Right before I gave my Lending Privilege talk at the Rotman School of Management on the campus of The University of Toronto.
Right before I gave my Lending Privilege talk at the Rotman School of Management on the campus of The University of Toronto.


Diversity and inclusion have become hot topics in technology, but you may not know how you can make a difference. This talk will help you understand that, no matter your background, you have privilege and can lend it to marginalized groups in tech.


Privilege is access to societal and economic benefits based on a characteristic you possess. The most well understood forms of privilege are the ones most people don’t choose for themselves like racial, gender, and physical privilege, but there are also selected privileges like religion, sexuality, and education.

This session will teach you how to lend your privilege. You’ll learn the various types of privilege lending including credibility lending (where you attach your name to a project being undertaken by someone without privilege) and access lending (where you provide access to a location or event for someone without privilege). These different types of privilege lending will be illustrated through well known examples and an explanation of how they can be applied to software development.


While technology companies are trying to improve their diversity, I believe that change will only occur when individuals take action to make technology a more inclusive industry. I think that the concept of lending privilege can be a powerful tool that technology practitioners can use to expand the diversity of the industry.


Here are direct links to videos of me giving this talk at various conferences:

What Attendees Have Said

@anjuan just gave one of the most important talks at #CraftConf, about lending your privilege 👏🏻 - Leigha Mitchell

Anjuan Simmons - Lending Privilege. Entire talk. Speaker with a fantastic ability to tackle tough and sensitive subjects with honesty, grace and respect. - CraftConf Attendee

Anjuan Simmons’ talk on Lending Privilege was a real highlight, and started a lot of discussions in our sysdev-team which I think will really help us make our workplace more inclusive. - CraftConf Attendee

@anjuan giving a fantastic talk on privilege and privilege lending at @devopsdaysbos so many insights and so much food for thought - Peter Nealon

loving @anjuan talking about practical ways to lend privilege: credibility, access, and more. difference between diversity and inclusion - Elliot Murphy

Great session on lending privilege by @anjuan at @devopsdaysbos! Check out his Twitter feed! - Trigg Bowlin

@anjuan 👏 great talk on lending privilege at #devopsdaysbos. it’s time we got past talk of diversity and deeper into inclusion and empathy - Sarah Zelechoski

Great session by @anjuan on lending privilege. It’s not just morally right, it helps deliver better software and processes. #DoDBos16 - Devin

I really enjoyed the next trio of talks. First up was Anjuan Simmons about Lending Privilege. What he meant by this was to work not only toward building up diversity in your organization, but also factoring in inclusion. His talk stressed the importance of what people in the majority populations in tech can do to help minorities, including lending them your credibility, helping them with access to the tooling and levels of trust they have, encouraging them in their roles and sharing of expertise. On a personal note, I’ll emphasize that it’s easier to be a mentor to people who you share a background, race and gender with, which results in minorities struggling to find mentors. We must do better than what is easy and work to mentor people who are different than we are. - Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph

…really changed my understanding of the power of a network - Michael Hedgpeth

.@anjuan has a great talk on Lending Privilege! I encourage folks to listen. Practical easy to implement strategies to start - Qiana Patterson

Truly extraordinary & eye-opening talk by @anjuan at #CodeConf about lending privilege. - Parker Moore

@anjuan that was an amazing talk and thank you for giving people solid examples of lending privilege I would not be here if people didn’t - Aimee Maree

@anjuan just game a stellar Ignite on lending privilege - Duane O’Brien

Lending Privilege by @anjuan at Ignite #OSCON is <3 Using your birth + selected privilege to support others. Can’t wait to share this video. - Josh Simmons

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