Diversity in Tech is A First World Problem

Some people think that having a less diverse team is a big problem for inequality. Often in homogeneous teams, people offend each other without realizing it. They make "innocent" jokes about nationality, ethnicity, and gender. Most of the time, they are not aware of their discrimination at all.

Jokes made around different cultures are generally found funny, even by the discriminated people. They can quickly go wild. While having fun together, sometimes some people might empathize and feel bad for others' behavior and discrimination.

Having these situations is a first-world problem. But it is still a problem.

On some sides of the world, mostly in under-developed or developing countries, there are different problems. Local men dominate the workforce. It's also not common to find a foreigner working with them. There are fewer genders except for cis-male at work. When we think this more in-depth, the definition of the problem and challenges start to differ.

While the first world countries have to deal with peculiar discriminations, the other countries struggle with the fundamentals. There are many harassments, racism, sexual assault, and even homicide cases on both sides of the world.

The major problem I see overall is when we focus on the first world problem, we feel satisfied and think that we're doing what we can.

However, we are creating an illusion for ourselves. We forget the privileges we have. Dereca Blackmon says that we don't comprehend it as a privilege when we have something. When we graduate from high school, it's a privilege. If we can afford lunch, it's a privilege as well. The people in some locations don't have these.

After living in privileges, the self-illusion becomes a self-lie. When we hear discrimination and stay against it, we already feel better. We should be. It is what we have to do. However, when we're blinded by saying that we did what we can do, we skip the chance to make a more significant impact.

If we don't have an opportunity to do something nearby, we can also support other organizations who desperately need money in other spots to fight for the fundamentals of inequality. Be it like buying someone a shoe or bringing water to someone's town, or helping some little girl go to school. We need to support these people to have a better diversity in the world, not only in our immediate environment. We need to create more opportunities for these people to fight for a better and diverse life.

What we need is equity, not equality. Either in our local communities or global, we need to give people a better chance to remove inequalities. We know that supporting other local communities is very hard. We cannot travel there and make an impact. We don't know anyone or the culture in other parts of the world. However, we are not alone. Many organizations are working towards removing barriers. But I leave finding them out to you. If you are an advocate of increasing diversity in tech, don't stop. Spread your advocation to the whole world. Find a non-profit organization, advocate for their work, spread their word, make a donation, and connect your local community with other local communities. Expand yourself day-by-day and help others to grow with you. Don't create yourself a bubble and stay there.

If we can enable more people to have better lives, this will also increase tech diversity. The more people enter the tech, the merrier. Don't get stuck in the short-term; invest in the long-term.

You can watch or listen our talk about Diversity, Gender Discrimination and Women in Tech in Software World with Candost.

or listen as podcast:

or via Apple Podcasts or other platforms.

Short Form Last Updated: Aug 9, 2021