Why Tales of Surviving?
Tales of Surviving is a publication to highlight the survival techniques of women in tech in order to share solutions with other struggling women for how to make it to tomorrow.
I’m in a very broken place. Every woman in tech that I’ve ever either known personally or heard about has some level of trauma related to the intersection of their gender and technology.
There is no workplace where women in tech don’t have to be cognizant of our gender & tech intersection, we’re misunderstood and/or not supported by our friends and family, we deal with micro-aggressions as much as hourly, we have to prove that we have a brain to every new person that enters our professional lives, we either have to a) explain and teach and remind people that what they just did was rude, inappropriate, offensive, harassment, and/or stupid or b) choose to swallow yet another incident.
To think of being a woman in tech as death by a thousand cuts is a great first attempt at an analogy for what it is like to be an under-represented person in tech. However, it doesn’t recognize the anxiety of waiting for the next cut or the scab-picking that’s waiting for you around the corner. It doesn’t acknowledge that you can mitigate against getting new cuts by pretending as if everything is okay despite the cuts. It has no concept of the fact that you’re teaching yourself how to dress wounds at the same time you have to teach the wound makers that it is a wound not a bug bite and point out to them that wounding other people isn’t nice and train them not to make new cuts on your body. It doesn’t talk about the cuts’ co-morbidities. It doesn’t articulate that you’re one semi-isolated person being cut in the exact same ways as thousands of other people. It doesn’t admit that the knife causing the cuts is, most of the time, words. It doesn’t deal with the knife wielder having financial power over you in addition to the physical power. It doesn’t make people visualize that the exact same cut gets made over and over on top of old cuts until you end up with a cut so large it’s a gaping chasm only the surgery of leaving technology has a shot at healing.
One of the problems that I see and listen to is that each individual under-represented person in tech is trying to figure out how to survive this self-identity and tech intersection largely by themself. When they go searching for help they find others who have the same problems, but rarely do those people have solutions. So there’s a lot of talk about the problems. But solutions and tips and/or the power to implement solutions are almost non-existent. When someone in the group of similar people that they have found hears a survival technique (whether potential, real, or conceptualized), it gets shared like gospel handed down like mana from heaven. Network effects can be great. But in my opinion they take too much time.
Tales of Surviving as a publication will tell the stories of the strong women in tech and what they have to deal with everyday but it will go a step further and emphasize solutions, explain why it’s a solution, and share each solution in a timely and scaled manner.
If you would like to contribute to Tales of Surviving, submissions on Medium are open.