Talk

The Pipeline Fallacy

I would like to set the context of my talk by discussing my experiences as a trans woman and a software developer working in a corporate tech environment, with reference to the intersecting forms of privilege and oppression I inhabit. This will include a discussion of the related concepts of passing and erasure. For the main part of my talk, I would like to critique the pipeline fallacy and discuss how I have seen it used as an excuse to continue to exclude oppressed classes. Within the South African context in particular, it is not uncommon to hear people saying "it will just take time" for women, people of colour and other "previously" disadvantaged people to feed through into senior leadership positions; and that all that we need to do is improve the education pipeline. This can never work, as it ignores systemic oppression at all levels. This has previously been described widely in reference to academic hierarchies, but I will discuss how the same holds in both corporate structures and less formal power dynamics in the tech industry.

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