Q: From the readings and in your opinion, is the lack of diversity a problem in the technology industry or is the gender gap overblown? Is it something that needs to be addressed or is it just a (possibly unfortunate) reality?
- If you believe it is a problem, then what are some obstacles faced by women and minorities? Why do these challenges exist and how could the technology industry (or society in general) work to remove these barriers and encourage more participation from women and minorities?
In the article, “Why is Silicon Valley so awful to Women?”, it listed three main reasons as to why women leave tech: “workplace conditions, a lack of access to key creative roles, and a sense of feeling stalled in one’s career”. A lot of side thoughts said out loud, what may be deemed as harmless to one, can build and become just a complete mess to the other. I think either Silicon Valley has a major superiority complex, or pride issues. I think there’s also a lot of misunderstanding, and not enough perspective in the field as well.
I’ve also wondered why such a progressive place in the world, had so many equality issues. The article above blames it on the idea of meritocracy, but I think that idea is permeated by bias of the ones who make it first (because being first is very important), and then that just sort of continued on and on for generations leading to and creating toxic behavior.
In an Observer article called, “I’m a Latino in Tech, and I Think the ‘Diversity’ Discussion Is Utterly Broken”, by Eric M. Ruiz, he discusses that most workplaces don’t understand what diversity might mean in the first place. And just like in the article, I agree that diversity just doesn’t mean race. If a company tries to specifically target a demographic, but they all come from similar experiences, then there’s not much diversity at all. It all comes from what one actually experienced, such as their socioeconomic situation, their neighbors or lack of, and so much more. And I could relate, because overall, even though I am Asian, my background is so much more than that. My background isn’t and shouldn’t be defined by just that.
- What do you make of the events at Uber? What is your reaction on the events and the aftermath and what do these events say about diversity in technology?
After reading about Susan Fowler’s experience at Uber in her article, “Reflecting On One Very, Very Stranger Year At Uber”, it’s kind of a no-brainer on how Uber became a public HR mess. It also shows how bias can make people so ignorant to a fact that women were dwindling in the company, and the fact that other employees were looking for faults in their women employees, without taking a moment to reflect and wonder if they themselves could possibly be the reason.
It seems as though it would all be common sense, it’s not really hard to be a respectful person. It doesn’t even mean you have to be nice. All it means is that every person is simply their own person, and it’s not that hard to take a step back and think about what you would do in their shoes if these horrible situations ever came to you.