something I think about often.
If you want to do some musings of your own on the topic, here are some articles that got me thinking:
- #FFFFFF Diversity - Go, Erica Baker!
- Why Doesn't Silicon Vally Hire Black Coders
- Diversity in Tech and What We've All Already Lost
- A Discussion About Inclusion
- Twitter Bias
- Black Girls Code Founder: Kimberly Bryant
- Convo with Google
- Pinterest and What They're Doing - Did I mention that I love what Tracy Chou has done/is doing...
There's so much more, but I'll leave it there. This is something I'll continue to think about and read about. It's something that I need to wrap my head around then figure out how to be helpful and take actionable steps. Where should I volunteer, what should I say or do more, how will I assist? What about you... What do you think or feel about tech's diversity problem?