Why is addressing harassment and abuse important to diversity?

Harassment, abuse, and other kinds of marginalizing behavior are major reasons that people from minority groups in tech limit their interactions with technical communities, stop attending conferences, or drop out of the industry entirely.

In the early years of their careers, women self-report themselves to be ambitious and happy. But over time they get ground down. Most have very few female role models and colleagues. Surveys find 23% to 66% report experiencing sexual harassment or seeing it happen to others. Half the respondents to my survey said they’ve been treated in a way they find hostile, demeaning or condescending, and a third said their bosses are friendlier and more supportive with their male colleagues.

Why women are leaving the tech industry in droves

I finally realized that I could no longer contribute to a community where I was technically respected, but I could not ask for personal respect. I could not work with people who helpfully encouraged newcomers to send patches, and then argued that maintainers should be allowed to spew whatever vile words they needed to in order to maintain radical emotional honesty. I did not want to work professionally with people who were allowed to get away with subtle sexist or homophobic jokes. I feel powerless in a community that had a “Code of Conflict” without a specific list of behaviors to avoid and a community with no teeth to enforce it.

Closing a Door

What do marginalized groups in tech experience?

Elephant in the Valley is a report on a survey focused on women working in Silicon Valley. Their findings include things like “60% of women report receiving unwanted sexual advances.”

Nearly half of black women (48%) and Latinas (47%) report having been mistaken for administrative or custodial staff, an experience far less common for white (32%) and Asian-American (23%) women scientists

The 5 Biases Pushing Women Out of STEM

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