Tech aspires to be a meritocracy. But it’s only a mirror-tocracy

Jena Pruitt

The tech and startup world is filled with innovators who want to solve really tough problems. Investors are pouring billions of dollars into fintech, health tech, education tech, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and many other verticals to realize these entrepreneurs’ dreams. Yet, we can’t seem to make a dent in addressing the lack of diversity in tech companies and startups. Worse, the …

Black Tech Leaders Address Silicon Valley’s Diversity Issue

Jena Pruitt

Each year, the Black Enterprise TechConneXt Summit brings together tech leaders, executives, innovators, renowned speakers, and entrepreneurs with the goal of empowering people of color in the tech industry. The two-day conference is packed with insightful talks, interactive workshops, and one-on-one chats with some of the brightest minds in tech. In the lead up to the conference, TechConneXt also provides HBCU students with an …

Highlights From The Black Enterprise TechConneXt Summit

Jena Pruitt

The first day of the TechConneXt Summit was awe-inspiring and illuminating. President and CEO of Black Enterprise Earl Graves Jr. put it best in his opening remarks, “We continue to raise the bar since our inaugural event three years ago.”

Why Freada Kapor Klein thinks there’s a moral crisis in Silicon Valley

Jena Pruitt

Every week, it seems, brings new ethical questions about Silicon Valley. A seemingly endless rash of sexual scandals in the venture community. Twitter supposedly used by anonymous Russian trolls to rig the American election. A straight-faced Mark Zuckerberg denying Facebook has a problem with fake news. Uber banned in London and vilified everywhere else. Google guilty of anti-trust violations. Apple and Amazon fined billions of dollars for not paying their taxes.

Building Block at Blockable May Change Industry

Jena Pruitt

There are a few numbers that seem to drive Blokable, the local startup company with deep-pocketed investors. One is that global construction spending is a $10 trillion endeavor. Much in the same way HP Inc. is drafting ways to upend manufacturing with 3-D printers, Blokable has set its sights on disrupting housing construction as we know it. Another number is …

They’re changing the face of Silicon Valley

Jena Pruitt

Tiffany Smith couldn’t stop fidgeting. The 27-year-old had flown halfway across the country from Chicago to pitch a room full of venture capitalists in Oakland, California, about her startup: a website connecting ex-inmates to construction and other blue-collar jobs. Smith’s examiners included Freada Kapor Klein, 64, and her husband, Mitch Kapor (pronounced KAY-Por), 66, longtime advocates for social change in …

Anita Hill On That Google Memo And What’s Next for Women in Tech

Jena Pruitt

This has been a difficult week for the technology industry, particularly for those who care deeply about diversity and inclusion. By now, many of us have read the viral memo penned by a former Google employee, James Damore, who questioned the efficacy of Google’s internal bias training and diversity initiatives. In doing so, Damore also suggested certain biological reasons may …

Silicon Valley finally faces a reckoning with sexism

Jena Pruitt

When Susan Fowler alleged in February that sexism and sexual harassment was rampant at Uber, it wasn’t just the charges that were shocking. It was her willingness to speak out against a powerful former employer.

CAN VENTURE CAPITAL BE SAVED?

Cliff Worley

The stories are vile. Women entrepreneurs face sexual advances by the VCs they rely on to get their companies off the ground. They are bribed to keep quiet. They are threatened to shut up. Their supporters are labeled “whiners” and worse.

Women who left tech jobs were sexually harassed and passed over for promotions, report says

Cliff Worley

Camila Minor considered enrolling in college after immigrating to San Francisco from Brazil, but instead opted for Hackbright Academy, an all-female computer coding course. Inside the Hackbright classroom, 22 women were learning the computer language Python. The walls were covered in cheerful Post-it notes with handwritten notes that say things like, “You’re amazing.” Some of women were even high-fiving each …

Silicon Valley investors under scrutiny for harassment

Cliff Worley

The technology sector, and especially the start-up culture in Silicon Valley, has long been criticized for its record on diversity, gender and inclusion. Now, the spotlight is being shone a spotlight on the investors and funders in the valley.