November 3rd & 4th, 2023
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Crossing the Gender Divide

SeaGL 2020

Fifteen years into a successful career in tech, I came out. I had a choice to make: whether to walk away, or try and salvage my professional network. I say I “came out” in 2017 though this process never really ends, and in this talk I’m going to come out to all of you again. And while my jobless period eventually came to a close, it lasted far longer than I expected. I’d like to share with you what I learned.

Was my network shrinking as colleagues chose to distance themselves from me, or because I felt nervous to reach out and have another awkward conversation? Was my bias changing because bad experiences taught me to anticipate more of them, or because my hormones were changing? Was my worldview changing, or just other people’s perception of me?

I asked myself these questions daily for almost two years.

Through meditation, I understood that perception bias can be directly perceived, and I learned some tools to recognize the impact that my bias has on my decisions.

We can not become unbiased.

What matters is what we do about it.


Aeva Black

Aeva Black

Aeva is a queer and non-binary geek, a lifelong student of the buddha dharma, a consent advocate, an aspiring author, and a regular speaker at both #InfoSec and #OpenSource conferences and meetups around the world. In addition to their technical work, they are committed to improving diversity and inclusion in the tech industry, and advocating for digital privacy rights.