Last night, I went to a panel at Impact Hub Oakland (@ImpactHub_OAK) on Building an Inclusive Technology Ecosystem, hosted by BuildupVC (@buildupvc). Present on the panel were reps from: Kapor Center (@cedbrownsaid), Google, Oracle, Facebook, Salesforce (@LeahBMH), Code2040 (@aschapi), and TechCrunch — and the room was amazingly full with people of color dedicated to the cause!

A great point — that diversity of thought and experiences is the organic matter for the seeds of innovation.

All of the panelists were driving home the point that we need to create pipelines – channels from elementary school, through secondary education, and recruitment, not just within the company – that support diversity within the field of technology. However, given the recent protests around fracking and the Keystone, I was really hoping that we could move away from this term!

…But on that point, it’s also good to think about (and change!) hidden assumptions in the hiring process:

Oh I love the thought of completely dismantling the idea that “if you are just good enough” you’ll succeed in tech! Cedric’s and Kapor Center’s explicit dedication to this task is super exciting!

Leah from Salesforce also spoke on having to show her “dev cred” – like street cred – of constantly having to demonstrate her mad skills before people believe she can actually code. Even as she walks into the professor role of an object oriented programming course.

I love this concise thought from Kiva: we need to see people who look like us (women, Chicanas, African Americans, Native Americans!, etc) in the roles we want to play, otherwise it’s that much harder to see ourselves in them.

I’m so excited to be a part of a community that supports events like this! So, thanks to: Impact Hub Oakland, Kapor Center, Code2040, and BuildupVC!