Guest Anjuan Simmons and host Robert Douglass explore the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) experience in the tech world.
Facing additional burdens
As a Black manager and leader with 25 years of experience in the technologist space, Anjuan carries more burdens than most. He lists:
Anjuan sums it up, “Really, I have to do two jobs: the job I was hired to do, and the job of carrying these burdens.”
Assess your progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion
Diversity can be a shallow statistic. Anjuan’s goal is to reach beyond diversity and into true belonging. Everyone has a part in making this happen, but especially those in charge of hiring. Anjuan says, “If you have hiring responsibility at a technology company, hire Black women.”
He suggests three questions as a litmus test for companies who want to know how they’re doing in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Anjuan explains his reasoning for asking these questions. “Black women are often the most disadvantaged when it comes to working in technology. So if you as a company can answer these questions well, that is the clearest indicator I've ever come across to really see how you're doing. If you can't answer those questions, especially as a manager, it’s likely you have a long way to go.”
Anjuan also provides an acronym he uses to illustrate how you can be a BIPOC ally in technology: H.E.L.P.
Anjuan explains, “By understanding the history, by developing empathy, and by listening, you'll be able to provide help. And you'll be a part of what I think we can all do, which is exert that gravitational pull that will help us bend the arc of the moral universe closer to justice.”
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