Can I pick your brain about D&I?

Perhaps the most-asked question I get from people at other tech companies. Truth be told, this is a painfully non-specific question, and the sheer volume of requests I get on a weekly and monthly basis has rendered saying “Yes!” completely impossible without being a terrible partner, friend, employee, cofounder, and advisor.

Apr 9, 2017 · 4 min read

…but I care more than anything about solving the diversity problem in tech, so here is my first attempt at helping, even if I’m slammed.

Over the last few years, I’ve noticed that many of my colleagues in diversity & inclusion (D&I) experience the same. As you might imagine, many of the questions are duplicated across most interactions, and tend to start with the basics. This is my attempt to increase the scale of helpfulness and knowledge sharing, while being mindful of the finite number of hours D&I experts have during the day.

At the bottom of this post, I have compiled a list of my suggested resources, grouped as best I can by topic area, and attributed to authors. I ask that folks read the below resources before following up with me (or others!), as I’ve found that I am most useful for specific questions, rather than general advice (as diversity & inclusion is a very broad subject area that can hardly be summarized in a short conversation).

Please enjoy, and thank you so much for thinking of me as a resource. It’s an honor and a privilege to help guide your learning.

Most common questions and concerns

Isn’t this just a pipeline problem?

I care about diversity, but don’t want to lower the bar.

Isn’t this a recruiting problem?

Do you have more questions? Check out the very long section at the bottom for my full recommendations!

Once you’re done reading

Now that you have done a ton of reading about effective D&I in the tech industry, you might still have some burning and specific questions that I can help with. And I would absolutely love to.

My requests for questions about D&I, please and thank you:

  • Email me.
  • Ask a specific question(s) about programs, approaches, implementations, etc.
  • Let me know your deadline for getting an answer, so I can prioritize accordingly.

I am more than happy to answer one or two emails totally gratis. If you would like to talk more at length, I am very happy to send you my consulting rates! While I absolutely love sharing my knowledge, I also want to emphasize that expertise in diversity & inclusion should be valued at the same level as other highly technical and emotionally laborious work.

I have standard a consulting rate, which is adjusted based on the demographics of the requester. Adjustments are based on the existing gender- and race-based gaps in compensation in the United States:

  • Hispanic/Latinx women and non-binary people: 59%
  • Hispanic/Latino men: 66%
  • Black/African American women and non-binary people: 69%
  • Black men: 72%
  • White women and non-binary people: 81%
  • Asian/Asian American women and non-binary people: 88%
  • White and Asian/Asian American men: 100%

If you belong to more than one of these categories, please choose the category that feels most appropriate to you. If you belong to a racial or ethnic category not listed, or if you come from another underrepresented or marginalized group, my standard discount is 25%. I will update this rate if you send me reliable pay gap statistics for other groups!

Note: Comparisons taken from an HBR article. While it is true that Asian/Asian American men make more than White men, on average, I have set rates as equivalent because of the racism Asian/Asian American men experience.

Suggested Brains to Pick

Note: This section will be continuously updated as I find great reference material and thought leadership for you!

The “Pipeline Problem”



HR Processes

Technical Interviewing

Learning & Development


Aubrey Blanche

Written by

Empath with a point of view, data nerd. Belonging @Atlassian, soapbox @adblanche. Loves: My #squad, dog, kindness, calendar invites. PR:

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