Seen Yet Unseen: A Black Woman Crashes the Tech Fraternity

Blackstone. May 2024. 270p. ISBN 9798212009881. $27.99. BUS
In this insightful account of attorney/startup advisor Williams’s experiences in the technology industry, she discusses the challenges that Black women face in a field that continues to be dominated by white men. During employment stints at companies such as StubHub and Facebook, where she was lead counsel, Williams played major roles in addressing discrimination against women and Black people, all while she herself encountered microaggressions and coworkers who undermined her work. Recounting many of these situations in detail, she demonstrates how many companies’ outward support of DEI efforts is more performative than sincere. She asserts that artificial intelligence is especially dangerous when it is developed without the input of women and people of color. Her argument is supported by well-known examples—the inability of some software programs to recognize Black faces, for instance—and examples from her own personal experiences. Her book further decries the impact of big technology companies on Black American communities through gentrification. She proposes several feasible routes that the technology industry could take to improve its practices so that it attracts and retains more Black women workers.
VERDICT A revealing and intimate look at a Black woman’s experiences in the technology industry.
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