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ORGANIZING TECH AGAINST HATE

Technology platforms promised us connection, access, and democracy but instead are radicalizing and fragmenting communities by providing an unprecedented ability to coordinate attacks and amplify hate. Five years ago, when relentless harassment in the gamer community against three women game developers happened, underrepresented people sounded an alarm. People of color, the LGBTQIA+ community, and others warned and continue to warn us about how tech platforms are used to abuse, and how it keeps getting worse. In a time where mass shootings have become tragically more commonplace, the recent string of shootings in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton have shaken us to our core.


 
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TECH LEADERS CONDEMN TECH’S ROLE IN ELEVATING WHITE SUPREMACY

A group of tech leaders has banded together to speak out against white supremacy and rampant hate speech on tech platforms. The group, Build Tech We Trust, refers to itself as a collective of tech CEOs, activists, changemakers and workers who are committed to countering hate and terrorism.


 

THESE CEOs SAY BIG TECH SHOULD TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR SPREADING WHITE SUPREMACIST TERRORISM

In light of the most recent mass shootings, a group of tech CEOs and founders has come together to call out tech companies for their role in helping white supremacists organize and amplify their rhetoric and carry out violent attacks.

“Technology platforms promised us connection, access, and democracy but instead are radicalizing and fragmenting communities by providing an unprecedented ability to coordinate attacks and amplify hate,” the group wrote in a post published today. “We believe technology should improve the human experience and quality of life for everyone, and that tech companies and leaders should take responsibility for the harm caused by their platforms and tools.”


 
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AFTER THE EL PASO & GILROY SHOOTING, TECH LEADERS ARE SAYING PLATFORMS MUST STOP AMPLIFYING HATE SPEECH

A collective of prominent tech leaders that calls itself Build Tech We Trust signed a letter Tuesday demanding that the tech industry stop the spread of hate and terrorism on digital platforms.

“We are a collective of tech CEOs, activists, changemakers, and workers who believe the time to act to counter the hate and terrorism is now,” stated the letter, which was signed by over 20 notable figures in the tech industry, including Ellen Pao, ReadySet CEO Y-Vonne Hutchinson, and Code2040 CEO Karla Monterroso.


 
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HOW TO SHOW CARE TO A LATINX COLLEAGUE AFTER THE EL PASO TEXAS SHOOTING

Nicole Sanchez is the CEO of Vaya Consulting, a management consulting firm that advises companies on diversity and inclusion. She said saying nothing after the El Paso shooting can have far worse repercussions for Latinx workers in workplaces where they are not the majority. “There is the sense of isolation, but even worse than that is wondering who of your colleagues is unbothered by what is going on, or secretly supports what’s going on, or doesn’t see the horror, and that’s a legitimate fear that isn’t just about a feeling of isolation,” she said. “By not extending anything, everybody is a question mark.”

 

 
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DO YOUR DIVERSITY EFFORTS REFLECT THE EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN OF COLOR?

“If black women can thrive in your company, almost everybody else will be just fine.” Nicole Sanchez recommends making interventions – like gender equality programs – only after taking into consideration, the experiences of and suggestions by women of color, particularly African-American women.

 

 
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CAN AI SAVE US FROM BIAS IN THE DIVERSE, NONBINARY WORKFORCE OF THE FUTURE?

“Fifty percent of those who identify as Gen-Z living on the coasts thought about their gender and identify somewhere on a nonbinary spectrum of gender. As much as we want to drive for something simple like gender, for the next set of workers, gender is decreasingly meaningful,” said Sanchez.

 

 

FACEBOOK NOMINATES PEGGY ALFORD, FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN, TO ITS BOARD OF DIRECTORS

"As black, Native American and Latinx women comprise less than 1% of tech leadership, but over-index as end users, closing this gap is critical for companies that want to remain relevant in the future," said Nicole Sanchez, chief executive officer and founder of Vaya Consulting. "It is a great signal that women of color are finally being added to tech boards, but we won't be able to close this sector-wide gap until a critical mass of women of color comprise leadership positions."

 

 

'BIAS DEEP INSIDE THE CODE': THE PROBLEM WITH AI 'ETHICS' IN SILICON VALLEY

When new AI ethics projects fail at diversity from the start, it makes it challenging to recruit different voices without tokenizing people, said Nicole Sanchez, a tech diversity advocate and the founder of Vaya Consulting.

“They just lost credibility,” Sanchez said of Stanford, which she attended as a student. “How would you feel if you’re one of the handful of black folks who are called now?”

 

 

WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH #METOO IN 2019?

Vaya Consulting CEO Nicole Sanchez, who helps tech companies diversify their workforces, says that the change will encourage other smaller tech outfits to do the same. “Once some of the bigger companies change their policies like that, it does take a while for it to trickle out to the rest of Silicon Valley, in part because the Googles and Facebooks of the world can take the financial risk,” she says. “It will take a while for it to hit startups and mid-sized companies. But I still think it means good things to come for people at all companies.”

 

 

HOW CORPORATE AMERICA IS TRYING TO FOSTER MORE REAL TALK ABOUT RACE

Nicole Sanchez, CEO of Vaya Consulting, said she has had more interest from clients about having frank dialogues about race -- rather than merely talking about diversity and inclusion -- "in the last six months than I probably did in the previous 25 years."

 

 

WE DON’T HAVE TO EXPLAIN THAT TECH IS NOT DIVERSE: LESSONS FROM A TWO-DECADE BATTLE

What is the business case you make for diversity? For us, the business case is that we want every developer in the world on our platform. And when we say every developer, we don’t mean people who just know they’re developers today.

 

 

HOW I MADE IT: NICOLE SANCHEZ LEADS THE CHARGE FOR DIVERSITY

One of Sanchez's goals is to help others understand why diversity matters. "I hear a lot of cop-outs around diversity," she said. "When somebody says they don't want to 'lower the bar' in order to hire a diverse team, often what it takes is to just reflect that question back on the person and say, 'What do you mean by lowering the bar? Because to me that sounds like you think anybody who comes through these doors who doesn't look a certain way or hasn't gone to a certain short list of schools is automatically not as good as you.'

 

 

'BOYS WILL BE BOYS' GETS A NEW SPIN IN SILICON VALLEY SEXISM SCANDAL

Nicole Sanchez says those speaking up in defense of men who have admitted preying on women fall into different camps: friends and loved ones, people who are afraid of losing access to the investor's resources and those who realize their own behavior could be called into question.

 

 

PUBLIC HOUSING TO KEY ROLE IN DIVERSITY

Over the past months, Campos has been sharing his story from the White House to an American Indian reservation in Oklahoma. While 90 percent of the households of college-educated Americans have broadband access, roughly half of of other households do.

 

 

GITHUB VP TELLS COMPANIES & JOB SEEKERS “DON’T GET LEFT BEHIND

Vaya has been working to increase diversity in tech since before many of today’s hottest startups were even formed— yes, including Facebook and Google.

 

 

WALLS & BRIDGES: GENDER EQUALITY

Last October, accusations of sexual assault against film mogul Harvey Weinstein prompted thousands of women to post #metoo on Facebook and Twitter, showing that they too have experienced sexual assault or harassment. In the months since, women have come forward with allegations of misconduct against a slough of powerful men in entertainment, politics, tech and other fields. But what’s next for the me too movement? In this special Walls and Bridges conversation, KQED's Tonya Mosley tackles the question with a panel of experts.

 

 

WHAT A GOOD COMPANY APOLOGY ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE

Nicole Sanchez’s job is to help businesses go beyond silence and “that’s not my problem.” As a lecturer on workplace diversity at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business who has served as Vice President of Social Impact at GitHub, Nicole Sanchez is the founder of Vaya Consulting where she teaches business leaders how to demonstrate care to their employees when they face internal and external crises. She talked with Ladders on how companies can do a public apology the right way.

 

 

WHAT GITHUB DID TO KILL ITS TROLLS

Sanchez got to work, revamping how the company approached everything from hiring and performance reviews to office decor. Since its beginning, the company had been non-hierarchical, with no managers or titles, but Sanchez helped to kill it, finding that without bosses, people weren't held accountable when their actions were in the wrong.