Institutional Roadblocks Within DEI: How We're Failing Women of Color in Tech

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Speaker: Yesenia Salazar, Embedded SWE intern / Undergraduate Student, Nuro / Johns Hopkins

 Industry and academia alike have overwhelmingly adopted diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) policies to address underrepresentation along race and gender; however, unaddressed systemic issues exist within both recruitment pipelines and retention of underrepresented talent. A significant portion of DEI programming focuses on ‘imposter syndrome’ to address the conflict experienced by underrepresented talent, particularly women of color, failing to address the hostile environment we place these candidates in. This talk addresses systemic issues in early career talent acquisition, discrimination and retention of women of color in computer science education and industry, & tangible solutions that have been employed successfully by organizations like ColorStack and Code2040. Addressing issues of white supremacy and misogyny within industry, specifically in tech, is an immediate goal that has more visibility than ever. Solutions discussed include the use of applications specific to BIPOC talent, removal of factors including institution, first/last name from resume evaluations, and blind code reviews, which both combat implicit recruitment pipeline bias. The lack of discussion about intersectionality is a large reason for the overwhelming presence of DEI initiatives without results for BIPOC women. The issues of misogyny, antiBlackness, and xenophobia are pervasive throughout the experience of BIPOC women in tech, requiring a targeted approach.

Speaker: Yesenia Salazar, Embedded SWE intern / Undergraduate Student, Nuro / Johns Hopkins

 Industry and academia alike have overwhelmingly adopted diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) policies to address underrepresentation along race and gender; however, unaddressed systemic issues exist within both recruitment pipelines and retention of underrepresented talent. A significant portion of DEI programming focuses on ‘imposter syndrome’ to address the conflict experienced by underrepresented talent, particularly women of color, failing to address the hostile environment we place these candidates in...

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