It’s 2021, so why are you reading this?

black iPhone 4 on brown wooden table

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re straight, white, male, and English-speaking. There’s also a high likelihood that you live in the United States.

The technology industry seems to be thick with this stereotype, but as I mentioned in a series of posts about gatekeeping, if we only listen to (or read) white male voices, we reaffirm the status quo and ignore other voices. A recent post (also available from here) underlines the bias in technology as it relates to (of all things) a JavaScript framework.

[A] disproportionately small—yet exceedingly vocal minority—of white male developers advocate strongly for React, and by extension, a development experience that favors thick client/thin server architectures which are given to poor performance in adverse conditions. Such conditions are less likely [to] be experienced by white male developers themselves, therefore reaffirming and reflecting their own biases in their work.

Look through your RSS feeds, newsletter subscriptions, and the websites you visit. Look at the people you follow on Twitter, Facebook, and on Reddit. Are you hearing the voices of people who don’t look or sound like that stereotype?

If not, why not?

I’m going to borrow an idea from myself for this week’s short post. You are all getting homework, and I’m giving you an entire year to finish it. Your task for 2021 is to consciously modify who you follow on social media to be more inclusive of people who don’t look or sound like you.

I’ll check back with you in six months to see how you’re doing.

Photo by dole777 on Unsplash.

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