When the world talks about the tech industry in the Bay Area, the conversation is usually centered around cool new start-ups, VC funding, and the new apps or devices the big companies are releasing.
But as people that live and work in the Bay Area, we also hear how tech is complicit in the social problems we are experiencing: homelessness, gentrification, lack of affordable housing, and the displacement of communities of color.
These challenges are driven in part by the inequality perpetuated by poor wages and working conditions for Silicon Valley's invisible workforce — subcontracted workers who clean tech companies' offices, serve food to their workers, provide security, and drive their commuter shuttles. For every tech job created in the Bay Area, 4 more service jobs are needed.
Those of us working in tech don't hear enough about the challenges these workers — our co-workers — face. If we are going to confront income inequality in the Bay Area, we need to start with supporting contract workers. And to do that we need to hear and understand their stories.
This panel will include discussions about first-hand experiences, challenges, and aspirations from subcontracted service workers who work at Silicon Valley tech companies.