While producing Episode #2 of the Chasing Grace Project, we sought to explore the role of community in elevating women’s careers. When women do, inevitably, hit the glass ceiling (or in the case of the women in episode #2 — get sued or denied funding because they’re women) how does community help them bust through those barriers? Could community be the silver bullet in increasing the number of women in tech?
As part of that pre-production journey for Episode #2, when I was deep in the weeds on research and interviews, I talked to men, too. I wanted to understand how they viewed their role as allies in these communities of women.
That’s when I sat down and talked to Guy Martin, first in a coffee shop in Beaverton, Oregon and then in front of the camera. Guy allowed himself to be vulnerable and very real in his account of being called out during a women in tech meeting for having white male privilege. He shared his story about becoming angry but then immediately curious and how he pursued his own journey to understand what being an ally to women in this industry really means. His vulnerability and courage in sharing this story is what we desperately need to advance constructive conversations about gender in the workplace.
I’ve known Guy for a long time. We’ve worked side-by-side in the open source community but it wasn’t until he told me he had a story he’d be willing to share that we really connected in a new way. I’m grateful for this contribution to the project.
Today Guy works at Autodesk and after sharing his story with us, he was inspired to rally support for the Project internally at the company and ensure the stories we share can continue to be told. Since then I’ve met a number of amazing people at Autodesk who care deeply about building inclusive workplaces and giving women a platform for their stories. Today, I’m happy to announce that Autodesk is officially our newest sponsor. You can read more about why in Autodesk’s blog.
I’ll be speaking and screening Chasing Grace at Autodesk University in Las Vegas on November 19 and look forward to hearing more stories from the women and men there that can change the culture in tech. I promise to keep bringing them to you.
You can also see Episode #2 and meet Guy this Monday at a special screening event in Portland, Oregon. Come out and see what’s inspiring ongoing support for this important work.