My name is Laura, and I've been working in the technology space for the last 7 years since graduating college. During that time, I've seen a lot of dialog about diversity in technology, which (looking at the stats: tech & US) still has a long ways to go.
But being completely data driven can be grim. You see the gap, and you wonder: "How the hell can we catch up?" This is particularly challenging when looking at something like diversity in leadership; leaders look around for qualified candidates, and the pipeline has already reduced the number of diversity candidates to almost none. For myself, I've chatting with my manager about the current lack of diversity on his own leads team. Of the 25 people currently in his staff meeting (mostly Engineering and Product leads), I'm the only woman. He's aware, he wants to have more diversity, but recruiting is hard when the distribution of qualified candidates is already male heavy. I was one of his first hires, which has helped with hiring more women to the team, but not at the more senior levels.
Another challenge with the current dialog is that it sometimes alienates allies. White men I know ask me "how to not be part of the problem" but feel guilty instead of being guided towards things they can do. They want to help, but don't know how.
Starting this blog is my best answer; I want to document stories and practical advice for anyone wanting to help improve diversity in tech and other industries struggling with diversity. I feel very lucky to have achieved my professional accomplishments through an amazing network of managers, mentors, and peers. When I meet with other mentees or when I manage my own group, I lean on my own experiences, either channeling the same empowering messages told to me, or trying to proactively avoid mistakes I've seen myself. This project is an attempt to codify those experiences and advice, but I want to take it one step further: I'm embarking on a journey to interview other under-represented groups and allies to bring their own stories of empowerment to life. While focusing on gender diversity is closest to home to me, I'd also love to cover different types of diversity across race, socio-economic background, sexual orientation, and more.
Through a lot of practical examples of what's worked and what hasn't, my hope is to create a resource about every-day actions we can all take to encourage diversity. Let's get started.