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Experience in Tech Varies Based on Race

Portland Women in Technology launch a survey each year and this year, they made changes and uncovered some surprises. In its third year, participants grew from 800 in 2018, to 52,00 in 2019. You can read highlights below and the results here.

“Each year, Portland Women in Technology (PDXWIT) captures important data about the tech industry, independent of company, group or association affiliation. Our goal is to deeply understand what it is like for people in the community and to identify themes that need to be addressed. In developing the 2019 survey, we found opportunities to improve the dataset from 2018. We made some substantial changes:

  • Open the survey up to a national audience
  • Expand the racial, ethnicity, gender and LGBTQ demographic questions
  • Layer in questions that identify experiences related to bigotry and racism”

… “After further investigation, we uncovered that the questions asked in the survey were centered around the white woman’s experience, which inadvertently failed to uncover the “realities” that others face. The important takeaway here is that the “struggle” is not the same for everyone and when one asks questions centered around the white experience—like we did— one fails to surface the experiences of BIPOC individuals, again, perpetuating a narrative that only applies to white individuals.”


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