“Technology Is An Enabler”: Meet The Black HP CIO Fostering Black Tech Talent
From tech conferences to business challenges, HP’s global chief information officer (CIO) Ron Guerrier, is spearheading the tech giant’s work with HBCUs to build and foster Black talent into tech.
Throughout his pathway to IT leadership, Guerrier has made it his priority to speak up about the lack of diversity in the industry. The trailblazer’s new partnership with HBCU is a further testament to his commitment to helping his community break into the sector.
HP’s partnership with HBCUs
Through Guerrier, HP will be working alongside HBCUs to build a community of Black talent and pipelines that will lead to opportunities from the HBCU Tech Conference to the HP HBCU Business Challenge.
The initiative will help more Black and brown people build the connections and knowledge needed to have a positive trajectory in the tech business.
In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, Guerrier has worked to amplify his efforts in addressing social justice and racial inequality.
From supporting numerous programs to providing digital education to the Black community, Guerrier is proud to advocate for his people in a space that society did not make with us in mind.
Guerrier’s journey into tech
Guerrier has always credited his experiences in his parents’ home country, Haiti, for his success in tech. After seeing his cousin create scratch computers for vehicles at a young age, Guerrier fell in love with technology and its potential power.
“They were taking parts from every make and model they could get their hands on, and they were creating from scratch computers to tune the vehicles,” Guerrier said in a CIO interview.
“I was fascinated with their ability to be innovative with such little resources [and] that just blew me away. In the absence of resources, you innovate, and I say that [can be] visiting family in Haiti or having cousins that live in the projects of Chicago.”
Guerrier’s early experiences in Haiti continued to fuel his passion for tech. While studying finance and economics at university, he decided to work at a computer store, often fixing handheld devices, and dealing with customers’ tech queries.
“I became the fixer, so when the company decided to go to client servers, they looked around and asked, ‘Who knows the business well and technology?’ And my name popped up,” he added.
According to Guerrier, the experiences from his early career taught him the importance of mentorship and bringing business and tech together, lessons he says he continues to carry with him as he advances up the IT ranks.
“The thing that really propelled me at Toyota to go from the repossessions clerk and coordinator to the CIO in the 19 years I was at Toyota was I always volunteered for things,” Guerrier told Black Enterprise.
“When someone said, ‘We’re looking for these 10 skills,’ I always said, ‘Well, I know I can do six, I’ll learn the other four on the job.’”
“I always pushed myself and placed a bet on myself, [which] helped me propel throughout technology opportunities, but that was the first moment I realized that technology is an enabler.”
Guerrier encourages others to do the same and back themselves: “See yourself as the CEO of your brand.”