The tech industry is often described as just one big “old boys” club, leaving anyone who is not a straight, white, cis dude feelin’ like an outsider – if they break through the mounting barriers at all.
This week’s #WCW Natasha Vianna knows this all too well. As a queer Latina, she views her very presence in tech as an act of revolution. In other words, just her existence in a field populated by white bros works to crush the patriarchy.
But she doesn’t stop there. The Boston-raised, San Francisco-living brasileira is a fierce advocate for mulheres in tech and a loud voice in the reproductive justice movement, especially for young parents of color.
Tell us about Honor and your role there.
Honor is a startup providing in-home care services to the elderly and ensuring that aides are protected and dignified with pay higher than the industry standard. This is of particular importance to me because I am the child of a South American immigrant mother who became a domestic worker when she moved to the U.S. When 90 percent of home care workers are women, 56 percent women of color, a commitment like this makes a positive impact on the lives of women like my mom and their children, children like me.
My role at Honor is to develop and implement online strategies that foster relationships between Honor and the people we serve. When new technologies are constantly expanding and evolving, my role is to stay on top of new innovative opportunities to meet people’s needs in spaces where they feel most comfortable.
What’s it like to work in a traditionally white, male, straight field as a queer Latina?
Working in the fast-paced tech sector requires a lot of talent, motivation and creativity. Being a queer Latina in tech is like having an additional degree, one that took almost three decades to acquire. Yet there is this false assumption that when people of color are employed in tech, they are token hires, with executives lowering the bar to increase diversity. This is so far from the truth. I’m really good at what I do, and I happen to be a really interesting person with a non-traditional tech background. My identity is an asset, but it’s not the reason I was hired.
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