CHARGE Syndrome / Disabled & Cool / Family / Mental Health / Sloan / Social Justice

Tiaras and Tech: Addressing Ableism in the Workplace with Shelley Benhoff

As the once career-driven millennial I was, I landed in the tech world.

The tech world is doing cool things: and yet, because it holds unmatched power, I believe it’s also one of the most problematic communities in terms of inaction, unspoken privilege, and performative behavior.

There’s a lot of talk, use of proper terminology, and trendy meme-ing – backed up with very little actual action and change for marginalized communities that need it. Lip service. I’ve witnessed the performative behaviors first-hand, especially in my years in comms roles at various tech companies.

However, I do think change CAN happen from within a community if you take clear action. It’s a fine line and listening to the person who experiences discrimination firsthand always comes first – but the onus shouldn’t always be on these groups experiencing discrimination to speak up, either – because it’s simply exhausting.

Over the last year and a half or so, I’ve participated in conversations around manifestations of ableism in the workplace. Today a dear colleague of mine who runs an awesome tech podcast – Tiaras and Tech – released an episode where we talked about Ableism in the Workplace together. This episode is near and dear to her heart too, so it was super meaningful. (Shelley is a total badass, by the way!)

Also – you’re supposed to wear a Tiara for this convo, so I wore one of Sloan’s because it only seemed right and fitting! She IS the reason I am having these conversations now.

Take a listen if you can.