From the Unicorn’s Mouth: Stories of Managing Multiple Diverse Identities in Tech

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Thursday, June 25, 2015 from 2:30 – 3:15pm in B201


We each have many critical facets to our identity-- race, gender, sexuality, class, health, and family background are just a handful of examples-- and the interaction between them can shape our lives more than any one factor alone. In this panel discussion, learn about intersectionality, and what the experiences of those living at the crossroads of different minority identities can teach us about what it takes to create a truly inclusive open source community.


Join us for a panel discussion on intersectionality: the idea that all of our many identities shape the way we are able to live and thrive. Everyone exists at the intersection of all kinds of identities: race/ethnicity, documented status, gender, class, sexuality, education status, citizenship, trans* status, religious adherence, neurodiversity, ability— and some of these qualities can make you feel like an outsider in the world of open source and tech in general. Panelists will discuss their experiences as they relate to a number of different topics:

  • Why hiring a bunch of minority employees isn’t enough to create a diverse workplace
  • Why some women can Lean In and some women can’t
  • How (and why!) queer black women can be allies to Latino first-generation college graduates, and vice versa
  • How to practice self-care in an environment that can be toxic
  • How to use your unique background as a source of strength
  • How to build bridges between the different communities you are a part of
  • Why a community that is better for minorities is a community that is better for everyone
  • What all members of a community can do to promote understanding and equal valuation of others’ viewpoints

At the conclusion of our panel, we will also welcome participants in the audience to share their questions and experiences.


intersectionality, diversity, inclusivity

Speaking experience

Panel members have various experiences speaking at workshops, leading academic discussions and presenting technical works.