TECH INCLUSION SEATTLE 2017
By the 2rbConsulting team - June 14, 2017
Change Catalyst did an amazing job of gathering speakers from all over the Puget Sound Region who represent technology and diversity. There were a ton of great 10-minute flash talks with topics that ranged from Disability and Inclusion in workplaces, to creating more opportunities for women to jump into coding. Our own Betta Beasley, CEO of 2rbConsulting, spoke about Dis-Ability Awareness, and the importance of realizing that it’s the Ability that matters! During another flash talk, Michael Carr (VP, eCommerce Services Amazon) self-described himself as a white male ally in tech while also speaking about his experience as a VP with a disability. “The power of representation, of seeing someone like you, as a role model, is powerful.” Scott Hanselman (Principal PM Microsoft), spoke about how teams can avoid building non-diverse teams. He stated, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being ask to dance”, to illustrate the difference true inclusion can make for individuals and companies in technology. One of our favorites was Alejandra Quetzalli, founder of ‘SheCodesNow’. Quetzalli spoke about their mission to empower women who want to learn how to code and providing them with the opportunity to do so (with the help of CDK Global). The energy and enthusiasm that she had during her talk were contagious and it had us walking away feeling inspired!
In the afternoon sessions, local startups were given the opportunity to showcase their companies for a panel of judges. These companies presented solutions for Language Learning for ESL within corporations, games to manage chronic health conditions, ways to improve medical trial documentation/records, and career partners for candidates with disabilities. It was exciting to learn more about the different ways technology solutions are creating improvements in inclusion within companies and the positive impact that it will have in the future.
For the 2rbConsulting team, we found the networking and connections made at this conference were some of the best we’ve ever experienced. Looking around, there were so many diverse participants, enthusiastically sharing ideas with one another while engaging in meaningful conversations, and we were glad that we got to be a part of it! Thank you Melinda Briana Epler and Wayne Sutton of Change Catalyst for organizing this whole event and for providing us with the opportunity to connect with everyone in our community.