Diversity InTechnology – Empowering Marginalized People in Tech Businesses
William Jackson, M.Ed.
WordCamp Asheville 2020 was virtual that year, but that did
not dampen its importance of the panel discussing diversity
in technology and technology businesses increasing their
opportunities for marginalized people in new careers.
The panel assembled with national experts that included
Aida Correa of Jacksonville, Florida, (Afro-Latina) a seasoned
speaker in local, national and international technology conferences.
Ms. Correa (now Mrs. Aida Correa-Jackson shared her experiences
as a woman of color, being Afro-Latina and how her presence at
technology conferences inspires Latina, Hispanic, Mexican and
women over 50, women of color.
Aida shares that the growing number of potential homeless
women are women over 50 because they are lacking tech skills
that younger employees come with. Because that are lacking they
can be paid much less.
When women over 50 are let go they are challenged to find new
employment opportunities because of age, cost of insurance for
them and their families and many times the lack of tech skills.
The panel invited Aisha Adams of Equity Over Everything,
Joe A. Simpson, Jr a respected WordCamp organizer, speaker
and community advocate of WordPress and Sarah Benoit,
the moderator of the panel.
WordPress is one of the most affordable and accessible web
development platforms for people interested in diverse fields
of technology. Careers in areas of web development, coding,
graphic design, development, Search Engine Optimization and
other areas are available. The importance of WP is that it’s
steady growth of influencing 40% of web sites around the world.
WordPress is growing in the mission to invite youth, teens and
young adults to participate not just as attendees, but in roles as
speakers, volunteers and even organizers. The participation of
teens and young adults has helped them start their own tech
businesses and entrepreneurial opportunities.
The new opportunities open doors for those of color, culture,
indigenous backgrounds and marginalized communities to have
more opportunities in multiple fields of technology. They are
demanding a seat at the tables of tech companies and changes
in accepting diversity as a natural evolution not as a hindrance.
WordCamps are a real-life showcase of the growing diversity in
the field of tech, people of diverse backgrounds are welcomed,
more work needs to be done to get marginalized and indigenous
people involved in technology and STREAM careers.
Science Technology Reading Engineering Arts Math is an
educational initiative that has long terms influences.
A deeper understanding of what diversity, equity, and inclusion
(DEI) needs to be understood to make transformative change.
There is a growing demand for making technology and STREAM
careers more inclusive and influential. This has to happen to
help increase the diversity of people to enter or create their own
businesses in technology and entrepreneurialism.
There are strategies being created for building steps in making
WordPress, technology, and business communities more
inclusive with diversity of color, culture, gender and generation.
It does not mean just adding more people of color in tech positions
it means putting in place steps to build people of color in more
leadership roles and positions of influence and ability to make
changes in personnel. Technology companies need to look like
the people of this nation, diverse with Black, Brown and the
hues of the life of humanity that makes America great.
Some of the questions asked during the panel are;
Why are diverse voices and experiences critical to the health
of our communities and businesses? What challenges do
underrepresented groups face? How can we ensure lasting
change in our WordPress, technology and home communities?
How can Black and Brown communities get more Internet
access and tech in the hands of youth?
These are pressing questions that can create life changes and
influence relationships in technology businesses. Aida Correa,
Aisha Adams, and Joe Simpson, along with moderator Sarah
Benoit, together represent close to 90 years of combined
experience levels related in business, education and community
engagement. Each are seasoned WordCamp speakers, advocates,
business owners, innovators, thought leaders and more.
These are tough questions in tough times that many corporations
and organizations are struggling with. People of color and culture,
marginalization and indigenous are seeking increased equality
and equitability in tech careers that offers responsibility, leadership,
influence and outreach in communities.
Aida Correa (now Aida Correa-Jackson, a Jacksonville resident
has extensive experiences working with youth, teens and young
adults that cross-multiple cultural backgrounds and ages.
She is part of the WPJax Kids Meetup for WordPress that
integrates STREAM. She will be speaking at multiple technology
conferences across the States and globally. Aida represents the
beauty and influence of diversity in technology and how this inclusivity
benefits all businesses.