Using privilege to help, not hurt, diversity

Alex Chan | Friday 10:30 | Room D

GitHub profiles are often used as a proxy for talent and aptitude – surely if somebody’s a “real” developer, they spend all their free time working on code, right? It’s looked upon favourably in job applications, and used by recruiters for the next round of recruit-o-grams.

But it’s a privilege to have free time to work on code – not just the time itself, but the energy and the ability to work for free. This tips the playing field in favour of certain people (mostly white men and young, single people without families).

When we forget our privilege, we can introduce inequality and hurt minorities. And we all have different types of privilege – including the ability to take free time for a conference!

If we acknowledge our privilege, we can use it to help others by remembering that not everyone has the time, energy or resources that we do.

This talk provides some practical steps for identifying and sharing our privilege. By using our privilege to help others who lack it, we can build a more diverse and inclusive tech industry for everyone.