The idea of “being your authentic self” in tech companies only apply if you’re a white cis-male. I loved the idea of joining a team that had “authenticity” as one of their core values on posters all over the walls at the typical tech office. However, when I entered the meeting room being the only female (and queer) Asian, I had a familiar unsettling feeling as I sat in the chair. Why do I have to conform to hyper masculinity and the idea of whoever speaks the most wins the discussion? Why is there no inclusion and embracing of different perspectives in these conversations? Of course, I have to interject and speak up: if I don’t, then I’d never be heard. This does backfire, though, as having a strong voice conflicting with others has led to me being pulled to the side saying I shouldn’t speak to them like that. Would they have had that exact same conversation with a guy? Companies should re-evaluate what authenticity means and why women speaking up just as boldly as men should be treated equally, not with bias or expectations of how a woman should be.

Where are the LGBTQ+ leaders in tech? Where are the LGBTQ+ leaders in tech? Representation matters. Nearly 25% of LGBTQ+ workers hide their identity at work and worry that they’d be treated differently if they came out. The worry alone can cause more health issues and work-related complaints due to increased levels of stress and anxiety. Remember the first topic about being your authentic self? Having diversity allows for different perspectives and embracing these differences. For consumers, there are plenty of insights we’ve yet to examine at how tech is integrated into these communities, compared to the heteronormative landscape. As for employees—you know, the ones who help make a business successful—they can feel like they belong and feel comfortable being who they are. LGBTQ+ leaders should be our advocates, our networks, our way to be out and proud.