James Governor's Monkchips

Welcoming Samantha Burke, managing Diversity and Inclusion for Monki Gras 2018

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I am really happy to announce that we have someone fab joining the Monki Gras team to manage our diversity and inclusion program for the event: Samantha Burke has a really interesting background – she is an actress, with some really cool Sci-fi voiceover work coming out over the next few months, but decided to get into tech because she felt she wanted to broaden her opportunities. Being of Jamaican and Irish heritage she is really placed to understand issues of intersectionality, and has already been pushing me to do better on issues of accessibility and class.

Sam came to us after joining our Thingmonk 2017 diversity program. She is currently looking for an apprenticeship, ideally learning and working with Python. She is super enthusiastic, and a really great communicator.

We are very proud to be able to support her in her journey into tech. Thanks so much to Digital Ocean for sponsoring the program! This tweet before Christmas really struck me.

First job in tech. I have written before – Let’s hear it for the maintainers – how easy it is to to blind to your own privilege, and since we’ve been expanding our diversity and inclusion efforts at RedMonk it has become ever clearer how many incorrect assumptions I had been making. I have been meeting more and more people with a wide range of relevant and diverse experiences that are finding it hard to get jobs in tech. For all the talk of a skills shortage there is also an imagination shortage. In order to sustain our craft in tech we really need to widen the funnel.

There are a lot of women out there looking for work in tech. One group in particular I should mention is women in their 30s with solid work experience in other fields, such as finance, that are now looking for tech roles. We want to help them. That’s why we want our D&I programs to be about more than free tickets. We offer mentoring, and are going to try and amp up matchmaking at Monki Gras.

Hopefully we can also find an coding apprenticeship or graduate scheme for Sam.

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