Senior Engineering Manager, Remote (Los Angeles)
Frantz Joseph stays busy. He’s based in L.A., but you’ll probably run into him at our Brooklyn office (his hometown), or working on the Hues Chat series facilitating conversations on being black in the tech world. As one of the only remote managers in the company, the food connoisseur is big on connecting with his peers and community.
What is Black Techcellence to you?
Showing up and being your authentic self. Speaking the way you speak from the neighborhood that you're from, representing who you are and modeling good behavior. When I say good, I mean I do the job that I'm asked to do and I'm constantly growing.
There's another part of it, which is what is your responsibility to the community? How are you making space for folks who are looking to get into the industry or grow in the industry? How are you supporting them? How are you dropping their names in conversations? Because it's easy to be a token in a space and think you're exceptional because of that. When I think exceptionalism it’s that you've brought along a lot of other people with you.
So, what Black Techcellence means to me is this: being your authentic self, being great at what you do, and then bringing other people along with you.
How do you exemplify Black Techcellence at Mailchimp?
I reach out to folks, and say, “hello,” whenever I'm in offices or meetings. I book one-on-ones, and lunchtime with folks, specifically black folks, not only in engineering but in support and across other parts of the company. I do this because I want them to see what I do is possible for them, but then also share some of the things that I see as a senior manager who has a lot of access to senior leadership and how they think about things and how they could possibly grow in that space. It’s being active outside of just managing people or writing code or whatever your day-to-day is. Diversity as a second job sucks, but if we don't do it, not a lot of other folks will take it as their job to care.
Can you elaborate on, “diversity as a second job”? What does that look like?
Your No. 1 priority might be, “I want more folks who look like me around me,” but that might be another person’s No. 5 priority. The only way you get others outside of your community engaged is by helping them see the importance of these things. You can either help them and expand your reach, or you just do it yourself. And in somemany cases you'll have to do both. Diversity as a second job is me doing all of this work so that my normal day-to-day job feels more comfortable and feels more inviting. So I have to do this as a second job just to get the first job to feel good.
As a black person and an immigrant in America, I grew up around a community where people took care of each other. Bringing that sense of community to my job and my career is super important to me.