Women In Tech

When I was an engineering major at Georgia Tech, I learned how to program with if then statements. If then statements are the basic programming to execute a code.  In real life, there is no simple “if then”. Most of people’s responses in life are more nuanced and based on an individual’s perspective, experience and identity. Unfortunately, some developers, hackers, and the like have translated if then statements as a code of conduct when dealing with people.

If a woman works in the tech startup community and attends a conference, then all jokes should be shrugged off?

If a person is offended, then should the offender be immediately fired?

If a man who has three kids loses a job, then wouldn’t the response be against the company who fired and not the company where the woman works?

If people online conclude that a woman is responsible for a man losing his job, then should rape and death threats and hate speech be launched immediately all over the internet?

If some people got their emails, then can a DDoS be faked?

If some tech blogs don’t include the rape and death threats in their reporting, then are they being irresponsible?

If tech startups lack essential human resources and public relations, then can they effectively handle situations like this?

If humans can’t treat humans with respect, then can we just program ethical robots to take over?



Social Media Is Not A Bringer Show!

bringer show
Lately, more people are doing social media and part of that is a numbers game. Like an amateur comedian just starting out, you have to have a certain amount of people coming to the show to perform. In the comedy world, this is known as a bringer show. If you have a friend who is just starting out doing comedy, then you know about the dreaded bringer show where comedians can only perform if they get enough people to come to the show. Similarly, some people have social media gigs which require a certain amount of engagement on a weekly or daily basis. To reach these numbers, some social media coordinators will reach out to the friends repeatedly for “Likes”, “Retweets”, “Followers”. I don’t mind when someone sends me something and politely asks if I would consider spreading the word to my community. However, I really dislike when people send me a “sample tweet” in the hopes that I will simply copy, paste and tweet out to the world.

First of all, I recommend  social media professionals to stop over-promising to clients. Building social media presence is a long term process. If a client wants  1000 new followers a month, then don’t take the job. They can just buy twitter followers if they need the numbers so badly. Secondly, the strain that you may be putting on your friendships is not worth it. It is better to find which subset of friends who may be interested and message them. Stop sending blanket updates to everyone and please don’t beg for RTs. If you treat social media outreach like a bringer show, no one will come and the joke will be on you.

Sandberg, Mayer, Steinberg: Sistas Are Doing It For Themselves

Sistas n Arms


Is that greeting too off-putting because I don’t know each and every Black woman in America?!

We may not all be related. We are definitely not a monolith, but we share enough experiences that it is safe to say we are a sisterhood.

Even as strangers, we let each other know if there is lipstick on our teeth or if our purse is not zipped up.

So lately, there has been conversation about women, their careers and lives. Sheryl Sandberg is telling us to “lean in”; Marissa Mayer is saying we can’t work home and Anne Marie Slaughter says we can’t have it all. However, we don’t seem to have a “bitch in this fight”. [ I only say bitch because it is female for dog. I am not calling anyone a bitch or a dog.] What I am saying is that we Black women are NOT represented in this discussion. Neither are other women of color.

Anne Marie Slaughter, Marissa Mayer, and Sheryl Sandberg don’t speak for us. They also don’t speak for their sisters who are white and struggling to keep their jobs, their homes and feed their children.

Aspirational lifestyle articles that talk about Slaughter, Mayer,and Sanberg start off with the assumption that everyone reading them is making bank. They reek of privilege and do nothing to move the conversation about the difficulty of women’s evolving roles as business owners, mothers, wives and community leaders.

How can women without money and resources become authors like Sandberg? How can they become tech start-up entrepreneurs?
How can they homeschooled their kids? How can they run for political office?

We want those stories. Sistas have those stories. Let the conversation start from women with less than six-figure incomes. Everyone can learn from them.