We need to challenge bias wherever we go, and in championing women, I am not interested in anything that excludes black women, lesbians, trans women, women with physical or mental health challenges, women suffering from poverty, victims of abuse, women who have children, women with criminal records, women who are carers, refugees, and any other variations eithing the rich diversity on this planet.
As a tech practioner, I make decisions every day that can help or hinder due to any of the challenges that society has created for any and all women.
As an ally, it our duty to understand those challenges, and understand the decisions we make.
When you want to stop end-to-end encryption to protect children, do you consider the impact on women who want to escape their country, who no longer have a safe channel of communitication with those who can help.
When you force someone to use their "real name", are you exclusing those women whose name connects them to an abuser, are you excluding those who need a clean break from the past?
When you recruit, do you only look at universities, and exclude coding camps, the self-taught, and all the routes to a dev career that are the only options to those who are poor, those who did not have the time or the space to attend university, but have passion to learn, and an understanding of how tech really works out in the world?
Do your job adverts use gendered or otherwise biased language? Are they only posted in places whose visitors are mainly pale and male?
Do you care about keeping people once they've been recruited, or does your pipeline end at the job offer, and that tick in the box?
Do you know what people say about your company in provate channels that's keeping people from applying? Is that superstar really more important than your reputation? Than your employees and your clients?
When you have a meeting, are you encouring the quiet ones to contribute, in whatever way they feel comfortable? Are you making those spaces safer for them to do so?
What are you doing tomorrow to make things better than the were today?
I ask questions. And the ones with the most impact may be the most uncomfortable ones to answer. You can't break the bias without asking difficult questions of yourself and of others.
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