Monday, April 4, 2016

Latinternet + Los Memes- Highlights from the Diversity and Tech: Beyond Bootstraps Conference

I attended the Diversity in Tech: Beyond Bootstraps Conference at the David Brower Center in Berkeley. Here are my favorite quotes, highlights, and takeaways. 

Keynote: Snapshot on Racial Diversity in Tech


“Latinos will be driving Teslas in 2017!”
Josie: Super excited that Latinos will continue to influence the Environmental Movement. And at the same time thinking about the e-waste from these cars?!

“70 percent of students are Latino so 70 percent of Google Employees should be Latino.”

Josie: Yes! couldn't agree more with this statement! And we need to be represented at every level within Google too.

“Here is your call to action:

1. Ask your Uber + Lyft driver what you can do to help them live with dignity?
2. Ask your AirBnB host if they pay their housecleaners a living wage + benefits?
3. The next time you’re in an Apple store ask the Manager about their Diversity Data.
4. Ask your local politicians what they are doing to keep Tech Accountable?"
Josie: HELLO, I love calls to action! Anything I can do to help support the Latino community, I'll all in! I don't use Uber + Lyft because I walk every where but will do in the future. I haven't yet used AirBnB but will do. I still use my 4 year old cell phone, planned obsolescence, I'll buy another cell phone when this one dies. And I will ask Jane Kim, my current San Francisco District Supervisor, the next time I see her. 

All quotes listed above are from Orson Aguilar, President of the Greenlining Institute.

Panel: Unpacking the "Business Case for Diversity.”

“The United States is the largest Spanish speaking country in the world”

-Dolores Ines Casillas, Associate Professor for the Chicano/a Studies Department at UC Santa Barbara.
Josie: Whoa! I really really really gotta get my Espanol on!

“When Latinos weren’t represented at the Grammy’s they used memes to image they were there.”

-Dolores Ines Casillas, Associate Professor for the Chicano/a Studies Department at UC Santa Barbara.
Josie: DAAA-ng sad on one hand yet innovative on the other. 

“We have made diversity by our presence.”

-Karla Monterroso, Vice President, Student Programs of CODE2040.
Josie: I feel it, especially this year at my work.

“American culture is created by Blacks and Latinos and it’s our greatest capital.”

-Karla Monterroso, Vice President, Student Programs of CODE2040.
Josie: Word. *Mic drop!*

“Our ability to pass is hurting our ability to advance.”

-Karla Monterroso, Vice President, Student Programs of CODE2040.
Josie: Code-switching and shame were discussed a lot. While it makes me upset that we, as a community, have internalized racism and have manifested it in the workplace in this way, I also feel motivated to be my full self all day, everyday, no matter what.

“I’ve been lucky to have really positive and supportive experiences at LinkedIn.”

-Veronica Murillo, LinkedIn’s North America Sales Product Consultant.
Josie: Thankful! Veronica was so positive that it really brought up my mood. During the Q&A I was also able to ask her the top three things LinkedIn has done to make her experience there so positive. She said, "1. Creating Hola! 2. Building Leadership Program, 3. Visibilty at events like this one." 

“I remember a girl telling me at a tour at Stanford, ‘You look just like me, that means I can do this!' ’’

-Veronica Murillo, LinkedIn’s North America Sales Product Consultant.
Josie: Hearing this was like the Universe telling me, "Yes, Josie, this is what you need to be doing." I'm big on this concept: "Seeing is Believing." That's one of the major reasons I've started this blog.

Panel: Education- Tech Pipeline

“I was a Latina in Tech in Mexico and being Latina here is something else.”

-Vianey Munoz, HackBright Academy Graduate.
Josie: Vianey's story about the tech industry and Mexico vs USA was really cray. I'm super proud of her for graduating from HackBright Academy and glad she found a support network of women in tech too. She also made a huge valid point about the cost of tech bootcamps. It made me question the Tech industry further, why can't they create fully funded bootcamps for their target pipeline audience? They can have employees earn professional development hours/opportunities as the instructors and really "walk the talk" about creating diversity in tech.

“There are no Ethics Courses in Computer Science”

-Omar Ruvalcaba, Assistant Professor of Psychology at CSU Northridge.
Josie: Seriously?! This is brilliant and needs to be implemented ASAP. I'm thinking, Tech: Producer Responsibility 101. 

Panel: Proposed Solutions from Within

“Latinos are the biggest economic asset our community has.”

-Eutiquio “Tiq” Chapa, Program Manger at Stanford University’s Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative.
Josie: Loving the positivity! 

“We need to create wealth because we don’t forget where we come from”

-Laura Gomez, CEO & Founder of Atipica.
Josie: Yes, our struggles equal our humble.

“Every time someone tries to bury you become a tree.”

-Laura Gomez, CEO & Founder of Atipica.
Josie: Love that she shared the Mexican Proverb, "They tried to bury us. They didn't know we were seeds." Nature! Nature! Nature! Love it!

“Until I risk it all, then I’ll have it all.”

-Andrea Guendelman, Co-Founder and CEO of BeVisible.Soy
Josie: We are a hard working resilient community and I love that about us! 

Keynote: "Diversity in Tech: What We’ve Already Lost.”

“Find your voice, I have spent too much time wondering if I was enough.”
-Nicole Sanchez, Vice President of Social Impact at GitHub.
Josie: It's been a journey for me and I'm continually reminding myself that I am always enough and I will not let others devalue me!