We’ll bet that you don’t know the names Megan Anctil, Erica Baker, Kiné Camara or Duretti Hirpa, but these amazing Black women made a huge statement to tech companies who have failed to include racial minorities (and other marginalized groups) in their workplaces.
The four engineers accepted the award for fastest rising startup on behalf of Slack at TechCrunch’s annual tech awards show on Monday, Feb 8. CEO Stewart Butterfield has long been the face of the brand, but he encouraged the four women to represent Slack at the awards ceremony in his absence. A company representative says he felt it was important to show people that the stereotype of engineers being White, heteronormative and upper and middle-class men is quickly and drastically changing.
As they accepted the award, Camara spoke for the group and even quoted King Bey in all of her glory, saying:
There are many things that are major keys to the success of Slack, not least of which are diversity and inclusion. The idea that diversity of companies improve the culture and bottom line may be somewhat controversial, but all we know is we’ve got 9 percent of women of color in engineering at Slack, four of whom are up here tonight in formation. And we’re the fastest-growing enterprise software startup of all time, so…
Nine percent isn’t a very large number but the company has reportedly made significant progress in late 2015, as Black engineers employed at the company made a .8 percent increase from September to December. The company has also increased its employment of female engineers up to 25 percent from 18 percent in September.
Watch Camara’s fierce speech in the clip above.