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Inclusion

I’m a queer Black woman software engineer: I am the perfect cocktail of diversity for so many recruiters. I bring unique perspectives to the table, and the intersection of my identities means I’m often asking questions other folks haven’t yet considered. I also wear these identities proudly: nowadays, you’ll never mistake me as anything other than a queer Black woman in any space I occupy. But there’s a terrible irony of being the perfect diverse hire when I am also among the most palatable of diverse hires. Diversity hiring is

The summer of 2017, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” remix featuring Justin Bieber had become the top song in the country. While it was already a hit pre-Bieber, Justin’s auto-tuned Spanglish brought the song into the consciousness of many Americans, qualifying a predominantly Spanish-language song as “mainstream,” i.e. not only digestible but desirable to the wider American public. No small feat. I was at a popular lounge in New York City when a DJ played the record. A woman sitting at the neighboring banquette, partying with her daughter and friends, reached

A recent National Center for Women & Information Technology “By the Numbers” report puts Black women in computing in 2018 at 3% — and this statistic does not make a distinction between technical and nontechnical women in computing. Of the overall U.S. population, roughly 4.5% identify as LGBT. Since it’s incredibly hard to find industry-wide statistics on LGBT folks in tech, let’s take an extremely optimistic view and assume 4.5% of people in computing are LGBT. Combining these two percentages tells us that .00135% of the computing workforce identifies as Black, queer, and

I came to Affirm from a fairly unusual background. I’d never worked in tech or recruiting and prior to Affirm, I helped run a private optometry practice in Downtown San Francisco. Now I’m a Technical Sourcer on Affirm’s Talent team and co-lead our LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group (ERG). My career trajectory is untraditional but that’s always been me – I’ve always been a bit different.  A little about my past  I was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica until I was 10. Since then I’ve spent a majority of my

Last week, Black Enterprise magazine published an interview with COO of Facebook and CEO of Lean In Sheryl Sandberg. It was rooted in the fact that Sandberg’s Lean In advice has fallen flat for most women, and more specifically for Black women. The strategy has been criticized by many thought leaders, including Michelle Obama who notably said, “that shit doesn’t work all the time.” And this quote from Mindy Harts, founder of The Memo sums up the basis of the criticism through a racialized lens: “Lean In was well-intentioned and

Whether you call it a discussion or a debate, there’s a long-standing conversation in business around culture. This debate is about when the right time is to invest in people and culture. Some camps feel the urgency to achieve product-market fit and prove themselves as a business before they start thinking about building an intentional culture (meaning, more than perks and ping-pong tables). Others believe that purpose drives performance and that teams that feel connected to the company’s culture — its mission, purpose, and impact — are more invested in seeing the

Earlier in my career, I was interviewing for an HR position and I asked about the company’s work with diversity and inclusion. The response I got was formulaic—like she was reading something from the employee handbook. It was clear they had discussed keeping up with “the conversation” but there was no passion for inclusivity and no buy-in for the measurable impacts it has on business success. I see this a lot. Companies understand that there’s a huge cultural shift happening. Business success has become inextricably linked to company values —look at Patagonia’s earnings or

My Experience Working With A Startup in Silicon Valley It was a beautiful, sunny day, and I decided to join my team for lunch. Most of us worked remotely, and I didn’t go to the office that often. We waited outside for another team member, so we could all walk to a local restaurant. The marketing manager, whom we’ll call Sally, was rapping a Cardi B song and said the word “nigga” three times without flinching. The co-founder stood right next to her and didn’t say a word! It was

I am often asked during interviews to share my experience as a Black business owner in the Startup world. You know, how I got started, how I’ve gotten this far. My go-to response is to explain that I have had many positive experiences, some negative, and I consider myself to be a business owner who happens to be Black — rather than a Black business owner.Yet, I have had to admit to myself that I am somewhat offended by the question. And perhaps more offensive than the question being asked

Across the board, facial/human recognition tools have proven to be erroneous when it comes to accurately identifying dark skin colors. These errors show up in two ways: I. The product mistakes people with dark skin for something/someone else. II. The product is unable to detect dark skin I. Product Mistakes People with Dark Skin for Something / Someone Else Google Photos Google Photos is a platform that provides users with a place to organize, manage and back up their personal photographs. It uses machine-learning technology to categorize photos with similar

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