We have all been there. We have all been made fun of, ostracized, and made to feel like we don’t belong at one point in our lives. Many of us have used these experiences to strengthen ourselves, while others still struggle to feel like they belong. It can be hard when all the signs are telling you that you don’t fit in. Where everywhere you look you are getting signals that not only are you not like those around you, but those around you would rather pretend you weren’t there. Each of us has a choice in this situation. We either run or we fight. It seems that in the tech world people are finally choosing the latter.
It can be hard walking into a room and having everyone asked their name except for you. It can be hard being told directly, “why would you do this to yourself,” when mentioning what field you are in. It can be hard to realize that there are those who no matter what you do honestly believe that you do not belong in the same field as them, let alone the same job. The words get to you and you doubt. There’s an inherent anxiety in your job, because of the feeling of breaking some sort of unwritten rule. The words “I don’t belong here” are engraved on your brain.
We have all been there. We want to belong. This is why this struggle for representation in the field is not something that a single voice is calling for. Others have stepped up to the plate and allowed us to make a bigger sound, but we need more. The vocal minority is still telling us that we do not belong and so we need the majority to stand up. We need every single voice that we can get to call out those that are wrong and to reach out into their communities and try to make it right. We need you.
You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end each of us must work for his own improvement, and at the same time share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.