Four women of color just won a major engineering award
It’s no secret that Silicon Valley has a major diversity problem with the majority of the big name tech companies, like Google and Apple, reporting dismal numbers when it comes to employing women and people of color.
Accordingly, the people of color who do break through in the Valley and land jobs at great companies rarely get much recognition compared to the mostly white, mostly male engineers and executives working in the upper echelons of their companies. But that changed ever so slightly this week when tech site Techcrunch held its Crunchies Awards and, in the process, created a platform that recognized four women of color working at a major tech company.
According to The Cut, the Fastest Rising Startup Crunchie went to Slack, a high-tech instant messaging platform, and rather than send its white, male CEO to the stage, the company opted to send a team of black female engineers to accept the prestigious award.
“We’re engineers, so we came prepared,” the women said. “The idea that diversity at companies improves the culture and the bottom line may be somewhat controversial, but all we know is we’ve got 9 percent women of color engineering at Slack — four of whom are up here tonight, in ‘Formation.'”
While we’re still a long way off from achieving real diversity in tech, this moment was an important one in the fight for visibility, which is tremendously important when it comes to affecting change. Let’s hope we see more women like the women at Slack on stages, at conferences, and at the top of the corporate ladder in the near future.