What are the origins of your podcast Black Tech Unplugged?
Originally I was doing another podcast and I decided to leave that opportunity, but I didn’t want to stop interviewing and sharing people’s stories because I am passionate about that.
Now at the time there wasn’t a large Black tech community presence as it is now. Being that I was often in the situation where I would be the only Black person in the room I wanted to connect with other Black techies and grow the community.
So I decided what better way to share stories and highlight the community than to continue with a new podcast and that’s how Black Tech Unplugged was formed.
What’s the biggest challenge being a black woman in Tech?
The biggest challenge of being a black woman in tech is the notion that we are still unicorns to the industry.
That means, when I go into a room or job I still have the potential to be the only Black woman or person there.
Who do you go to when you’re needing support and guidance?
Family and friends. I come from a family of strong Black women so when I need a pep talk I always go to them to get advice. And you know when people say there’s a group text that hypes you up every day? Well I’m blessed to have about 3 of those!
What’s the most rewarding part about being a Tech Storyteller?
The most rewarding part of being a tech storyteller is being able to tell the stories of other people. People underestimate how their stories and experiences can really have an impact on others.
What’s your favorite app on your phone?
What’s something you wish you could say to your 16 year old self?
I would tell my 16 year old self to not listen to a single thing that anyone is telling you to do and instead do what you think is best.
The only way to grow and learn is from experiencing things in your own way otherwise you might end up living according to someone else’s rules.
What’s something that’s been bringing you joy lately?
Reading books. Because who can resist getting lost in a good storyline?
What’s something that’s been pissing you off lately?
The lack of sympathy in this world. I don’t know when everyone decided that not considering other people’s feelings or not putting yourself in other people’s shoes was cute, but it’s not.
When was the last time you practiced self-care and why is self-care important to you?
I practice self-care every day because I truly cannot function throughout an entire day if I don’t pour into myself first. I start everyday by writing and just doing a brain dump and meditation.
What are your unshakable values and when did you become clear on them?
My unshakable values are: stay in faith, love myself unconditionally, and always speak up. These are values that were instilled in me at a young age by family and mentors.
It’s years in the future. You’re on stage to accept an award for your life’s work. What’s your five word acceptance speech
Keep going no matter what!
Learn more about Deena + connect
Deena McKay is the founder and host of the podcast Black Tech Unplugged, a podcast that highlights Blacks who innovate and work in the tech industry. Deena started Black Tech Unplugged as a way for others to hear the authentic stories of Black in tech and to show people that Blacks are indeed in the tech industry. Black Tech Unplugged: IG + Twitter + Website. Deena McKay: IG + Twitter + Website.