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Without Big Tech diversity, the world will become a scary place

As companies and individuals race for technological domination, inequality will get worse unless marginalized groups are driving the discussion.


My friends, I’m away for the day, but I wanted to leave you with some nuggets of information to gnaw on in my absence. 

In the wake of Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse, I’ve been concerned about its potential to worsen Big Tech monopolization. The portrayal of SVB solely as a benefactor for rich, privileged (and, in the eyes of many, white) tech bros has been inaccurate, but it appears to have fed into some public derision for depositors who used SVB, as well as a reluctance to make them whole. 

That’s why I’ve made a point of noting that some of SVB’s depositors are tech companies whose products or services are meant for marginalized groups — and more specifically, that many of these companies have nonwhite people as founders and leaders. This is the kind of diversity and competition we need to encourage if we want to avoid a world where white, wealthy and well-connected men maintain near-exclusive control over emerging tech. (Note: Some conservative voices are using SVB’s collapse to imply that white dudes should have that kind of control.)

I previously mentioned Ruth Health, a maternal telehealth company that banked with SVB. Another organization that banked with SVB, called Folx, has been on my radar the past few years as I’ve researched emerging tech in the health space. Folx is a health care startup that’s focused on services for LGBTQ people.

And just last week, I conducted some interviews I’ll share with you all very soon. They involve some of the Black-owned businesses that banked with SVB — and what we stand to lose if tech industries are dominated by straight white guys. 

All my tech coverage for The ReidOut Blog stems from my concerns about diversity, equity and inclusion in the tech space. Whether we’re talking about the collapse of SVB, the rise of artificial intelligence or the potential for social media manipulation, these conversations are fundamentally about who is deserving of influence over the most powerful technologies known to humankind. And what that influence could bring about. 

Here’s some reading to prepare you for what’s to come on The ReidOut Blog: