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Simone Haas

“Where are our biases? What do we have to do to get more people of color into our team and feel safe in our team. And then maybe feeling safe enough to tell us: we are feeling harm, please help us in this case. I think this is the biggest failure that they didn’t feel safe enough to tell us that they need our help. Or to trust us that we want to help or could help in this situation.”

Image of Simone HaasSimone Haas is CEO of The Neighbourhoodie Software GmbH. After studying history and working in the publishing industry she moved to Berlin in 2015 and became a member of the CSSconf EU and JSConf EU team. Since 2018 she is curator of JSConf EU. 
Being a non-programming person in tech she is challenging the status quo by managing the operative business behind the code.

 

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Tech Is Not Neutral Ep. 7

Today’s topic is life as an Facebook content moderators

Content warningThis story contains discussion of serious mental health issues, racism, descriptions of violent acts against people and animals, accounts of sexual harassment and post-traumatic stress disorder, and other potentially disturbing content.

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Pariss Athena

“Let me tell you something, the day I started Black Tech Twitter, I had plenty of [white people] going: ‘What if there was a white tech twitter?” – I’m like THERE IS that’s literally the industry.”

Image of Pariss AthenaPariss Athena is creator of the #BlackTechTwitter hashtag and movement, proving that the “pipeline problem” in tech isn’t true and that there is an entire community of Black technologists in the industry. #BlackTechTwitter has been featured in tons of interviews, articles, tech talks and has even caught the attention of influencers from tech to Hollywood. The hashtag even pops up as a suggestion on Instagram because of how frequently it is used. Pariss was asked to speak at Twitter about hashtag and importance of paying close attention to this new found community.

Pariss is also Founder of Black Tech Pipeline (#BlackTechPipeline) which is a Slack community for #BlackTechTwitter to continue learning, collaborating and networking in amongst technologists who look like them. Along with the Slack community, there is a weekly #BlackTechPipeline newsletter full of interviews, features on different softwares and technologies, job and speaking opportunities and more. Subscribe here: https://blacktechpipeline.substack.com/welcome

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Sara Chipps

“The thing that I keep coming back to is to not speak for or to make decisions or to pretend that I represent anyone that has a different experience or different affinity than I do.”

Image of Sara ChippsSara Chipps, is a JavaScript developer based in NYC who has been coding since the adolescence of the web. As user number 4140, she’s been avid member of the Stack Overflow community since it was in Beta. As Director of Community there her focus is on inspiring developers to build features that appeal to all coders. Outside of Stack she is the co-founder of Jewelbots, a company focused on inspiring girls in STEM through play.
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Emily Gorcenski

“We need to be able to talk about violence against the trans community because there is an immense amount of violence against the trans people, even white trans people. We need to be able to talk about that while also not co-opting the very specific type of violence that happens against Black trans women.”

Image of Emily GorcenskiEmily is a data scientist, researcher, and activist from Charlottesville, Virginia. She’s used her research and data skills to track far-right violence to push for accountability and social justice after the neo-Nazi riots in 2017. As a technologist, she believes in good technological citizenship, and is aware of the privileges and responsibilities that her position affords her. She sits on the advisory board of two university-based extremist research projects and runs First Vigil, a site tracking court cases related to far-right incidents in the United States. For these efforts, she was named to the 2018 Bitch 50 as one of the 50 most influential feminists of the year.

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Danielle Smith

“What we did to help get stuff done is to change the conversation from it being a legal compliance to being an equality conversation. We want to make sure that you consider the spectrum of humanity when you build digital tools.”

Image of Danielle SmithDanielle is a trained social scientist that has spent the past 15+ years working to make it all easier to use. She has worked in technology design research and experience design strategy at a variety of companies – NASA/Lockheed Martin, Dell, PayPal – prior to joining Express Scripts in 2016 with the intention of keeping (at least a part of) the healthcare experience grounded in humanity by building an insights function. Her academic training as an Industrial/Organizational psychologist, extends her perspective on “easier to use” beyond the technology that these corporations provide to include the experience of working within them. Over her professional experience, she has seen how well teams that are diverse in their human and professional backgrounds can work together to build great things. Danielle is a passionate technologist that believes in the potential of invention to improve society and radical inclusivity is a core part of that belief.

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