Facets: Issue 22

July 16, 2016

The Isolation of Being Black in Tech

Victor Luckerson
"black workers at tech companies don’t just want to be consoled. They want change, and they know their bosses are powerful enough to affect it."

Luckerson details the aftershocks in Silicon Valley following the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling; working in tech, a white-majority workplace, prevents those affected from processing the events and sharing their fears and frustrations. The experience gaps between people of different backgrounds perpetuate isolation, with those shaken to the core by the experience rightfully left wondering how their co-workers can spend lunch talking about Pokemon Go instead.

Diversity is a broken product in tech. FIX IT.

Bo Ren
"If you are told enough times that you’re not technical enough or good enough for a job, you start to believe that."

Having recently left Facebook, Ren describes her personal, non-traditional experience of the tech world as a female minority PM; we see how a broken system is perpetuated while merit is espoused, and how that system undermines women and minorities.

The Big Lie: Tech Companies and Diversity Hiring

Dare Obasanjo
"The low relative numbers of black engineers at many tech companies is a reflection of how these companies approach recruitment and hiring."

Obasanjo addresses tech companies’ failing to follow through on constant lip service to diverse hiring. The entire process needs to change, and the problem is not the pipeline; rather, the location of offices and the schools companies choose to recruit from play a fundamental role. Furthermore, technical interviews and ‘diversity training’ are shown to be excuses rather than efforts, buried under cherry-picked stats.

Diversity in Tech FAQ v0.1

Nicole Sanchez

In a response to Facebook’s “it’s a pipeline issue” excuse, Nicole Sanchez describes how things like the pipeline and ‘merit-based’ hiring are simply misdirection, and in the process dismantles questions like, "How can we hire the best if we’re lowering the bar by focusing on diversity?"

Enjoyed this issue? Tweet about it!