Yaaas! Slack Sends Four Black Female Engineers to Accept a Major Tech Award

It’s no secret that the tech industry is overwhelmingly male and White, so it was a breath of fresh air (and a pop of color!) when instant-messaging start-up Slack brought four of its leading Black female engineers to the front of the stage—literally.

How Can We Fix Silicon Valley’s Diversity Problem?

During last week’s Crunchies, an annual awards ceremony that celebrates the most innovative tech companies, Slack won the award for Fastest Rising Start-Up, reports New York Magazine. But in an uncharacteristic move, four Black female engineers accepted the award on behalf of the company and brought to light Silicon Valley’s glaring lack of diversity.

“There are many things that are major keys to the success of Slack, not least of which are diversity and inclusion,” engineer Kiné Camara told the audience. “The idea that diversity at companies improves the culture and the bottom line may be somewhat controversial, but all we know is we’ve got 9 percent of women of color engineering at Slack—four of whom are up here tonight in Formation—and we’re the fastest-growing enterprise-software startup of all time, so…?” 

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ESSENCE Network: From App to Empire, How One Black Woman Found Success in Tech

The speech might not have solved the industry’s diversity issue, but it’s definitely a start! Watch the speech in full below and tell us what you think.