The Next Wave of Tech Talent

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Melinda Briana Epler

In 2014, an initial wave of tech companies released their diversity numbers publicly for the first time.

It was a long, hard road to get there, paved by many incredible people working hard to create change. The next step was to change those diversity numbers. There were many, many conversations in 2014 and 2015 about the lack of diversity in tech — at the Obama White House, the Federal Communications Commission, House of Representatives meetings, tech companies, local events, and kitchen tables.

At each discussion we were invited to join, Wayne and I felt there was something missing. Those early conversations focused on the problems in front of us around lack of diversity, and how we got here — which while are important, are not the full answer to getting us out of here. We needed to focus on solutions to diversity and inclusion in order to course-correct as an industry. We needed a place where people could go who wanted to make a difference — to learn, to share, to help create change. And that’s how Tech Inclusion was formed.

For five years we have focused on solutions to diversity and inclusion across the world, hosting 43 events in 39 cities and 9 countries. We’ve had even more impact from speaking, leading workshops, and training companies and organizations around the globe on creating inclusive cultures or ecosystems.

Six years later, and now there are several conferences and local events that address solutions to diversity, equity and inclusion in different ways. It’s exciting to watch the growth of interest and knowledge in this space!

What’s missing now is something else: a place for underrepresented tech talent to grow as leaders in technology

What’s missing now is something else: a place for underrepresented tech talent to grow as leaders in technology — by connecting with each other, learning from peers, developing their careers, gaining new leadership skills, and building relationships with companies hiring and advancing diverse talent.

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