New York City, NY December 10, 2016
The Cult(ure) of Strength

"Strength," "Courage," and "Bravery" are virtues often heaped upon individuals undergoing hardship. These compliments come from a deep-rooted cultural value that sacrifice should be praiseworthy and that performing in the face of difficulty is a sign of virtue. In tech, strength is valued to the point of caricature, creating a culture of depersonalization and overwork that disproportionately affects people who exist on one or more axes of intersectional marginalization. This talk explores the culture of strength through the lens of my 15 year journey through the STEM pipeline, intersecting on ability, gender, mental health, and race. I'll also provide tools for effectively recognizing, handling, and talking about hardship in the workplace or community.