in · clu · sion: noun. The action of state of including or of being included within a group or structure. One late November night last year, we sat with glasses of wine thinking of what the theme of our content would be in 2020. As leaders in Ad Tech, we all knew the keyRead More
in · clu · sion: noun. The action of state of including or of being included within a group or structure.
One late November night last year, we sat with glasses of wine thinking of what the theme of our content would be in 2020. As leaders in Ad Tech, we all knew the key topics of our business – addressability, security, privacy. We had been through corporate training programs for communication, strategic planning, agile development. But what we realized was that we had to keep building upon what made Tech Bae special: inspiration, authenticity, community. We wanted every single attendee—regardless of rank, experience, or background—to feel welcomed and part of this amazing group.
We wanted everyone to feel included.
That’s how we picked our first panel topic for 2020: Intentional Beliefs: Exploring How to Leverage Our Diverse Backgrounds to Make Workplaces Stronger. We knew that learning our biases, understanding empathy, and showing up for each other was core to who Tech Bae is. What we didn’t know is how freakin’ powerful this panel would be! We heard from:
- A Latino boy from the projects who has maintained relentless focus on respecting his co-workers and speaking up when he saw bias in the workforce;
- The granddaughter of one of the Tuskegee Airmen that instilled in her the responsibility to ensure all voices have a platform to be heard;
- An up & coming cable leader that challenges herself to meet new people and learn from others to get outside of her comfort zone;
- An activist actor who realized that being white & gay isn’t that “different” in media—so he pushed himself to build in Google an entire competency program ensuring inclusion for all minorities – and the majority;
- The female CMO that learned that leaning-in means being called a “dude” and realizing that authenticity means different things to different people; and
- A moderator that created one of the leading podcasts on minority voices – and highlighted that his panel was gangsta.
Muchas gracias to this amazing panel for being real, honest, funny, and transparent – Lindsey Sheffield, Maria Weaver, Keisha Sutton-James, Dennis Colon, James Heighington, and Kerel Cooper. Honorary Baes—thank you for helping us learn more about how you have struggled to overcome being excluded. More importantly, thank you for including us in your story so we can learn from you!
What better venue than Google to host our event? Dina Weisberger and Alli Martucci, thank you so much for being the most incredible hosts and ensuring everyone was welcomed! You are the model of inclusion and you are amazing Baes.
2/20/20 included other announcements from us as well: a new logo! A website! An FB group! A playlist! We are building more ways to have us connect, listen, and support each other in-between our events. We’ll be sharing more in the weeks to come…but know for sure that we’ve got you, Baes. (And, as a preview, check out the Spotify playlist and send song recommendations to email@example.com)
We are so excited to have started the year off with a bang! You’re included in something special and we’re grateful to have you on this Tech Bae journey with us.
Brenda, Christina, Heather, Sarah and Seema