How Tech Can Build a Culture of Anti-Racism and Drive Change

At Castlight, we made a collective commitment this past June that Black Lives Matter and that as a company, we would do our part to help end systemic racism in the United States. Our CEO Maeve O’Meara vocalized her support for all Castlight employees to advocate, stand-up, volunteer, listen, learn, and work on improving our society in solidarity with our black and brown colleagues.

As a part of our commitment, we invited outside diversity and inclusion experts to our employee speaker program to help facilitate discussions about racial inequity in health and health outcomes, the experiences of people of color, and diversity and inclusion in technology. Through these conversations we are learning how we can make an impact and drive real change as an organization, within our product, our communities, and as individuals.

Most recently, our team had the opportunity to hear from Catherine Bracy, Co-Founder & Executive Director of TechEquity Collaborative. Catherine spoke about TechEquity’s mission of building a more inclusive economy in the San Francisco Bay Area and the growing tech driven opportunities in our communities.  

TechEquity’s two main areas of focus are the housing affordability crisis in California and workforce and labor, focusing on service contract roles in tech. Tech Equity works to educate tech workers on the critical issues in their communities and mobilize them to create a tech-driven economy in the Bay Area that works for everyone.

An interesting insight Catherine shared was how unconscious biases can be embedded in technology platforms and how tech companies should be considering the ethical implications of the work they’re doing and building more equity into the product cycle. She spoke to the team about how employees can better support their local communities and consider ways in which product development can be more inclusive—from both a user design as well as a user impact perspective.

Only then can the tech industry start to build a culture of anti-racism and drive real, structural change.