Aleen Mean

Less Than Or Equal

The idea came to me about a month ago. “I should start a podcast that focuses on women in technology!” I exclaimed, out of the blue.

Justin and I talked about it quite a bit over the next few days.

“You know you’re going to get threats,” he said.

“I know. People can be pretty crappy sometimes.” ((If ever I’ve wanted to be proven wrong, it’s now.))

It took a while to hammer out the details. Justin came up with the name in a sudden stroke of genius, Less Than Or Equal, created the logo and website, and researched the best way to record. (Because he’s amazing.)

I spent a lot of time hammering out the premise. It’s not just woman who are underrepresented in the tech industry. It’s not just the tech industry where people still face inequality. So my focus shifted slightly to include more groups of people and more fields of interest.

I didn’t want it to be a negative show, either. Sure, I could invite people on and we could talk about the horrible state of things, but that would get tedious for everyone involved pretty quickly. I decided that the focus of the show should be talking about what the amazing things people who are discriminated against are doing. There will definitely be stories about the adversity people have faced and discussion surrounding how we can make changes for both ourselves and for geeky kiddos. It’s going to be a fine line to walk, I think; my hope is that I’ll be able to walk it well.

My hope is that Less Than Or Equal will open doors and help us start taking meaningful steps toward true equality in my industry and related fields.

I have concerns. Yes, I’m going to get threats and I’m sure that will be frightening. I’m going to make people mad. I’m going to have to get better at confrontation.

Mostly, though, I’m worried that people won’t want to come on the show because they’re afraid of misspeaking. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to do this issue justice, that the podcast won’t strike the right tone. I’m afraid that people won’t even give it a chance.

Before I allow my doubts to take hold, I have to take a deep breath and say:

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. ~Samuel Beckett

If Less Than Or Equal isn’t a success there will still be value in it and I will find another way to make a meaningful difference.

Your support would mean the world to me. You can listen to the first episode on the website; it’s been submitted to iTunes but probably won’t be approved until tomorrow sometime and, even then, it will be a while before it’s indexed so you can search for it. You can also like it on Facebook and follow the Twitter account. More than anything, though, I need people who are willing to come on the show. If you’re interested, please let me know.