Episode 18

Building the Black Tech Pipeline Community with Pariss Athena


August 24th, 2020

30 mins 45 secs

Your Hosts
Special Guest

About this Episode

Pariss Athena is the creator of the #BlackTechTwitter community and founder of Black Tech Pipeline, which helps connect Black technologists with companies looking for employees. She shares her story of growing and managing an online community and how she is turning that into a business.

Pariss also provides some great tips on steps companies can take to diversify their applicant pool when hiring engineers and developers.

One Powerful Quotation:

  • 26:00 – Pariss: “If I’m unsure about something, [I] don’t agree to it. Tell people you’ll think about it and get back to them. If you don’t want to do it, don’t do it. You don’t have to feel pressured to do things you’re not ready for.”

Key Topics:

  • 0:40 - Pariss talks about launching Black Tech Pipeline, which grew out of the #BlackTechTwitter community and serves to open more opportunities for Black technologists. The site offers a job board for applicants as well as profiles for companies to be more transparent about their commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  • 3:37 - Haris asks Pariss how she keeps her platform to be centered on the job candidate.
  • 5:40 - Pariss talks about how she’s working with others to build out the website.
  • 8:00 - Haris and Shawn commend Pariss on her social media presence and ask how she keeps an authentic voice on Twitter.
  • 9:10 - Shawn asks Pariss about what skills prepared her to launch Black Tech Pipeline. Pariss gives great advice on learning how to say “no.”
  • 10:54 - Pariss talks about how interactions with people changed as her Twitter following grew.
  • 14:17 - Haris asks Pariss which platforms she used to grow her following. She says that Twitter was her main platform and she got lucky with the timing of the #BlackTechTwitter movement.
  • 16:59 - Shawn asks Pariss what companies, especially tech startups, can do to make sure diversity and inclusion are baked into their founding. Pariss recommends that companies engage with various online communities, such as the #BlackTechTwitter community, to build relationships with more diverse groups of potential employees.
  • 19:58 - Pariss, Shawn, and Haris talk about how a more diverse design team can create better products. Haris mentions that engineers and companies should reach out to diverse groups of people to test their products.
  • 27:10 - Shawn asks Pariss about which other social platforms she uses to manage her community.
  • 29:09 - Pariss and Haris talk about their experiences using Basecamp to manage projects..

List of Resources
Black Tech Pipeline
Black Tech Twitter

Guest Contact Information:
Pariss Athena
Twitter - @ParissAthena

Host Contact Information:
LinkedIn - Shawn Hymel
LinkedIn - Harris Kenny
Twitter - Shawn Hymel
Twitter - Harris Kenny

License Information:
“Hello Blink Show” by Kenny Consulting Group, LLC and Skal Risa, LLC is licensed under CC BY 4.0
Intro and outro song is “Routine” by Amine Maxwell is licensed under CC BY 3.0

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