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I am indigenous. I am also white. My lineage is that of the colonized and the colonizer, both influencing my identity, beliefs, and voice. As an African American woman and C-level executive in Silicon Valley, I have spent the past 20 years of my life building teams and companies that have changed American culture. Technology companies occupy a position of cultural and economic influence—one that comes with a responsibility to ask yourself how to build a better world with what you’re building and how you’re building it. At Abstract, we see inclusive hiring as

This is the tale of a technology enabled phoenix. This is the tale of the death of a startup. It is the tale of betrayal and survival. It is long. It is a tale of redemption. It is worth the read. In the year 2011, I was inspired to start a technology-enabled primary care practice that would cut the cost of healthcare in half while 10x-ing the patient experience. I knew a lot about healthcare but nothing about running a clinic. Yet, I knew that I had done harder things

Think about a time in your life when you felt most included. What was going on, and how did it feel? Now take a minute and think about a time in your life when you felt excluded. What was going on there, and how did that feel? Everyone wants to feel included. We all want to feel safe. We all want to have that power.  Some of us have more power than others, but as individuals, we can take a number of thoughtful actions that add up to create a better, more inclusive

As my senior year at Dartmouth College progresses, many people have asked me, “What piece of advice would you give an incoming college freshman?” Upon reflection I settled on this “…regardless of your major [and if the opportunity presents itself] take a Computer Science and a Statistics course.” Computer Science has impacted every industry you can think of, finance, technology, engineering, energy, oil & gas, etc. As society progresses, so does technology. Programming is a super-power. Someone can have the next “Facebook” or “Snapchat,” but without the necessary tools to

I finally made it to Blavity’s AfroTech conference in Silicon Valley last month thanks to Product Hunt & AngelList sponsoring me. Here’s what I learned while I was there: 1. Feeling included leads to high levels of self-belief and inspiration. Feeling like an outsider in the industry has been a common theme in my career. It’s what has led me to obsess over making the industry more representative of wider society and of course feel more inclusive. AfroTech represents something like a pilgrimage for me as a techie. It was the

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the day you’ve been dreaming about since you started the recruiting process: the day you receive your full-time employment offer. This is an honor. This is a blessing. But before we get blinded by the giddiness, we need to get one thing straight: sign on your own terms. Yes, the idea of money is so enticing and oh so close, but remember this is a negotiation. To get the most for yourself, you need to know your own worth. Then add tax. Letsgetit! Step 1: Consider

Based of a super hilarious and heart warming tweet thread this article follows Urenna Okonkwo as she takes us through her journey in raising a seed round for her fashion/fintech startup Cashmere! In the words of Elon Musk. Funding secured 💰 Yesterday, I received the first installment of investment (total $180,000) into my company @CashmereTheApp as a young 26-year-old black female first-time founder. I can’t believe I’m writing this. Taking the Plunge When I made the plunge, I said to my close friend @deborahokenla,  by the 31st of October, I will

I recently attended my first, second, and third tech conferences as a scholar. Here’s what I learned, what I wish I would have known, and a jump-start to help get the most out of your first or next tech conference. Takeaways primarily focus on my experience as a RubyConf 2018 Opportunity Scholar, but are widely applicable to other tech conferences BEFORE THE CONFERENCE Release any preconceived notions 💡 Maybe it’s just me, but HBO’s Silicon Valley a̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶c̶r̶o̶o̶k̶e̶d̶ ̶m̶e̶d̶i̶a̶ ̶l̶o̶l̶⠀nearly had me convinced that programmers are socially inept and

This article is a snippet from the postgraduate thesis of Alex Fefegha, the amazing technologist and founder of Comuzi. Here he breaks down concrete examples of racism and sexism perpetrated by A.I. So here it goes: Suggestions have made that decision-support systems powered by AI can be used to augment human judgment and reduce both conscious and unconscious biases. However, machine learning data, algorithms, and other design choices that shape AI systems may reflect and amplify existing cultural prejudices and inequalities. While historian of technology Melvin Kranzberg (1986) constructed the viewpoint

We caught up with the amazing Fikile M Kani about her amazing new original webseries Tech Bae… As soon as we heard the premise of a black women founder trying to create a better dating experience for black women we had to find out more. Have a look at her tweet thread before deliving into our interview. Aya’s story needs to be on peoples’ screens not only to bring light issues around bias, but to add more black women’s faces in spaces where they are underrepresented–the tech/startup worlds and on

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