In this episode we attempt to have an enlightened conversation about race and gender in technology. Why choose to tackle such a controversial topic? Because we believe that making technology more equitable and diverse would accelerate innovation and benefit our entire industry (and all who benefit from our industry).
Technology sometimes appears like an field that is naturally meritocratic, but when you dig further down, you find that we are still far from that ideal. From overt discrimination and harassment to subtle social cues that suggest that someone “might not belong”, there are many factors that favor straight, white, upper middle class men who are white and perhaps Asian. There’s a lot more we all can do to make working in technology (as a developer or otherwise) more accessible to underrepresented groups.
We cover a ton of ground here: differences in interview questions ask men vs women, recognizing privilege of race and gender, improving conference participation, the weird racial elements of power rangers, and more.
We tried to honest, hard-hitting, and open minded, and we hope you find this episode both educational and enjoyable.
Sarah + Jason
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RailsBridge– Sarah’s nonprofit dedicated to increasing diversity in the technology community through free training workshops in cities across the world (and new parent organization Bridge Foundry).
Female Founders – Paul Graham’s essay on his perspective on women entrepreneurs and how to increase their number
Books – We referenced several books in the show, including Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In and Women Don’t Ask by Linda Babcock
The Gender Trap reviews research on how women and men are perceived differently for the same behavior: “different vocabulary used to describe similar qualities in men (confident, take-charge, committed) and women (bossy, aggressive, emotional).”