Diversity: An Open Letter to Tech Companies

I’m giving the opening keynote at Open Source Bridge this year.
The title is Put Up or Shut Up: An Open Letter to Tech Companies Seeking Diverse Teams

As someone who has experienced first hand the daily struggles that go along with being a minority in tech, I spend a lot of time reminding people that working for a terrible company is not the only option. But I also realize it’s not an option that’s available, or even desirable for everyone.

If you want to do fulfilling work as part of a team, you should have the option of finding work that doesn’t force you to compromise your identity in order to fit in.

The pressure for tech companies to do better when it comes to diversifying their work force has mounted to the point where it’s now an expected topic of conversation. Some companies are actually making change, but a lot more are talking a lot about change and throwing money at the problem without actually doing the hard work.

For marginalized people who are employed or hoping to find employment, speaking up about issues of inequalities carries the risk of retaliation. That fact means the people in power might think everything is great when employees are suffering and afraid to speak up because it’s not safe to do so.

I’ve created a survey to collect anonymous stories and I’ll share them during my upcoming talk. What do you wish you could say to your boss, your CEO, you coworkers?

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