Black Women and the Tech Industry

 What do you call a room full of black women in tech? A convention.

 

That’s not a very good joke, but the fact is that there are not very many African-American women in technology, and that’s terrible. Over the years, black women have been subtly prodded by society into choosing the “safe” careers; baking, fashion design, teaching and the others. The world of technology is scantily occupied by black women.

The future of the world is computers, and we have to keep this in mind. The world is evolving and everything is being automated; from conversations to cars. Now, how are we going to rule the world if we are not the majority of the people making these things happen? 

There are so many opportunities in the technology industry; they’re almost endless, because new roles are being created all the time. There’s always something. This is 2020. Black girls in high school should be building robots and creating apps.

This is the time for us to create the buzz that is needed to change the numbers. Let us give the young ones so many role models in technology that they can’t miss it.

The technology industry is large and it can take everyone.  Of course, like in every other male-dominated industry, several challenges exist for women in technology. Even more challenges exist for African-American women in technology. In the much beloved Silicon Valley, 83% of tech workers are male, and 93% of those workers are white. There is no question that this can be more than just a little intimidating. 

 

Black women in technology are faced with not one but two prejudices;

Gender Stereotyping

Girls are underestimated by so many people all over the world. And in the technology industry, the experts consider themselves to be quite special (we’re all guilty). For a lot of these people, to think that a girl, and a black girl nonetheless can excel at the same thing they do is a little too much to take in.

Racial Bias

People still walk around with the opinion in their heads that black people may not be as naturally gifted in tech related pursuits as their white counterparts. When many non-African-Americans see black women in technology, some are inclined to think, “shouldn’t you be doing music?”

In spite of this, many African-American women are making big waves in the industry of technology. There are no biological reasons why black women cannot succeed in the technology industry. There are also no psychological reasons why you shouldn’t aim for the highest seat at the table.

If you need inspiration, take a look at this.

Basically, what I’m saying to you is, Get in here, girl!

The fight may be tough, and it is, but there are people who have gone before us, and we can look at them and know that it’s worth the sweat.

Also important to note is that I’m here to share my journey and their journey, and hopefully provide you fuel for your journey.