Instinct leads me to another flow,
Everytime I hear a brother call a girl a bitch or a ho,
Trying to make a sister feel low,
You know all of that gots to go“
10 yrs ago, I was called a bitch…not ok. Yesterday I was called a bitch…still not ok. Let's try moving away from that word. #stayclassy
— Gabi (@GabiViolin14) February 7, 2015
Another week, another sexist, disrespectful incident in tech. When you think things just couldn’t get worse TechCrunch just held its annual Crunchies tech awards show. I didn’t attend but full disclosure #1 I did send a DM to the TechCrunch staff about presenting the social impact award knowing there would be very little diversity or as on Twitter, they’re tweeting no “people of color”. I never heard anything back.
Still, this time around the host of the Crunchies, comedian T.J. Miller, from the show “Silicon Valley” called a woman in the audience the “B-word”. The account was written in details by Katie Jacobs Stanton who serves as Global Media @Twitter. Katie accepted Twitter’s social impact Crunchie award and wrote “My first and last time at the Crunchies“. I knew there were going to be very little minorities in tech at the Crunchies… let me be more direct. I knew there were not going to be a lot of blacks or Latinos there. There were hardly, if any even nominated which is another problem in itself. But I didn’t expect the Crunchies to be this bad via the aftermath of the articles and the tweets during the event about the lack of diversity, the lack of women representation and calling a woman the “B-word. Really?
Honored that Twitter won a #crunchie but that was the most uncomfortable event I've ever attended as a woman.
— Katie Jacobs Stanton (@KatieS) February 6, 2015
I mean there’s a “code of conduct policy/Anti-Harassment Policy that should have been enforced immediately, joking or not joking you don’t allow that to happen. This is tech, not TV and real people. It’s just the kind of behavior that minorities get pissed about because why it may seem fun to others, it’s just another slap in the face to everyone else. People want access, they want respect and they want credibility. Regardless of how some people feel about the Crunchies, winning a Crunchie award has been a cool thing to do… in the past and it opens doors, PR and more for others.
So… remember the Titstare disrupt hackathon situation? Now that TechCrunch has another incident on its brand, what are they going to do or what should be done in the community? After the TechCrunch Disrupt hackathon, TC launched the TechCrunch’s Diversity Partner program to partner with diverse groups on their events etc. (disclosure #2) my company BUILDUP applied but we didn’t get accepted but we were a finalist. I would hope that the companies in the TC Include program would also be able to provide feedback and participate in some of TC events so they could be more diverse. According to the tweets it didn’t seem that way for the Crunchies.
— Rehana Rehman (@msrehreh) February 6, 2015
— Yordanos (@yordanossmr) February 6, 2015
At the end of the day does it matter? Yes, because if the #1 Tech blog in the world and top 5 or so tech awards in the #1 tech community in the world allows their host to call a woman a “B….” on stage it is sending the wrong message to the entire tech world. There should be a public apology and more outreach with diversity and inclusion programs to create a culture at all TechCrunch events that welcoming to everyone.
#Disclosure #3: I’m still planning to submit a “diversity in tech article for TC during black history month” and we’ll see if this post “infringes” on that opportunity. Regardless, Alexia my friend and to the TechCrunch family if you want diversity and inclusion this just type of behavior can’t continue to happen.
— Alexia Tsotsis (@alexia) February 7, 2015
— Selena Larson (@selenalarson) February 7, 2015
Knowing the diversity numbers, and hard work under represented minorities are making in tech, myself along with BUILDUP, ChangeCatalyst and other diverse organizations and individuals created the #AllAccessAwards in 2014.
The AllAccessAwards is part of a new era of organizations and individuals working together to drive much-needed change in technology. Because innovation requires diverse voices, unique experiences and open access.
With the #AllAccessAwards we want to highlight the hard work under represented minorities are doing in tech and hope to have an even bigger and better awards at the end of 2015, and trust me… no one will be calling anyone a name on stage. If you’re interested in parting on the AllAccessAwards, let me know in the comments or twitter, etc.
The Crunchies, where Silicon Valley's overwhelmingly white elite celebrates diversity by booking a rap act. #crunchies
— Owen Thomas (@owenthomas) February 1, 2012
New #Crunchies category request… Best Supporter of Diversity Startup
— Romy Macasieb (@romy) February 6, 2015
— Hunter Walk (@hunterwalk) February 6, 2015
— Zennie Abraham (@zennie62) February 6, 2015