In this moment Alex Karp, an Engineering Manager at Twitter discusses his views on how companies value diversity within their Engineering teams and in particular the value that companies place upon difference.
My name is Steve Westgarth, and this is the engineering leader. If you're enjoying listening to the engineering leader, please take a moment to share a link to the podcast on LinkedIn or Twitter. bringing together people from a diverse range of backgrounds helps to ensure that we have the knowledge and skills available to solve truly global problems. In this moment, Alex Karp, an engineering manager at Twitter, discusses his view on how companies value diversity within their engineering teams. And in particular, the value that companies place upon difference. Alex is proud to be autistic. And this is how he responded when I asked him if attitudes in the world are changing towards difference.Alex Karp:
Yes and no. So I would say they say yes, in the micro sense, in terms of, you know, I, I definitely see there being difference, when it comes to people interacting with one another being more accepting, like, and that's, that's the sort of thing, it's a lot easier, like, if you're interacting on a regular basis with somebody who's different than you, you know, you're, you're definitely get more comfortable with that over time. And hopefully, that hopefully, that makes you more comfortable in the more general sense. On the macro level at at things like companies and the tech industry as a whole, I don't think so to be honest, I think that there has been a lot of effort towards, you know, things like diversity, inclusion, equity, in the tech industry, but I think the problem is that in order to really, in order to really get there, there's a lot of hard work that needs to get done. And a lot of that is it revolves around you know, completely revamping how you hire people, how you retain people, how you grow people, and, you know, because, like, so much of, of the inequity when it comes to, when it comes to tech is that it's, you know, it's, it's built into the system. And, you know, whether or not people people realise that, you know, that's, that's what's going on. And so, there is no shortcut, you know, in my opinion, at least, to, to getting to to a healthier point, aside from, you know, really taking things apart, and being very intentional as you put things back together. And I think there's a lot of companies out there right now trying to trying to, you know, hire hire a more diverse group of people. But they, I think, I believe that they'll find that the people that they're hiring will probably be leaving at a higher rate than then they're more over represented majority hires, just because, you know, they spend so much time focusing on getting people in the door, but then do nothing to actually make them feel comfortable, make them feel safe, make them feel valued, you know, all of all of these things. So, so yeah, I, I still have a whole lot of hope, that will eventually get to a point where difference will be will be valued, as it should be. But at the moment, at the at the very highest levels. I don't think we're there yet.Steve Westgarth:
Taking the time to encourage leaders to reflect on moments like this is a really important way that we can collectively enrich our community. A huge thank you for me for taking the time to listen to the podcast, and of helping our industry to collectively raise the bar. My name is Steve Westgarth and this is the engineering leader. Let me tell you a secret. You also write bad code. If you disagree. You may as well switch off