The decision to study emotional intelligence in tech culture as my doctoral research was inspired by curiosity about my own lived experience more than a desire to add to scholarly literature. By then, I’d endured, with some success, 25 years in the industry. In fact, the beginning of my doctoral journey in 1999 coincided with taking a full-time+ exec level job at a startup. Yes, it was an insane decision, but a good one.
Endured with some success. Why and how? I knew, for me, the answers were related to my interpersonal skills, my emotional intelligence. Technically, I suffered from imposter syndrome (and still do), so a love for people was the edge over my fears.
The population of my study was individuals with at least 10 years of middle management experience in tech companies. Of the 9 participants in my sample, there was only one of color – a black, male strategy and management consultant a few years younger than me. His EQ was off the chart. The remainder, 3 women and 5 men, all had average levels of emotional intelligence
Equity (or in those days, diversity) was not an element of my research question, but the coincidence that we both had higher EQ than our counterparts stayed with me. Over the last two decades, that observation has become a spiraling passion to turn it into my part in addressing the lack of diversity and inclusion in tech. EQuity Begins with EQ is a series of stories about how my ongoing research, personal and professional experience, and expanding wisdom have all come together, enabling me to be in service doing work I love. Especially in these bifurcating times.