In 2011, some tech journo posted a lengthy list of women in tech and noticeably absent were black women. I noticed it and tweeted about the slight.
In response, Lindsey Holmes, a tech veteran who is now a productivity strategist, stated this:
But it is true. Black women are missing on these lists. We see them and shake our heads each time.
‘Diversity in Tech’ panels,unless produced by an aware organization like the NACCP, are usually dearth of people of color and rarely, if ever, include a black woman in tech. Racial diversity is hard so you’re more apt to see “colorless diversity” on the stage, as ex-Googler Erica Baker put it.
In hiring, over reliance of word of mouth recruiting, things like“pattern matching” and an insular inside network of connected circles contribute to monolithic workplaces. Throw in a healthy dose of “unconscious bias” in the picture and we have the bleak diversity numbers we have today.
And…it’s not necessarily because of a lack of “talented and qualified” brown and black women, but, as the excuse usually goes, sometimes they “simply cannot find any”.
As recent as 2011, noted tech journalist Michael Arrington infamously told CNN, “I don’t know a single black entrepreneur.”
He later recanted his statement.
On one article about diversity, I recall one person respond that maybe black and brown people just aren’t interested in Tech. *sigh* The statement left me dumbstruck but then I thought, there may be many out there who feel the same.
Things haven’t really changed much since 2011.
But alas, to help bridge that “unawareness gap”, created by either blissful indifference or lack of effort, I’ve assembled a list of 185 black women in various sectors of the tech industry who are active on Twitter! (This list is updated from a recent list of 161)
The list is a resource for the next time a tech journo is doing a roundup; or an organization or company is putting together a tech or tech diversity panel, seminar or conference and in search of speakers; or when the hiring committee is looking to expand the talent of staff or consultants and would like to include people from underrepresented groups.
Also, because the women on this list are active on Twitter, you’ll find them tweeting out articles, discussing neighborhood hack-a-thons, and coding camps a plenty. They really are people you should consider following, or at least creating a Twitter List of.
To get clickable links to each account and their Twitter Bio, check out this post from my personal website, Jenebaspeaks.com HERE.