There's a perception that everyone in tech is a white dude with an Ivy League education. It's false, but sometimes, it can be hard to see it. San Francisco-based photographer Helena Price sought to change that through her latest project, Techies.
Techies is an art project composed of 100 interviews and portraits of people from underrepresented backgrounds in the tech industry: people of color, women, LGBT individuals, and disabled individuals, among others. Price, who describes it as a "giant oral history of the tech industry in 2016," spent three months working on this project.
"I want to show the outside world a more comprehensive picture of people who work in tech," she explains via email. "It’s not just a bunch of 22-year-old white boys from Stanford — there are a ton of people in tech who come from a huge variety of backgrounds, many not privileged, who worked their ass off to be here, have good motivations, and stay because they are insanely talented and passionate about the work."
Price acknowledges that 100 interviews is a lot to get through, so the site lets you choose your own path. You can filter the interviews to find people who have similar experience or a similar background to yourself, or learn about people who come from a completely different walk of life than your own.
Beyond hoping to connect people from all kinds of backgrounds going through similar struggles, Price also wants to send a message to the industry at large.
"Diversity is definitely a hot topic right now, but companies are still celebrating quantitative data (posting numbers, stating goals, then patting themselves on the back and calling it a day) without doing much else in terms of qualitative research or decision making," she says. "So, I thought I’d make a giant pile of (very unscientific) qualitative data that can, at the very least, serve as a catalyst for conversations and new ways of problem-solving around hiring and retention."
You should definitely visit Techies for yourself, but if you want a peek at what's in store, read on.
This post originally published April 4, 2016.
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