If you really care about diversity, don’t let unpaid, unrewarded labor be piled on marginalized people – your people.
Source: Whose job is it to D&I anyway?
Don’t make underrepresented people work a second job as diversity champions. – Natasha Litt, Data Engineer at New Relic
Underrepresented employees already have to overcome discriminatory barriers in their careers; they shouldn’t be expected to volunteer their time to help their companies do the same.
The vast majority of this activism is being led by underrepresented people – some working at tech companies, some starting their own, and many working outside of traditional structures as independent activists or as part of new collectives. In addition to managing the daily toll of existing as a marginalized person in technology, they are also taking on the challenging, taxing and often thankless work of culture change… and it doesn’t come without a cost. Diversity in tech work is having a profound, negative impact on advocates’ happiness, mental and physical health and work/life balance, as well as their safety, relationships, careers and security.
Activist burnout is something more widely documented in other social justice communities, yet less understood and discussed in tech itself. In fact, it remains a highly taboo topic: in our recent informal survey on tech activism and burnout, we found that the vast majority of respondents chose to remain anonymous. Still, their responses made one thing absolutely clear: burnout is one of the #1 challenges facing the movement.