Originally published on LinkedIn.
Hi, I’m Jeremy. I’m a black man, I work for an amazing tech company in San Francisco, I taught myself how to code, I played college baseball, and made the Dean’s List twice my final year of college before graduating with a degree in marketing.
I’m not bragging.
I tell you this because of the latest hot topic in tech – diversity.
It’s true, the tech industry lacks diversity and that needs to change. Brilliant people come in all shapes, sizes, ages, races, and genders. But this whole “We need to go out and seek more [insert race or gender] employees” approach some companies are taking rubs me the wrong way.
Because it shouldn’t be about race or gender. Instead, it should be about a person’s skill and talent. Call me crazy, but whether this person’s black, white, male, or female shouldn’t matter.
There has to be a better way to create diversity in tech. And “head hunting” for it is only a band-aid that will not cure the problem long-term. I believe the true cure starts with organizations like Women Who Code, Black Girls Code, and Year Up just to name a few.
Education and community matters more than you think.
I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, I don’t want to be hired because of the color of my skin. I want to be hired because, when stacked up against everyone else, I’m clearly the best person for the job…period.