The lack of diversity in tech has become a national issue as well as a local one.
Even though studies have shown that diversity in technology is important because diversity helps breed innovation, helps companies perform better and helps attract talent, the gap and lack of representation of diverse demographics is still shockingly large.
In Philadelphia, statistics have shown that there is a higher rate of women working in technology — however, people of color are still not adequately and proportionately represented in Philadelphia’s tech organizations and companies.
Driven by the mantra “You can’t be what you can’t see,” my organization, Mogulette, was created to address the lack of diversity in technology through the infusion of mentoring and education of young ambitious women who desire to participate, create and start businesses in tech.
But there’s more work to be done. That’s where local entrepreneurship conference Founder Factory’s Diversity Dinner, co-run by Philly Startup Leaders (PSL), comes in.
Mogulette decided to partner with PSL because we are committed to working with organizations and companies that are serious about addressing tech diversity in our city and creating action steps and building pipelines that are reflective of Philadelphia.
Here are a few highlights that make this event, to be held on Wednesday, Dec. 7, very special:
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- Sixteen top tech leaders will be on hand to guide dinner table conversations about how to better diversify Philly’s tech scene. Each table leader has a proven commitment and knowledge of the subject matter and is charged with the marching orders to invoke thoughts and ideas, respect opinions, challenge perceptions, promote unity and facilitate pointed conversation. Recaps of the conversations will be collected at the end of the night. The leaders represent an array of identities: race, gender, sexual orientation, ability and religion.
- Three speakers will be addressing the evening with their own personal testimonies of defeating the odds of being a diverse member of the Philly tech community.
- Mayor Jim Kenney, Councilman Allan Domb and Councilwoman Helen Gym will be in attendance to share opening remarks and support.
The table leaders include:
- Kahiga Tiagha, The ITEM
- Karin Wolok, CandiDate Philly
- Tiffanie Stanard, Stimulus
- Christopher Wink, Technically Media
- Tracy Levesque, Yikes, Inc.
- Jon Gosier, Cross Valley Capital
- Gloria Bell, TechGirlz
- Ather Sharif, EVOXLABS
- Marla McDermott, The Walnut Club
- Jean South, Bunker Labs
- Tiffany Tavarez, PECO
- Sylvester Mobley, Coded By U
- Tayyib Smith, Hip Hop Institute and Little Giant Media
- LaVonna Rickets, Girl Develop It
- Joel Moffatt, Comcast
- Yifan Liu, Osage Partner
The ultimate goal of the night is to come up with a greater community understanding about diversity in tech, promote greater appreciation of the issue and create action steps toward a more diverse local tech community.
In the end, partnership and collaboration will be key to bridging tech divides in the city, whether it’s access or workforce inclusion. The more we work together, the stronger and better we will be as a city. I’m very excited that PSL is taking a step in this direction and am happy to work with them and tackle it, one conversation at a time.-30-
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