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The W's of Diversity: An Exploration of Systemic Problems in Technology

Julia Ferraioli (Google)
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The technological community has become increasingly divided by issues of discrimination, harassment, and ostracism. We see more and more people affected by these issues taking their stories online, dramatically increasing the awareness of the systemic problem as well as increasing negative consequences for the people who step forward. In this talk, we’ll start with some cold hard facts about the state of technology, from education to industry. Then, we’ll contextualize what problems that underrepresented groups face throughout their technical careers, when they face them, where they occur the most frequently, and why these problems pose such a barrier to companies and tech communities as a whole.

Social and corporate ecosystems are some of the most complex systems — they are living, breathing, and constantly evolving. Therefore, debugging and fixing malfunctioning ecosystems is one of the hardest problems that a person or team can tackle. However, there are steps that we can take to start creating inclusive, welcoming environments for everyone. We’ll start with a look at academic environments, move on to corporate development teams, and finish with a bonus topic of nurturing diverse communities. You’ll hear from real world examples of approaches, both successful and unsuccessful, and come away with tools to incorporate into your teams and groups.

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Julia Ferraioli


Julia Ferraioli is a Developer Advocate working on Google Cloud Platform. She helps developers harness the power of Google’s infrastructure to tackle their computationally intensive processes and jobs. She comes from an industrial background in software engineering, and an academic background in machine learning and assistive technology.