Why we STILL need Diversity in Tech

Why we STILL need Diversity in Tech

If you have people in tech that do not represent the society as a whole, you're going to end up with a lot of bias. It's important to have more people that are black, that are indigenous, that are people of color and queer communities of underrepresented actually building

Joy Valerie Carrera
Joy Valerie Carrera

You're probably getting bombarded with a whole bunch of emails about how companies care about diversity and they're going to make a conscious effort now.

Hmm, but let's look at their numbers. How many of these people actually hired people who were Black, Brown, Latinx, Native, LGBTQIA? Probably, not that much.

How are we going to build a society that is more inclusive for all of us if we're not represented? If we're not the ones building and you might think, "well, technology is not for me." "It's scary." "Computers are intense", but the truth is. You belong there.

There are lots of different roles that you can be in the tech field and still be a part of it.

We need all these different roles, but today I'm going to be talking about software engineering and I'm going to talk about why it's so important to have people that look like you, and maybe not like you building, but right now we really do need more non-white males building.

https://youtu.be/dZetrVRFzv4 Follow Built with Joy on Youtube

I am super excited to partner with Sabio. They are an immersive Bootcamp empowering the next generation of software engineers and right now they have a free JavaScript class. {Sign up Here}

If you've ever wanted to dabble and think you might be awesome at building, you want to check this out make sure that you've clicked the link below.

You might think software engineering is not really for you, but if you're the type of person that likes building things that isn't just about sitting around, waiting for an idea, and you want to be involved in the future.

Then you might want to consider a career in software engineering and here's is why, because every aspect of our lives will contain technology.

Every single one, if you're reading this, you are on my website, which means that someone built really cool software – me-  so that you can scroll and look at memes and laugh and watch read this blog post of course.

But, you want to think about how is software being used?

How is that being built?

We're looking more and more at how it's being integrated into everyday life and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just brought up in Congress, something very, very important people that are building technologies that might police us that are supposed to keep us safe are predominantly white males.  {See here}

What does that mean?

We're not saying like all white men are bad. Like, nah, there's a couple of cool allies obviously, but what that does mean is that the technology is predominantly really good at working with other white males.

One of the things that just came up is Amazon has halted a year contract with the police on AI technology. {See here} Cool, but you know, lots of questions there.

What we're going to focus on is the fact that this technology works best with white males. What does that mean? That means the using biometric data which doesn't really work well with women and people of color.

If you're going to police those people and it misidentify someone that could be a problem as we're seeing very much. So imagine if more technology was involved and it is not built by people who look like you and would consider these different aspects, right?

We can't stop technology from moving forward. It's going to happen, but we want to make sure that we have people there that are not building bias into the code.

I want you to think about how it relates to policy and our government, right? Programming code, whatever you want to call it, it is literally just the set of instructions, telling hardware, AKA computers to execute a task. So essentially it's an instruction set saying, do this, That's it!

Now let's look at how that's very similar to policy and government.

Policy and laws are essentially what keeps the government going. It basically is a set of instructions that tell the government, "Hey, this is how you're going to run your society" and we all agree with that (for the most part). We vote on representatives that we believe will actually represent us. However, what we've seen is most of those people, again, are older white males.

And that's not to say again, let me just clear this up - that's not to say like, "Oh my God, all these guys suck", a lot of them do suck though, but a lot of them are not so bad.

However, if you do not have the same lived experiences as people that you are representing, as people that you want to interact with, then you're. Probably going to have some bias when you make policy, when you make those instructions that tell everyone what to do.

Do you see how that relates to coding?

So, if you have people that do not represent the society as a whole, you're going to end up with a lot of bias. That is why it's really important to have more people that are black, that are indigenous, that are people of color and queer communities of underrepresented groups building.

People actually building the products that we are going to use in our every day in the future. Not only just because it makes sense to have those people building it, if you're trying to reach a wide audience, and it's good for business - but that's not even the point.

The point is that we need people who are going to build with different perspectives in mind that will consider things that maybe somebody else doesn't when they're building these products, when they're building the code, the algorithms that are going to influence most of society.

You might think, "Oh, that's not for me". Let me tell you, I thought that computing was too hard and I had never tried it. I thought that was just for like these smart white guys that I only ever saw. Mind you, I was studying chemical engineering and had a three nine GPA.  Let me tell you physics, and quantum chemistry is a lot, lot, harder than learning some computer programming.

Computing is literally a set of instructions and it's pretty cool. You can go from an idea and typing it out and it becomes a reality. It becomes things that people use in their everyday life. And that is really freaking cool.

However, the reality is if you grew up probably first gen low income like myself, you probably didn't have access to a computer until much later.  Now, there are so many resources out there, resources for free, like Sabio check out that  Free Javascript Course I mentioned (here) and so many opportunity for you to get involved.

If you’re thinking "Oh, well, no, I'm not as smart as those guys", I promise you so many of those guys learned on their own.  People might tell you, like, "no, it's too hard", "you can't break in", "it's too late". Don't listen to any of that nonsense, a lot of people have broken into programming on their own and probably will tell you not to.

Computer Science is just a new way to and if you are the type of person that is really good at noticing patterns, at trying to build new things, this might be something for you to consider.

If not, there are always other options in the tech industry {CHECK HERE}

So thank you so much for partnering with me on getting the word out. I hope this inspires you to consider a career in technology.

If you're already in the tech industry, I hope this reminds you that there are a lot of us that actually care and let's connect on social :)

And don't forget to sign up for Sabio's free Javascript Course