Episode 19: Looking Back – Tech Forward Highlights

Hello and welcome back to Tech Forward, listeners. For those of you in the US, Happy 4th of July! I hope you enjoy the day off, whether you go out and get some sun or unwind with family and friends. Today, in light of the holiday, we’re going to do something a little different. Instead of bringing on a special guest, I’m going to go over some of the highlights and common themes from the first 15 exciting episodes of the show.

We’ve covered a lot of ground since we launched nearly four months ago in mid March. Though our guests have come from a wide variety of backgrounds, career trajectories, and current roles, many of them have expressed similar struggles and insights about the tech world. Since we’ll be digging into many of these themes further in upcoming episodes, let’s recap.

  • Allie Burns and Andreas Freund shared their thoughts on why the diversity problem exists, as well as some of the reasons why there is a persistent funding gap for underrepresented founders. Along those lines, Caroline Hofmann touched on why it benefits companies and society as a whole to solve that problem.
  • Martha Hernandez discussed barriers to fundraising for women of color, and the need to find alternatives to the traditional fundraising process.
  • We heard from Janet Wu about the importance of building a diverse team, and Angelica Coleman confidently debunked the pervasive myth of the “pipeline problem.” Courtney Bass brought up the idea of culture “fit” versus culture “add” in diversity recruiting.
  • In terms of the recruiting process itself, Stephanie Lampkin reminded us how prevalent our biases can be, to the point where even someone’s name can influence hiring decisions.
  • Finally, Lisa Cuesta, Hayley Leibson, and Jarrid Tingle all shared pertinent advice for anyone looking to enter the tech sector, regardless of position.

I’d like to thank all my guests so far for coming onto the show to share their stories, advice, and insights, as well as all of you who tune in every week. For my newer listeners, I do hope you’ll go back and listen to some of the brilliant people who have been on the show so far. You can find past episodes featuring entrepreneurs, investors, tech industry leaders and diversity champions on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, SoundCloud or wherever you get your podcasts. Regular episodes resume next week, so see you then!

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