Sunday, April 03, 2011

Technology And Social Justice

Technology, on its own, ends up magnifying the status quo of social inequality. That was a comment I made to a post by The Gotham Gal a few days back.

Caroline McCarthy On Gender

Gender is a tricky issue. It is not easy. But it is very real. The promise of social justice just might be my number one fascination with technology. Computers before the internet did not fascinate me. They had computers at the school in Kathmandu, and the guy who was destined to be the soccer team captain for my batch ditched soccer for computers and I did not understand why.

It was the promise of connecting people in large numbers that got me to computers. Masses of humanity were assembling online and I was like wow.
Image representing Arielle Patrice Scott as de...Image via CrunchBase
The internet never lost its promise. The 2000 bubble burst did not take away from the internet.

And I commend Vivek Wadhwa for openly talking about a topic most people prefer to avoid. In the lives of minority women tech entrepreneurs the worlds of race, gender, technology and entrepreneurship collide. That is one massive collision.
TechCrunch: Women of Color in Tech: How Can We Encourage Them?: Viva Leigh Miller ..... Viva couldn’t get a job in the Valley—despite introductions that I gave her to leading venture capitalists. I have never understood why. During my tech days, I would have hired Viva in a heartbeat. She had the determination, drive, and education that all tech companies look for. ....... there is a dearth of women in tech. Just look around Silicon Valley—you don’t see many blacks there, or Hispanics either. Until recently, I didn’t know of even one black woman CEO ...... blacks and Hispanics constitute only 1.5% and 4.7% respectively of the Valley’s tech population—well below national tech-population averages of 7.1% and 5.3%. ....... the best way of supplying this dearth is through recognizing that there is indeed a problem; providing mentoring, encouragement, and assistance ...... Raissa B. Nebie is the CEO of Spoondate, which allows food enthusiasts to meet and connect over a meal ...... she quit her job, attended culinary school, and was training at a high-end restaurant in Paris when she decided take her passion for food to the web. ....... packed her suitcase and bought a one-way ticket to San Francisco. ...... Founder Labs helped her validate her idea, find a co-founder, and ultimately secure angel funding. ...... While her co-founder is writing code, she’s out talking to potential users and learning ways to make her products better. ....... (Before writing any code for Spoondate, she operated a dating concierge that manually matched like-minded eaters and sent them out on food dates. ........ Go to events. Be seen. ....... “Be humble. Be polite. Be charming.” ....... Kimberly Dillion ....... When Kimberly was three, she saw a show on TV and decided to become a figure skater. Skating is an expensive sport, and her mother could only afford an hour or so of practice time weekly. So she skated her routines on a tennis court at night, on special roller blades that were fashioned onto to skating boots. She says that falling on concrete is a lot worse than falling
Image representing Vivek Wadhwa as depicted in...Image via CrunchBaseon ice, so it actually made her a better skater. .......... Kimberly says she became an entrepreneur because she found a problem she wanted to solve that no one else was solving. ...... She says that she is glad there were also men in the program; that it is much better that way than being all black or all female. ....... Her advice to entrepreneurs: go to as many networking events as you can—particularly the inexpensive ones. ....... “If you aren’t getting rejected, you aren’t playing the game right.” ....... Arielle Patrice Scott ..... (Inc. called GenJuice one of 2011’s coolest startups.) ..... She learned how to start at the bottom and solve problems through technology. ...... Arielle was a volunteer with the organization, Women 2.0 which helped herArielle build a network and connect to role models, investors, customers, and partners. It was through the Women 2.0 network that Arielle met her co-founders ....... Solve your problems. If there’s a problem that drives you crazy, there are most likely thousands of other people out there who feel the same way. Build a company upon solving the problems you face every day. ...... Never quit the problem, but don’t worry about quitting the product.
Raissa B. Nebie @thriftygourmet
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