Blogger Kathryn Finney is the brains behind “Project Diane” which is working to reveal the problems facing Black women in the high tech industry. The organization is currently working on a short documentary called, “#ReWriteTheCode” on the issue.
Launched in February, #ProjectDiane states that it disrupts pattern-matching in tech start-ups by identifying black women founders of tech-enabled companies. It enriches the diversity of the current tech pipeline by collecting and utilizing data to build programs that grow the number of start-ups led by these founders.
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It also sees a catch 22 in how people see the high tech industry which keeps minority women from getting the support that they would need for their own startups. Investors continue to attribute the lack of women and minority founders to the fact that they don’t “see” them, says ProjectDiane. Yet the reason they don’t see them is because “these investors are locked on to what they think is a singular formula for success in this industry: young white men from (insert top tech institution).”
They started a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money needed for the film. They only sought $25, 000 and have already raised $43, 731 with 14 days to go.
The producers gave three reasons for supporting the project: 1. Be a Part of the FIRST Documentary Exploring the Role of the Intersectionality of Gender and Race in Tech through black woman founders of tech companies. 2. Current projects focus mainly on the very beginning of the pipeline. It’s important to show those that the STEM pipeline leads to an sea of opportunity. 3. You’ve Always Wanted to Be a Movie Producer!
“When we initially started, we didn’t know the strength of the network, ” Finney told The Huffington Post. “We underestimated its power. People do care. People do want to hear our story. It’s given people something to believe, particularly women of color, who were starting to feel almost abused by the tech world. They were really feeling like there was no hope, and nothing we could do.”