CEO and COO to Discuss How to Reach 50/50 by 2025 at GHC 19 CEO and COO to Discuss How to Reach 50/50 by 2025 at GHC 19

Join us on Thursday, October 3, for Vision: A Fireside Chat at GHC 19, where organization leaders Brenda Darden Wilkerson, President and CEO, and Dr. Jacqueline Bouvier Copeland, COO, will participate in a discussion moderated by Sara O’Brien, Writer at CNN Business, as they debunk the narratives that indicate it will take centuries to reach gender parity in tech and provide cover to those perpetuating the status quo.

“At, we are dedicated to accelerating change and making the tech industry richly diverse,” Brenda said. “Tech inclusion is about gender, but equally important are race, national origin, identity, age, ability, educational background, and other social statuses. We want to create a future where everyone’s voice is heard and everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

Brenda is no stranger to promoting diversity and intersectionality in tech. She founded the original Computer Science for All program, building computer science classes into the curriculum for every student in the Chicago Public Schools. The program, which touched the lives of more than 1.5 million students, attracted the attention of the Obama administration and became the model for the national CS4All initiatives.

Jackie likewise has a wealth of experience promoting change, having served as a social impact executive for companies, foundations, nonprofits, and governments operating in the U.S. and other parts of the world. She has led multiple social change organizations, serving as an executive of organizations such as Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, a $40 million multi-service nonprofit addressing Silicon Valley‘s global poverty; the African Women’s Development Fund USA; and U.S. Bank Private Client Group’s Philanthropy Services. She also conducted the initial research and program design for My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative later adopted by the Obama administration. Jackie was recognized as a HistoryMaker in early 2018.

Both Brenda and Jackie recognize the key role company leaders play in creating change within the tech industry. To sustain success, and acquire and retain talent, CEOs must cultivate a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion that reflects their markets at all organizational levels. Leadership also needs to recognize that no company is an island. Society’s challenges, including sexism and racism, will inevitably spillover into business operations, because talent is reflective of our society. Top levels of leadership need to collaborate, advancing public awareness and policy reform that have potential to remove barriers to diverse inclusion and change society.

“It’s time for company leaders to examine not just their diversity numbers but their diversity initiatives as well,” Jackie said. “Hiring more diverse candidates is not enough; leaders also need to ensure their employees feel safe and supported in the workplace, and that there are programs and policies in place to help them thrive and advance in their careers.”

To reach our goal, we plan to expand our global reach and enhance our roster of programs that help companies improve their equity efforts, while also helping women and underrepresented communities gain access and career opportunity in the technology field. We are optimistic that we will achieve our vision of a world where the people who create and develop technology mirror the people and societies for whom they build it.

Join us at GHC 19 to learn more about our efforts at Vision: A Fireside Chat. We will also be giving out 20 raffle tickets for the 2020 Grace Hopper Celebration during this session, so you won’t want to miss this great opportunity!

See you in Orlando, Florida! Vision: A Fireside Chat
Thursday, October 3, 2019
10:45-11:30 a.m. ET
OCCC Chapin Theater (Lvl 3)

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