Last Friday we had our WeCoded Virtual Meetup on Discord. Although scheduled for only 30 minutes, we had an in-depth conversation lasting over an hour. It was really inspiring to hear the unique perspectives brought up in the discussion.
I'd like to share some of them here for those unable to attend the live talk. Here are the first questions we discussed:
- What/who inspires you when things get difficult or when you have to be brave?
- Who/what makes you feel supported and valued?
- What did you recently learn that changed your perspective?
A common source of inspiration mentioned was turning to friends and family for support. Not everyone has close family ties, but connecting with your chosen family can make hard times easier. Folks not only looked to parents and friends for inspiration, but also children. There are lots of things that we've learned over the course of being adults and kids have yet to learn those things. There's a lot you can learn from just watching kids act shamelessly and have fun.
Something I said was that approaching these topics with an open mind makes it hard to say the wrong thing or offend someone. It's usually a combative stance that makes people defensive and shuts down conversation. Coming from a place of understanding and being willing to listen makes these talks easier for all.
Most important was upgrading the Golden Rule. You've likely heard "treat others as you want to be treated"; a key change is to treat others as they want to be treated. Thinking you know what's best for someone doesn't mean you're acting in their best interest. The Platinum Rule gives others autonomy and ensures you don't push your beliefs on them.
After ~20 minutes, we moved to the next question:
"What changes would you like to see on DEV Community to support the careers of women, transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming and two-spirit people?"
People of marginalized gender identities are often overlooked and silenced despite greatly contributing to tech. Abbey Perini's post here covers the history of women in tech; I recommend reading it.
We've Been Here Since the Beginning
Abbey Perini ・ Mar 4 '22 ・ 11 min read
Accommodations are a big part of this story. Women and others of marginalized identities have faced pregnancy discrimination and wage discrepancies. Having accommodations in place for pregnant folks, having PTO and parental leave available for aspiring parents, having laws in the books preventing these kinds of discrimination and courts that will uphold those proceedings is crucial to building an equitable society.
We also talked about highlighting BIPOC women in women-centric communities, leading to a great discussion on intersectionality. Intersectionality discusses how race, ethnicity, culture, class, gender identity, expression, orientation, faith, age, and other factors blend to shape your experience. It's important not to reduce the conversation down to just one facet of a person's lived experience because our lives are much more complicated than any one of those factors can cover.
We had a lot of fun at the meetup this year, excited to have more of these open discussion in the future. Please share your answers in the comments! Let us know what inspires you to keep coding.
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