Seen Yet Unseen
A Black Women Crashes the Tech Fraternity
by Bari A. Williams
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Pub Date 14 May 2024 | Archive Date 28 May 2024
Part memoir, part searing revelation, Seen Yet Unseen takes readers behind the scenes of some of the world’s biggest tech companies and exposes the way their exclusion of and, at times, hostility toward Black women have lasting impacts on the technology we use every day.
Over the years the products of big tech companies and Silicon Valley have become indispensable to our lives. They impact the way we socialize, make purchases, and even our medical decisions. But what happens when a major segment of the population—in this case Black women—isn’t included in these companies?
For over a decade, Williams has worked to carve a space for herself as a Black woman in the incredibly white male sphere of major tech companies, eventually becoming a lead counsel at Facebook and architect of their supplier diversity program. However, she also experienced the peculiar feeling familiar to Black women in the workforce: being both unseen and too seen. In raw and personal stories, Williams recounts balancing on glass cliffs while battling the burnout that so often forces Black women out of these companies, and how the industry’s lack—and loss—of Black women not only harms the businesses themselves but has troubling ramifications for their products, particularly as the promises of AI and the metaverse loom large.
In a tone both forthright and revealing, Williams dissects how a culture that has largely excluded Black women—and people of color more generally—is at a tipping point and that only through embracing and listening to Black women can we prevent the further weaponization of these technologies against marginalized communities. From fledgling in-house diversity initiatives to gentrification and the rise of AI, Seen Yet Unseen takes the reader inside the obscured machinations of big tech companies and makes a case for why diversity is essential to the future of technology.
A Note From the Publisher
“We should all be yelling at the top of our lungs about this; Bärí’s one of the few people I know who actually is.”
Samantha Walravens, coauthor of Geek Girl Rising: Inside the Sisterhood Shaking Up Tech
“Having also been a Black woman attorney in a white male dominated industry, I know what it's like to have to be twice as good for half the reward…I saw myself in these stories.”
Eboni K. Williams, attorney, former Fox News anchor, and author of Pretty Powerful
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