Black Swan #11: A Canadian in the Valley

BetaKit podcast

If you weren’t aware, allow me to confirm: the Black Swan podcast is co-hosted by two white males living in Canada. Both Rob Kenedi and I have also spent time living in the United States.

Black Swan is a podcast dedicated to investigating how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting Canadian tech. But that’s not the only problem the world is facing right now. There are others deeper, more longstanding, more complex.

“It’s sad in the sense that we’re dealing with this in 2020. But at the same time, it’s pretty amazing that I’m able to be part of something like this.”

When you’re concerned about a friend, you check in. On this week’s podcast, we check in with Idil Omar. Idil is Canadian, having worked at the DMZ, Next Canada, and the Province before moving to SF to work for Uber. Idil is also a woman of colour.

We spoke with Idil to get a sense of how Silicon Valley responded to the pandemic, and its ongoing shift to remote work.

We also talked about civil unrest, and the ongoing protests (which Idil could hear from her apartment while we recording. Idil also told us before we started that she has gotten very good at recognizing the sound of tear gas canisters being shot).

Idil spoke to us about the racism she has faced in her short time in the Valley, and how it differed from the racism she faced in Canada.

Before you listen, please know that some parts of this conversation may be painful, difficult, or uncomfortable to hear.

But I hope you listen.

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Hosted by Douglas Soltys & Rob Kenedi. Edited by Kattie Laur. Produced with support from TWG.

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.