Fired for Highlighting Tech Sexism, Adria Richards Speaks Out

Amazingly not embittered by the fiasco, Richards has issued a response assuring the public that there's "good to be found" in the disturbing story.

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Adria Richards (Facebook)

In case you missed it: Last week, Silicon Valley veteran and "tech evangelist" Adria Richards tweeted a photo of two developers making crude jokes while attending a conference ("Not cool," she wrote. "Jokes about forking repo's in a sexual way and 'big' dongles. Right behind me.") One man was fired as a result.

As the story gained steam, Richards received rape and death threats and lost her own job with SendGrid. (Read The Root's Helena Andrews' takeaway from the story here.)

Now -- amazingly not made bitter by the fiasco -- Richards has issued a response assuring the public that there's "good to be found" in the disturbing sequence of events, and reasserting her commitment to make the tech industry a place that welcomes women and people of color.

Read an excerpt from Clutch magazine:

... And I do believe there is good to be found in this situation. Debate and recrimination can and must give way to dialog that explores the root causes of these issues in the tech industry. As developers and members of the startup community, we can welcome newcomers, women and people of color who, as of now, are under-represented in our ranks. And, all of us can learn a great deal from those who are well-established in the field. We can solidify the values of our workplaces (yes, conference spaces are workplaces!), and set new, positive and inclusive examples for other professional disciplines.

What happened at PyCon has cast a spotlight on a range of deep issues and problems in the developer world. As ugly as this situation has become, all of these issues have reasonable, and, I think, easily reached solutions that will help us cast conflict aside and construct a more cohesive and welcoming professional environment based on respect, trust and open communication. I do not, at this time, wish to concentrate on the fallout of the last several days. Instead, I want to be an integral part of a diverse, core group of individuals that comes together in a spirit of healing and openness to devise answers to the many questions that have arisen in the last week. Together, we can work to make the tech world a better place to work for everyone, and in doing so, we make the wider world a better place for all.

Read more at Clutch magazine.

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