(Software Engineer, Microsoft || TX USA)
“The algorithms behind a lot of everyday products are biased towards white men. The faucets in public bathrooms often won’t recognize my hands because they’re darker than what they tested the tech with. Most algorithms don’t favor women or people of color. Basically, if you’re not like the person building it, it won’t work as well for you. For a long time, if you Googled ‘Black girls,’ the top results would be porn because those sites had more clicks. If you search ‘beautiful women’ it’s mostly white women. Google has the ability to fix this — when people started pointing it out, it got better. But small things like that can deeply affect young people and what they identify with.
That’s why I’m passionate about my YouTube channel, where I give tech and coding tutorials. Since Google also owns YouTube, the tech algorithm disparity is there, too; when you search ‘software engineer,’ you won’t find any women. It’s full of white and Asian men. The Black women are buried. I’ve met more Black software engineers on Instagram and Twitter than I have through YouTube search results. With my channel, I wanted to say, ‘Hey, we do this too.’ People message me saying they’re glad they’ve found my channel because they can relate to my struggle, or saying that my videos have inspired them to go into computer science — that’s what I’m most proud of. It’s hard to imagine what you can be if you can’t see it, and I like being that for people.”