While times have certainly improved, being a queer person in the tech industry is still not easy.
There is still rampant discrimination in the industry, and a “bro” culture that permeates many companies and teams. This can make the technology industry intimidating for LGBTI+ people who want to break in.
Fortunately, there are a lot of experienced people who can help. And one of them is Tracy Benson, CEO and co-founder of obese.
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To hear her advice in full, check out the video embedded at the top of this article. Or else, you can click here to view it.
We spoke to Benson at TNW 2022 and let her look at the struggles queers face in technology, why this is the case and how the community can help.
One of the first things she pointed out was the fact that “86% of investments” go to white cisgender men. And why does Benson think this is happening? That’s because “80% of the entrepreneurial community” is made up of white males.
“We need more people to stand up and use their dollars,” Benson told us when we asked her how to fix this. She believes that the queer community in particular needs to put their money where their mouth is and launch more accelerators for LGBTQI+ founders.
As we moved on to discuss how queer people can enter the tech world, Benson gave us three key tips. The first was to know your story, own it and be confident. The second was to partner with investors who share your values. And finally, Benson’s third tip, was to hurry and never give up.
Yes, the world has moved on in recent years and the tech community is a more accepting place than before – but that doesn’t mean all the problems have been solved. Far from it. There is still a lot of work to be done, but luckily there are people trying to make a difference.