I’ve been invited to speak at an event at Microsoft’s MVP Summit on Sunday on the topic of diversity and inclusion of woman and the LGBT community.
Let’s look at the main types:
From my perspective woman are thriving in the field of technology but there are few when it comes to software developers at least in my locale.
I’s nearly impossible to gauge the gay community because most are not flamboyant and are no different in appearance than heterosexual counterparts.
As with the gay community, cross-dressers are invisible too as the nature of a cross-dresser is they are in the closet when they transform into their version of themselves of the opposite gender. Lastly, a cross-dresser may or may not be gay, some cross-dress for pleasure while others to please their partner.
Then there are those who identify as the opposite gender then their born gender. To complete their transformation they are required by law to live in the role of the gender they wise to transition to for one year, 24/7.
Thoughts on how to include the above into the field of technology. For cisgender females
- Many woman believe technology is a “boy’s club”, same goes for parents of girls. If the woman believes this then they will not identify being in technology. The main place for change is in the home, parents need to encourage their daughters.
- Discrimination, lack of parental leave especially in a face-pace industry. This needs to change in how management thinks,
Transgender, how do we include them in technology. This is extremely difficult for the heterosexual employees and management to buy into no different than one hundred years ago in discrimination of African Americans, it take time for people to embrace, in this case transgender people into the workforce.
Heterosexuals many times believe the transgender to be a deviant which in some cases may be the case but the majority of those in the transgender community are no different then their heterosexual counter-parts. A transgender had no choice in being transgender, it’s a chemical imbalance in the brain to that of their heterosexual counterpart.
With that said, a transgender may very well given the chance be the best at a chosen profession but they have two things against them (actually more but focusing on these).
- Presenting in the opposite gender, at many stages will not appear proper for the new identity, examples a female to male no matter how hard they try breast my be visible or a male to female and for both their voice may not fit the new identity.
- They are not intelligent because after an employer reviews their resume sees they had no employment prior to this application or had low paying jobs which comes from perpetuation of cisgender employers perception of a transgender individual and the transgender community at large.
I have personal insight into the above information as I was born as a male but was from the first time I could rationalize myself with others I was indeed a female with the wrong body.
Having lived as a male to conform with male hormones my brain worked as mostly male and for the most part was forced to act as a cisgender male. After beginning hormones and living as a female I have a unique perspective on how men and woman differ in how they think and see the world. With that in mind my unique perspective allows me to advocate for woman, gay and transgender community. When I see potential in one of them with technology no matter their age will encourage them to consider working in technology.
When I think of inclusion, Microsoft is the first company I think of from interacting with them and they know my background. There are other companies, like Microsoft who embrace a diverse work force yet that is not enough. Myself and others who are thriving in technology need to, when appropriate educate others such as educating parents of female children, employers on gays and transgender (left out cross-dressers because they are in the closet).
Last night myself and several other woman spoke about inclusion and diversity. I believe it went extremely well gauging by the attendance. Have to give a huge thanks to Microsoft.