11/9 – Lehigh@Nasdaq Center podcast

In the Lehigh@Nasdaq Center podcast titled Women and the Importance of Representation in Tech, Samantha Walravens interviewed Bärí Williams and Jossie Haines on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the tech world. They argue that tech companies need to create an environment of inclusivity and act upon the pledges that they have made in regards to diversity/equity. 

Williams and Haines show how there are still flaws and barriers for women and minoritized individuals in the tech industry through sharing personal experiences, statistics, and more. Williams noted that she is looking for more tangible, long-lasting action items and solutions from tech companies rather than them just taking the easy way out/not following through on things. Furthermore, Williams noted that there needs to be more outside accountability measures for tech companies in regards to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Moreover, they noted how the pandemic has altered women’s expectations and behaviors within the workplace as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, ¼ of all women are considering leaving the workforce or going part-time and ⅓ of women who are mothers are considering leaving the workforce or going part-time. This could be because not a lot of jobs are family-friendly and have a culture of rewarding overworking, which is an expectation not aligned with working families. They noted that this is concerning because there will be less representation and role models within the workforce, which could lead to a diversity recession. 

A specific quote that stood out to me from this podcast was, “Inclusion is the difference between being invited to the dance and being comfortable enough dancing.” The speakers then went on to note that intentional inclusivity in organizations is really important, which can be achieved through opening spaces/places and listening to diverse opinions/voices within a workplace. Moreover, they noted how important it is to consider inclusion and equity during product development, as it can have long-term societal consequences. At the end of the podcast episode, Williams and Haines offered advice to women seeking employment within the tech industry by recommending that questions be asked during the interview and once you get an offer. 

The perspectives and opinions offered in this podcast were valid and interesting. I really appreciated listening to it and I agree with everything that Williams and Haines said. The incorporation of personal stories and statistics really solidified how there is necessary progress to be made to achieve a more equitable, inclusive workforce for all. It is really impactful to listen to strong and influential women in their fields as it is inspiring for myself and others to follow in their footsteps.

One thought on “11/9 – Lehigh@Nasdaq Center podcast

  1. Megan, I also listened to this podcast and found it really intruiging. I loved the quote you referenced regarding the dance and I also thought it was really interesting that they said diversity is much easier to measure than inclusion. I also agreed with the majority of what the two women said and I think these conversations regarding diversity and inclusion need to occur more frequently in the workplace. Just creating the dialogue regarding the topic sparks conversation and makes people think before acting.

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