I’m always being asked by men in tech, “how can I attract more diverse talent to my team?” or “how can I make my company/team/department more inclusive?” in some form or another as if there is an easy five min fix. My high-level answer is to focus on tech equity and advocacy and to invest in the communities that are underrepresented in technology.
One thing we should not be doing is to make the problem the sole responsibility of those who are dealing with inequities in the industry already. In a perfect world, it would not be any underrepresented group’s responsibility at all. However, there is a common pattern where the burden of finding solutions to diversity and inclusion is often pushed onto the folx who are marginalized to deal with outside of work hours. Go to any women in tech panel that’s open to the public and you’ll see less than three men in the room. Treating diversity and inclusion as a side project only facilitates further injustices in the workplace and the technology being created. The folx who are already represented and have a seat at the table should be working to find solutions along with us because this is “our” problem – “our” community, “our” industry, and “our” city.
With that being said, I decided to interview some men to gain insight about what they are doing to foster inclusivity and tech equality in their networks in hopes that their words can “mentor” as well as inspire change in their fellow peers and other men. In the interviews we talk about what being an ally means to them, the advice they’d give to diversity-starved organizations, results they are seeing from their investments to unlearn biases and more. By sharing their stories, I want to show that it’s okay to take a step back and analyze our behaviors, admit our wrongs, and grow into a better version of ourselves. Talking about the issues, instead of pushing them into the shadows and pretending they don’t exist, is the only way we can move forward to find the answers and foster a community that is accessible and welcoming to people from all backgrounds.