The year 2040 is the year when people of color will be the majority in the United States, but minorities are vastly underrepresented in the most important part of the US economy, the tech sector. There’s been a lot of discussion about the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley and the technology industry recently and, let’s face it, the numbers are not good. But why does it even matter? And if we do want to ensure that our industry is the meritocracy we like to think it is, what do we need to do to level the playing field and ensure the best talent and ideas really do rise to the top?
Laura Weidman Powers co-founded CODE2040 with Tristan Walker (Foursquare, Andreessen Horowitz) in early 2012. CODE2040 creates pathways to educational and professional success in technology and entrepreneurship for Blacks and Latino/as. CODE2040’s flagship program is its summer fellowship for university students. Laura serves as the organization’s Founding Executive Director. She has a background in entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, and technology. She has started two organizations in the education space, one nonprofit arts education organization in West Philadelphia that is now in its eighth year, and one for-profit tutoring company that gave rise to a book. Laura first explored the tech space as a project manager in a small web development shop and, most recently before founding CODE2040, she served as VP of Product Development at a consumer web startup based in Los Angeles. She has an AB from Harvard and a JD and an MBA from Stanford.
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