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Lending Privilege

posted Jul 19, 2016, 4:01 PM by Anjuan Simmons   [ updated Jan 3, 2017, 10:52 AM ]

Diversity and inclusion have become hot topics in technology, but you may not know how you can make a difference. This talk will help you understand that, no matter your background, you have privilege and can lend it to marginalized groups in tech. 


I'm often approached after I give talks about diversity and inclusion (D&I) to "provide proof" that D&I initiatives provide business value. Here are a number of links that provide the business case for D&I as well as articles on the state of diversity in tech (as of 2015).

However, I have never had anyone with whom I have shared these links come back and say, "You know, the evidence is overwhelming. I now believe that D&I provides business value to tech companies." So, I can only conclude that people who want proof that D&I is valuable actually won't believe any evidence provided to them. Therefore, while I happily share these resources, the people who ask for them are probably lost causes in the push for D&I in tech.

The Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion


GitHub Universe
San Francisco, CA
Lending Privilege

DevOpsDays Boston
Boston, MA
Lending Privilege


SpringOne Platform
Las Vegas, NV
Lending Privilege Ignite Talk


GitHub's CodeConf
Los Angeles, CA
Lending Privilege

Austin, TX
Lending Privilege Ignite Talk


@anjuan giving a fantastic talk on privilege and privilege lending at @devopsdaysbos so many insights and so much food for thought

loving @anjuan talking about practical ways to lend privilege: credibility, access, and more. difference between diversity and inclusion

Great session on lending privilege by @anjuan at @devopsdaysbos! Check out his Twitter feed!

@anjuan 👏 great talk on lending privilege at #devopsdaysbos. it’s time we got past talk of diversity and deeper into inclusion and empathy

Great session by @anjuan on lending privilege. It's not just morally right, it helps deliver better software and processes. #DoDBos16

I really enjoyed the next trio of talks. First up was Anjuan Simmons about Lending Privilege. What he meant by this was to work not only toward building up diversity in your organization, but also factoring in inclusion. His talk stressed the importance of what people in the majority populations in tech can do to help minorities, including lending them your credibility, helping them with access to the tooling and levels of trust they have, encouraging them in their roles and sharing of expertise. On a personal note, I’ll emphasize that it’s easier to be a mentor to people who you share a background, race and gender with, which results in minorities struggling to find mentors. We must do better than what is easy and work to mentor people who are different than we are.
- Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph

...really changed my understanding of the power of a network

.@anjuan has a great talk on Lending Privilege! I encourage folks to listen. Practical easy to implement strategies to start

Truly extraordinary & eye-opening talk by @anjuan at #CodeConf about lending privilege.

@anjuan that was an amazing talk and thank you for giving people solid examples of lending privilege I would not be here if people didn't

@anjuan just game a stellar Ignite on lending privilege

Lending Privilege by @anjuan at Ignite #OSCON is <3 Using your birth + selected privilege to support others. Can't wait to share this video.