“We can’t find any women of color in tech!” A guide to this weekend’s Tech Inclusion Conference

The Ola Initiative
2 min readSep 10, 2015


Against the backdrop of a rapidly changing American landscape, there has been a major push for the technology industry to ensure that its employees and leadership structure reflect the diversity of our nation. Established technology companies like Twitter, Slack, Facebook, Google, Pinterest and Yelp have released their statistics as a result of this demand for transparency. The data demonstrates that certain groups, particularly Black people, Latinx and Native Americans are heavily underrepresented. One thing remains clear: the time for change is now.

The Indigenous/Native American, Latina and Black women listed below are each making huge waves in the industry. Next time you hear someone say that it’s nearly impossible to find speakers from diverse backgrounds for technology conferences, you can simply point them to this article.

Tomorrow marks day one of the Tech Inclusion Conference, a two day event developed by Melinda Epler (Change Catalyst) & Wayne Sutton (Buildup VC). The conference also includes a career fair.

Our founder — entrepreneur, writer & web developer Elen Awalom will be speaking on a panel discussing Intersectionality in Tech from the through the lens of Black women. The panel, moderated by Vanessa Mason, will also include investor Sarah Kunst, Slack engineer Erica Joy, & technology entrepreneur & designer Sian Morson. It takes place on Saturday from 4:00–4:45 PM.

We’ve taken the time to assemble a list of panels & workshops that are not to be missed if you are invested in a more diverse technology ecosystem.

They are below in no particular order:

Friday, 1 PM — 1:45 PM

Morgan Debaun of Blavity will speak on the Role of Media.

Friday, 3:15 PM–4:00 PM

Karla Monterroso of CODE2040 will speak on the Repairing the Stem Pipeline panel.

Friday, 4 PM— 4:45 PM

Mandela Schumacher Hodge of The Startup Couch will speak on the Succeeding as a Female Founder panel.

Saturday, 1 PM–1:45 PM

Kai Morton of Black Girls Code will speak on the Youth in STEM: Tomorrow’s Tech Leaders panel.

Saturday, 4:45 PM–5:30 PM

Monique Niccole of Black Founders will speak on the Diverse Groups That Empower Change.

Saturday, 4 PM–4:45 PM

Ana Diaz Hernandez of Udacity will speak on How Code Schools & Bootcamps are Changing the Face of Engineering.

Saturday, 3:15 PM–4:00 PM

Laura I. Gomez of Atipica will speak on how Technology Eats HR.

Saturday, 10:00 AM–10:45 AM

Deldelp Medina of Avion Ventures & Megan Rose Dickey of TechCrunch will speak on Incubating & Accelerating Diverse Entrepreneurs.



The Ola Initiative

A non profit organization committed to the advancement of Latina, Indigenous & Black women technology professionals. #wocit