The World’s Best Connectors is a virtual community of experienced CEOs who help other executives enhance their connections with family, employees, clients, government, and the media. CEO Denise Meridith has been many “firsts” in her life: among the first African-Americans to integrate a junior high and high school in New York City, the first professional woman hired by the federal Bureau of Land Management and every line management position in the agency after that (including the highest-ranked career employee—Deputy Director—with 200 offices and a $1+ billion budget), and founder of the Greater Phoenix Black Chamber of Commerce, and other organizations in Arizona.
She has always loved technology, as a kid having both Barbies and model fighter jets. One of her biggest disappointments in life is that she still does not have a driverless car transport her to work daily! As an executive, she has hired, supervised, mentored, and supported technical people and technology initiatives. Her other disappointment is that she used to be told that technology would be the great equalizer (“No one can tell what color or sex the person on the other end of the network is.”). What happened? STEM is a well-intentioned program that has been around 20 years. But there is no need to create a big source of qualified people if they are not hired or selected for CIO positions or have no career ladder to CEO or the Board of Directors of tech corporations.
WBC believes in doing instead of just talking. So, we need your help in implementing what we heard about inclusion at the conference. On October 28, 2021, WBC hosted the conference Diversity in Tech LEADERSHIP Presented by Arizona State University. The conference assembled tech CEOs and business owners at SkySong Center in Scottsdale to learn/understand the ongoing barriers to inclusion at management levels; to hear from and question C-suite executives describing their real-life case studies (what worked and what did not); and to discuss potential solutions: resources, references, and consulting they can actually apply now in their workplaces.
We hope you continue to follow and join us in identifying and implementing ways to enhance employment and advancement opportunities for underrepresented populations in the tech industry.