“You can’t be what you can’t see,” Marie Wilson aptly put it. I started Hustle Crew to advance the careers of women and other underrepresented groups in tech. I wanted to build a community of talented, ambitious individuals where we could share vital information with one another to accelerate our progress in tech. The first Hustle Crew workshop consisted of six women in a room while my friend Natalie and I shared tactics from the draft of my book — a manual for any woman in tech who wants to
This year I have been fortunate enough to be invited into numerous communities of startup founders. Equally, it is a breath of fresh air when I am in more diverse circles discussing things like parenting, wildlife, and spirituality. It is in these moments when I get away from tech when I remember the first principles that still hold true when executing on ideas. Overwhelmingly much of the content shared in the startup communities are opinions on articles from top tech publications and VCs. From Hackernews to TechCrunch or YC’s latest
I was recently invited to Oxford University’s Internet Institute to speak to masters, MBA and MPA students about my book Dream Big. Hustle Hard., sharing advice on how to succeed in tech’s competitive landscape in spite of the well-publicised obstacles around inclusion. Unlike the students in the room — a diverse group of men and women spanning many ages, ethnicities, and disciplines — when I graduated from university the invisible barriers that hinder career progression was not known to me. Nor were they being discussed in public forums like newspapers
If you told me at the start of 2018 that by September I’d find myself sitting in the London Mayor’s office at City Hall recommending policy changes for greater tech inclusion I would have said, “I wish!” And yet last Wednesday, alongside 25 other black women founders in London tech’s scene, I sat at a roundtable discussion with Deputy Mayor of London Rajesh Agrawal, Leapand London & Partners. Our objective? To outline actions to ensure black women entrepreneurs are not excluded from initiatives that support startups and scale-ups in London.
I like to talk to youth the because they give an unfiltered and honest perspective on society. I had the privilege of talking to rising seniors of a top-notch academy in upper Harlem. Part of our convo went like this: Me: “Do you know who Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Reid Hoffman are?” Them: “Yes, Steve Jobs is Apple! Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook!” Me: “Great! Do you know any famous Black or Latinx business men or women?” Them: pause………”Yes! Dr. Dre, Puff Daddy, Jay-Z!” Me: “Ok nice. Final question.
Every year, for the past 4 years, Silicon Valley goes on their penance tour of carefully selected media outlets to tell their diversity and inclusion stories. The reports are carefully crafted to avoid apples to apple comparison with EE-01s and other tech companies. And when pressed on this, their well-oiled PR departments manage the messaging in such a way that it’s all but impossible to get the ground truth. One potential reason why ratios have remained static is that inequality is in plain sight at many tech companies. A short
At the beginning of my career, the word underrepresented wasn’t in my vocabulary. It was summer 2009, and I was a fresh London School of Economics graduate rushing around the Financial Times offices as an editorial intern. As I walked around the newsroom on my very first day, I noticed there were hardly any people that looked like me around. There were few people of color. There weren’t even that many women. Almost everyone was a posh white guy; it was intimidating but unsurprising. All my experiences of London’s corporate
“I love tech, but I’m not a techie” is a phrase I’ve heard from countless people, particularly women, since starting Hustle Crew in 2016. I shake my head every time because even though I have worked in tech for almost a decade at giants like Amazon and Groupon, I never once wrote a line of code in any of those roles. What does it mean to be techie anyway? I found myself in summer 2016 unemployed with no next move planned. I quit my job in a London based startup
This conversation is a snippet from this #Techish podcast episode between Arlan Hamilton founder of Backstage Capital, and Michael Berhane, cleaned up and edited for readabilty sake. I’ve always wanted to know when you first had the idea for Backstage Capital. What was the first thing you did? Cried [haha] It didn’t happen overnight. I studied, I started my education to understand venture capital. I had to. The old guard, the people who are already there, perhaps they needed a little bit more of a shakeup when it came to
A system cannot fail those it was never built to protect — Dad (@fivefifths) July 14, 2013 In 2013 the writer and journalist Van Newkirk, who goes under the moniker, fivefiths tweeted, A system cannot fail those it was never built to protect. It is was tweeted in the light of the dismissal of George Zimmerman who was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin. The quote is often wrongly attributed to black historian W E Dubois but there is no record he said this and people were probably