EP 006 - Race, gender, and a two-year job search

“I’m not a junior, I’m not entry level. I’m a black woman in tech. I need these accolades to compete.” In this episode of Human Inclusive, Christopher Guest and Lia James explore the story of Dede Tetsubayashi, PhD, a senior Product Manager with a background in Computer Science and Anthropology who faced a two-year job search. With help from two experts, Dr. Tiffany Jana and Dr. Deborah Egerton, we dig into the barriers Dede was up against in her job search before she landed in a Product Manager role at WeWork. We want to understand why she faced so many roadblocks during her search. What happened that caused her search to extend 2.5 years — the span of most Silicon Valley techies’ tenure at any of the giant tech companies.

With the help of our guest experts we discuss the impact of conscious and unconscious biases on hiring, and our opportunities to change the current acquisition process.

There have been several studies over the last century which show the stereotypes behind an assumed intelligence of blacks compared to whites. A report from 2018 by Dupree and Fiske eludes that “unconscious bias and microaggressions build upon these low-competence stereotypes perpetuated by predominately white groups.”

Research by the Kapor Center shows that in Silicon Valley, “men constitute 70% of the workforce, Asian and White women comprise a combined 26% of the professional workforce, while Black, Latinx, and Native American/Alaskan Native women each constitute 2% or less.”

It goes further to say that:

“Among all women employed in computer and information science occupations, 56% are white women, 32% are Asian women, 7% are Black women and 5% are Latinx women.

While women currently make up roughly half of the overall workforce, they are just 35% of the technology workforce. Women of color currently constitute 18% of the overall population, but 39% of the female-identified population in the United States - and by 2060 women of color will comprise the majority."

For more information on our guests:

Dr. Tiffany Jana 
Authored:  Overcoming BiasErasing Institutional Bias, and B-Corp Handbook: Second Edition

Dr. Deborah Egerton

Dede Tetsubayashi, PhD

Human Inclusive