Why Should We Care about Diversity in Tech?
There are so many womenintech and diversity programs to motivate underrepresented people but why are they not showing interest despite so much effort being put in by the communities?
A question one of our community members came up with. This write-up is my response and attempt to extrapolate it to the larger ecosystem. I'm going to use Womenintech as an example because I relate to it, but it can also be applied to any minority.
Generally, a group is under-represented because their abilities are subconsciously undermined due to cultural, socially stereotypical upbringing.
Two major problems that arise out of this structure is
- 1.There are not enough people in the ecosystem to voice their concerns
- 2.There is a massive mountain of struggles to pass through to get in.
Communities directed towards these under-represented groups analyze these obstacles and enable people to overcome them.
Great, but "why no interest?"
Just because you have a program, it doesn't mean the whole population of the group is going to jump in and make use of it. Let's take men vs. women in tech example. Some so many men have decided tech is not for them and chose other professions, and the same applies to women too.
So who are these programs helping?
Programs like these help people with a tiny level of interest who are clueless about how to take that nudge forward.
Won't people find a way anyways if they are interested enough?
They do. But as I mentioned before, there are obstacles. I want to quote 2 examples from my Womentechmakers community experience.
When two of our members went to sign up for a coding competition at their college, they were asked to choose a design because "Programming is for me."
Another girl tried her level best to get a hacking space to run a coding club for women in their college and hostel. Nothing was granted. Frustrated by that, she became an ambassador for the global community. They invited her as a chief guest after that.
These are many of two examples. What's easily available for one segment of interested people is not for another set of equally interested people. That's Privilege
What's one person's fight is another persons' previlege
So ultimately, making spaces like this will enable women to reach out to a supportive group.
Right. When you surround yourself with passionate women doing what you dream of, you no longer feel like an outlier. You no longer feel like you're fighting the battle alone
Overtime, the question of "Do I fit in?" vanishes
Not enough interest?
- Patience is important, 1st WTM Chennai event had 3 members, and in 8 months, it became 300
- Go to where the community hangs out. Colleges, companies
- Invite them in, and let them speak. It's not about giving them more but understanding their perspectives
Now we have them in the community, how to empower or motivate them
You don't have to. Really. We don't have to be reformers. We are not doing a service but rather paving an easier way for people to get the right opportunities for the things they rightfully deserve. Be it attending a hackathon or getting that promotion