Melinda Epler

23 Mar: What Happened When Mark Zuckerberg Spoke at HBCU North Carolina A&T About Diversity

By Jared Karol Watching Mark Zuckerberg speak to a room full of Black students at the historically Black college North Carolina A&T last week, I couldn’t help but feel that something awkward was bound to happen. He made it through the first 15 minutes relatively unscathed — covering topics such as the importance of community, fake news, and the future of Facebook. But then at the 16:40 mark, a PhD student in the audience asked him…

22 Mar: Pinterest: Abby Maldonado on How Listening Helps Build More Diverse and Inclusive Companies

Abby Maldonado speaking with Pinterest COO, Evan Sharp, and Change Catalyst Co-founder, Melinda Epler, at Tech Inclusion 2016 By Jared Karol “Diversity is a topic that is really challenging,” says Abby Maldonado, Diversity Programs Specialist at Pinterest. “It’s personal, and it has a lot of different definitions to a lot of people.” And that’s why she says so much of the work to create more diverse and inclusive tech ecosystems revolves around education and awareness building….

21 Mar: Diversity & Inclusion Leader Spotlight: Amy Lazarus from InclusionVentures

By Jared Karol In today’s Diversity & Inclusion Spotlight, we hear from Amy Lazarus, Founder and CEO of InclusionVentures. Through strategic consulting, expert facilitation, interactive workshops and trainings, and inspiring keynotes, InclusionVentures creates transformational experiences, skill-building, and knowledge transfer that lead to innovative practices, better decision-making, optimized performance, and a better world. Change Catalyst: What motivates you to work towards an inclusive tech ecosystem? I was raised in an intentionally racially integrated community outside of Cleveland, Ohio….

16 Mar: Code 2040: Deldelp Medina on The Power of Bringing Your Whole Self to Your Job

Deldelp Medina, Director of Residency at Code2040 By: Jared Karol Speaking at last year’s Tech Inclusion Conference in San Francisco, Deldelp Medina, Director of Residency at Code2040, says the fact that a Tech Inclusion conference even exists is a sign that the tech industry is making progress with diversity and inclusion initiatives. “Five years ago, this conversation wasn’t even being had. [The conversation] is creating opportunity for all of us.” Deldelp works with Black and LatinX entrepreneurs in…

15 Mar: Diversity & Inclusion Leader Spotlight: Ilit Raz from Joonko

By: Jared Karol In today’s Diversity & Inclusion Spotlight, we hear from Ilit Raz, Co-founder and CEO of Joonko, a personal AI-powered diversity and inclusion coach. Joonko helps get rid of unconscious bias in real time, to ensure a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Joonko has recently been welcomed into the Salesforce Incubator, a program focusing on AI innovation. Change Catalyst: What motivates you to work towards an inclusive tech ecosystem? Ilit: I spent 13 years…

15 Mar: Change Catalyst Launches Tour Across America to Drive an Inclusive Tech Future

In the fall of 2015, Change Catalyst launched its first Tech Inclusion Conference in San Francisco with the goal of creating safe spaces to have conversations around diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. Change Catalyst co-founders Melinda Epler and Wayne Sutton spent nine months leading up to the conference analyzing the issues and found that there were systematic problems in the tech ecosystem — primarily in four main areas: workplace, policy, education, and entrepreneurship. The Tech…

14 Mar: Why Accelerators Are Supporting Diverse Founders

By: Jared Karol “Not all accelerators are created equally.” This sage advice was shared by Andrea Barrica to founders from diverse backgrounds at last fall’s Tech Inclusion Conference in San Francisco. Andrea is an Entrepreneur in Residence and Venture Partner at 500 Startups, a global VC seed fund investing in diverse startups all over the world. She goes on to say that “[You] should be weary of accelerators. Money is money but it’s really about what…

09 Mar: From HBCU to Startup: Hadiyah Mujhid on Creating Pathways Into Tech

By: Jared Karol Listen to the full podcast with Hadiyah Mujhid here. Hadiyah Mujhid, founder of the company HBCU to Startup, a platform that connects students from HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) to tech opportunities, attributes many of her career decisions to the fact that her first manager out of college as a software engineer was black. Having this manager in her first role allowed her to navigate some of the difficult conversations she was having…

08 Mar: Diversity & Inclusion Leader Spotlight: Fran Benjamin from Airbnb

By Jared Karol In today’s Diversity & Inclusion Spotlight, we hear from Fran Benjamin, Diversity Strategy Lead at Airbnb. He works with leaders as well as employees to design strategic solutions and facilitate immersive learning experiences that unleash human potential. Change Catalyst: What are you currently working on to improve diversity and inclusion in tech? Fran: My role is twofold. First, I serve as a strategist within our Diversity & Belonging COE. I design belonging into the…