Woman speaking outside conference badge on neck upset (l) man speaking at tech conference blurred on stage listeners seated (c) woman speaking outside conference badge on neck upset (r)

Life and Times/Shutterstock @tashathecaptain/TikTok (Licensed)

‘I feel intimidated’: TikToker says she’s the only Black woman at a tech conference

'I try to talk to some of the people here, and I don’t feel like they really care to listen.'

 

Braden Bjella

IRL

Posted on Jun 11, 2022

The tech industry has a diversity problem. While the percentage of employed women across all job sectors in the US is now reaching gender parity at 47%, “the five largest tech companies on the planet (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft) only have a workforce of about 34.4% women,” per Built In. They also report that only 3% of “computing-relating” jobs are held by Black women.

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Furthermore, women of color are promoted less often than white women, and “studies have shown that managers are quicker to forget the achievements and statements of black women than they are to forget those of white men or women,” according to Built In.

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In practice, this can make women of color working in the industry feel alone, disrespected, and unmotivated to continue in the field.

TikTok user Natasha (@tashathecaptain) recently shared her thoughts on the topic after discovering that she was the only Black woman at a tech conference.

@tashathecaptain We need more black women in tech. And the worst part is I can tell I probably make the least amount of money here. #blackgirlsintech #sendgoodvibes #fyp ♬ original sound – 😏🏃🏾‍♀️🌊🚣🏽‍♀️
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“Less than one percent of the people here are Black, and I think I’m the only Black girl in this entire place,” she says in her video.

This has led to negative consequences for Natasha, both personally and professionally.

“I feel intimidated, I feel stressed, I feel anxiety,” she explains. “I try to talk to some of the people here, and I don’t feel like they really care to listen, but then when my manager talks to them—he’s a white man—they’re engaged and talking.”

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In the caption, Natasha wrote, “We need more black women in tech. And the worst part is I can tell I probably make the least amount of money here.”

Commenters rallied around Natasha and commended her for staying strong given the circumstances.

“You got this tasha! Your doing amazing don’t let it get you down!” one user wrote.

“As a black girl wanting to get into tech, you inspire me. Don’t stop. Keep going,” another added.

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“We are rooting for you queen,” a third stated.

Others shared similar experiences.

“I felt the same way [when] I was at Google conferences,” a commenter wrote. “Walk with purpose & hold your head high.”

“I feel you! You hang in there. I was the tech for 25 years and the only black man in my department. This is my advice to you. learn as much as you can,” another TikToker shared.

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“Im a Black techy and Im rooting for you. I’ve def been in situations like that at tech conferences,” a third viewer said.

It seems like Natasha ended up having a good time at the conference, later posting a video of herself enjoying drinks and music. “Thank you all for the support. Confidence is growing,” she added in the caption.

@tashathecaptain Thank you all for the support. Confidence is growing. ♥️ #blackgirlsintech #happyhour ♬ original sound – 😏🏃🏾‍♀️🌊🚣🏽‍♀️
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We’ve reached out to Natasha via TikTok comment.


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*First Published: Jun 11, 2022, 11:29 am CDT