A Manifesto For Women And Minorities In Startup, Tech, and Business Communities

By Sophia Eng

A counter-manifesto

Image: WOCinTech Chat via Flickr
Image: WOCinTech Chat via Flickr

A few days ago, a Google Engineer released a hailstorm of outdated and twisted psychological and biological myths to mask his personal prejudice against women, and less overtly, against minorities as well.

I want to suggest a counter-manifesto. I want to suggest that women and minorities both begin to roar. Our silence is what allows the resounding echo-chamber of misogyny and prejudice to exist. Especially within the startup, tech, and small business communities.

I consider it a personal duty to spearhead this manifesto, as I will be leading the #IAmRemarkable event at Google with the Women Supporting Women community of over 1,700+ members in Silicon Valley.

This is a crowning achievement for me because I never thought that one day I would have the opportunity to be speaking and leading a group of women on being remarkable, diverse, and part of an inclusion movement, at the Google campus.

And it couldn’t be more timely.

The fact that Google is hosting events and workshops for minorities and women in tech shows their dedication to change the tide to favor inclusion in tech and business.

However, the loud and “authoritative” few who are brave enough to voice their ignorant opinions regarding women and minorities in STEM, need to be addressed at this time. And the only way to do that is for women and minorities to roar back.

The numbers are in: Women (especially minorities) in tech are getting the short end of the stick

The 2015 US Employment Statistics showed that women made up less than 25% of the workforce in the category of computer and mathematical operations, and about 15% of the workforce in the category of architecture and engineering.

Over the last several months, companies in Silicon Valley have been called to task by the US Government, due to the recent studies showing that the average woman programmer makes nearly 30% less than male programmers in the tech industry.

Another study showed women in tech make anywhere between 5% and 50% less than their male counterparts, for the same job, same responsibilities, and same skill-set. This was prevalent in more than 60% of hiring cases. Black and Latina women faced worse discrimination overall.

Part of the reason fewer and fewer young women are getting degrees in computer science is how the tech jobs and products are marketed and the bullying women face by males pursuing computer science degrees. NPR ran a study in 2014 that showed the decline of women coders started as far back as the 1980s, as personal computers were almost exclusively marketed to appeal to men. In 2013 the tech sector was noted as further marginalizing women by use of convenient vocabulary in hiring decisions (among other factors), which disproportionately discriminated against women.

The #IAmRemarkable movement is near and dear to my heart, because I have been like many women — afraid to speak up about my experience, afraid to draw attention to the hard (and often invisible) work that I do in a company, many times passed over for much-deserved promotions.

Source: women2.com

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