You are viewing content from a past/completed QCon - November 2020

Inclusion & Diversity in Tech

This track is designed to change perceptions about DEI and advance the conversation. You'll come from the talks with a renewed interest in inclusion work and a clear understanding of how it applies to you as an individual as well as your organization. 

Talk 1 - DEI is rooted in justice. Let's stop making it about profit

Chanita Simms will open the track by helping attendees understand DEI but also change the conversation from revenue and profit to equality and justice. She'll help attendees understand that the default setting of our world is racism, and inaction equals being complicit in maintaining a system of inequality. Chanita will go beyond the "business case" for DEI and challenge attendees to examine the danger of maintaining the status quo of inequity. DEI work is justice work and naturally aligns with the values of any company or individual that cares about respecting our shared humanity.

Talk 2 - Program to Process: How moving from "D&I" to equitable design builds better products

Having learned about DEI from Chanita, attendees will take a deep dive into the "Equity" in DEI with Aubrey Blanche. Companies have funneled enormous sums of money into "diversity and inclusion" programs that have been shown to be ineffective (e.g., unconscious bias training) while leaving almost everyone with "diversity fatigue". Meanwhile, underrepresented employees continue to face daily microaggressions and roadblocks to full participation in the enormous wealth generated by the tech industry. Aubrey will show attendees how equitable design allows them to apply data and an understanding of intersectionality to make meaningful progress resulting in equitable experiences for employees and better products for customers.

Talk 3 - Black Fatigue

Mary-Frances Winters will close the presentation portion of the track with a candid discussion about the reality of the lived experiences of Black people. This is a year where many QCon attendees learned about systematic racism through the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd (among others) and the resulting protests. However, Black people didn't just show up in 2020 with new problems, and Mary-Frances will explore the intergenerational impact of systematic racism. Attendees will learn how every aspect of life is shaped by racism and attempts to end racial injustice have been met by deeply entrenched resistance. If you're having difficulty understanding the plight of your Black tech colleagues, friends, or family members, then this talk will help you be more empathetic.


Anjuan Simmons

Engineering Coach @helpscout
Anjuan Simmons is a technologist with a successful track record of delivering technology solutions from the user interface to the database. He combines his experiences working at Big 4 management consulting companies as well as small technology startups to implement practical solutions that can... Read more Find Anjuan Simmons at:

Wednesday Nov 4 / 12:00PM EST


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