There’s a serious lack of diversity in the technology industry. ITequality strives to take a stand at every opportunity to represent the voices of underrepresented groups in technology. As a company, ITequality is committed to diversity, and it’s own staff sets a high bar for what a diverse organization should look like. Collectively, ITequality is 50% people of color, 67% LGB, 67% TGNC. Unlike the tech industry in general, ITequality is less than 25% white male.
Remember, please don’t label people based on assumptions, stereotypes, looks, style of clothing, hair color, the presence of tattoos and/or piercings, etc. We are all human, and have a right to be our own authentic selves at all times.
And now, without further delay, let’s meet Astrid Kepner, CPQ Consultant with ITEquality.
What were you doing before you joined ITequality?
Before ITequality I was taking care of my disabled best friend and struggling with my own mental illness. I had trouble holding down jobs due to a combination of not being neurotypical and having a severe case of generalized anxiety disorder, all while trying to get my feet planted firmly as a transwoman. I’ve worked in everything from one-hour photo, to gardening, to food service – in both low and high end restaurants.
How did you learn about ITequality?
My other best friend and now coworker, Stephan Cardenas, had recently gotten a job at ITequality. He brought me into the office for the Christmas party where I hit it off with the people there. I wasn’t expecting it to get anywhere at first, but then with some emails back and forth, I was asked to come in and be an intern.
What have you learned since joining ITequality?
I’ve learned that you can always learn something more. For a very long time I was convinced the only way to get into tech for someone without a solid handle on math would be tech support. ITequality showed me that my skills have a place in this sort of environment and that if I give myself a chance to learn, there is so much more out there to figure out and solving these sort of tech puzzles can be a lot of fun.
What does being a member of the ITequality team mean to you?
It means a chance at stability. For someone with the level of generalized anxiety that I have, retail and food service jobs tend to not last long. They are too triggering. When you’re dealing with two hundred customers an hour at a certain coffee shop your brain can find a lot of creative ways to tell you you’re in danger. But here at my desk, figuring out a trailhead or a task for a client project, I have coworkers standing beside me reminding me that I’m safe and doing my best. And that simply makes the world a whole lot easier to figure out.
Astrid is just one of the amazing and diverse members of the ITequality team. Pushing the statistics of diversity in technology, and moving the needle of inclusivity. Watch for more team member introductions coming soon.