Facets: Issue 01

August 28, 2015

Tech in Underserved Communities: Beyond Feel Good Stories

Stephanie Morillo
"telling kids from underserved communities all they need is to believe is disingenuous."

Stephanie Morillo offers a timely reminder that while success stories are valuable, their instructional and educational value can be lost when we only latch on to the 'feel-good' parts. She reminds us that the experiences that make us 'diverse' are precisely the ones that will be difficult to express.

The Unsurprising Twist in Diversity & Inclusion

Yauri S. Kelly Dalencour
"While students I met at SMASH are not applying for jobs yet, they are being prepared for them. What happens when they pursue STEM focused degrees in college? … Despite preparation and ability, what happens to the bias that is impacting their opportunity?"

Similar to Morillo's piece, Dalencour focuses on the education of young people of colour in STEM subjects, and the biases that exist around being "qualified" for a career in tech. For many tech companies, focusing on the pipeline can take attention away from issues closer to home.

On Meritocracy

Jessica Rose
"Through tying success in technology to merit alone, we tell those who are struggling that their challenges are directly connected to a lack of talent."

Jessica Rose writes of her anxiety about the use of the term 'meritocracy' in tech, and the effect that it has on those searching for new work. In declaring our community a meritocracy, we oversimplify hiring processes and the influence of a host of other factors— visibility among them.

We Still Let Harassers Participate In Our Community

Katie Kovalcin
"I knew the day would come where I would have to share a stage with the man who harassed me for 3 years. And that day has come."

A very personal, very necessary piece of writing from Katie Kovalcin, detailing the misguided response of conference organizers in response to her harrassment report— in the process, they draw attention to the responsibility of conferences to act upon their codes of conduct, and stand behind them.