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Tech Forward

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The tech world has a diversity problem: gender diversity, racial diversity, and more. That’s why I decided to start the Tech Forward podcast. Every week, our host, Cheryl Chotrani, interviews entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, media and tech leaders, and diversity advocates. The show features the incredible stories of innovators and trailblazers from underrepresented groups in the tech industry. We also discuss everything from the lack of venture funding for women and minorities, to how underrepresented groups can advance their careers in the sector, to how to hold companies accountable for diversity — and more. Episodes cover all the aspects of diversity: gender, racial, and ethnic, as well as sexual orientation, immigration status, and neurodiversity.

The tech world has a diversity problem: gender diversity, racial diversity, and more. That’s why I decided to start the Tech Forward podcast. Every week, our host, Cheryl Chotrani, interviews entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, media and tech leaders, and diversity advocates. The show features the incredible stories of innovators and trailblazers from underrepresented groups in the tech industry. We also discuss everything from the lack of venture funding for women and minorities, to how underrepresented groups can advance their careers in the sector, to how to hold companies accountable for diversity — and more. Episodes cover all the aspects of diversity: gender, racial, and ethnic, as well as sexual orientation, immigration status, and neurodiversity.
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Location:

United States

Description:

The tech world has a diversity problem: gender diversity, racial diversity, and more. That’s why I decided to start the Tech Forward podcast. Every week, our host, Cheryl Chotrani, interviews entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, media and tech leaders, and diversity advocates. The show features the incredible stories of innovators and trailblazers from underrepresented groups in the tech industry. We also discuss everything from the lack of venture funding for women and minorities, to how underrepresented groups can advance their careers in the sector, to how to hold companies accountable for diversity — and more. Episodes cover all the aspects of diversity: gender, racial, and ethnic, as well as sexual orientation, immigration status, and neurodiversity.

Language:

English


Episodes

Rebroadcast: Expanding Access to Early Childhood Education With Technology

4/17/2019
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Hello listeners! Welcome back to another episode of Tech Forward. This week, we've resissued my conversation with Chris Bennett, co-founder and CEO of Wonderschool. Combining high quality educational standards with the warmth of in-home programs, Wonderschool is a network of boutique early childhood education programs. With the Wonderschool platform, it’s easy for teachers to start and operate these programs — and for families to find them. Chris and I discussed his journey as an...

Duration:00:16:16

Using Artificial Intelligence and Comedy To Open Hearts and Minds

4/10/2019
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Hello listeners, and welcome to another exciting episode of Tech Forward! On today’s episode, I spoke with award-winning comedian Ana-Marija Stojic. Over the last several years, she’s participated in numerous comedy competitions, and been featured in the NBC Showcase at the Women in Comedy Festival Boston 2018. She was also a recipient of Netflix's 2018 Diversity of Voices fellowship at the Banff World Media Festival. On her latest project, “Artificial, the Podcast,” Ana-Marija will be...

Duration:00:17:17

Rebroadcast: Inspiring the Next Wave of Female Tech Leaders and Angel Investors

4/3/2019
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Welcome back to another great episode of Tech Forward! This week, especially for my newer listeners, I’m excited to rebroadcast my conversation with educator and entrepreneur, Angela Lee. Angela is both Chief Innovation Officer and Associate Dean at Columbia Business School, and the founder of angel investment network, 37 Angels. With her commitment to education, it’s no surprise that she is a sought-after expert for many news networks, and has been invited to advise decision-makers at the...

Duration:00:23:06

Supporting Underrepresented Talent Through Technology-Based Mentorship

3/27/2019
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Welcome back to Tech Forward, listeners! On today’s episode, I spoke with CEO and Founder of The Mentor Method, Janice Omadeke. The Mentor Method is a DC-based company devoted to creating inclusive workplace cultures by mentoring diverse talent. The company has been featured in The Washington Business Journal, Entrepreneur, was a 2016 Tech.Co Startup of the Year nominee, and a 2017 Startup Grind Global Exhibition selection. During our conversation, Janice and I will discuss her path to...

Duration:00:19:19

Rebroadcast: Getting People Involved in Their Local Communities With Technology

3/20/2019
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Hello, listeners, and welcome back to Tech Forward. This week, we'll be revisiting my conversations with Andreas Freund, co-founder of DiveIn, a platform where people can easily get involved with causes they care about at the local level. As a proud son of immigrants and a San Francisco native, Andreas was inspired to create DiveIn after witnessing the effects of the refugee crisis in Germany in 2015. In an era where we have so much at our fingertips, Andreas realized it was unacceptable...

Duration:00:25:36

Using Technology to Mobilize Capital for a Diverse Group of Funds

3/13/2019
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Welcome back to Tech Forward, listeners! On today’s episode, I spoke with Leslie Jump, founder and CEO at DifferentFunds, which is the first platform designed and built for investing in venture funds. Leslie has spent the bulk of her career building, advising, and investing in new companies, both in the US and worldwide. Most recently, she served as a Partner in Sawari Ventures, LLC, a Cairo-based early stage venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs across the Middle East and North...

Duration:00:27:35

Rebroadcast: Finding the Right Environment in Tech To Be Your Authentic Self

3/6/2019
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Welcome back to Tech Forward, listeners! This week, we're featuring a rebroadcast of my conversation with Lidiane Jones, the VP of SW Product Management at Sonos, a leading smart sound system company. For over 15 years, Lidiane has worked in product management for a wide variety of products related to consumer productivity, machine learning, and much more. Over the course of her career, she has gained a reputation for building diverse, dynamic, and high-performing teams. In her current role...

Duration:00:23:51

Helping Black Women Navigate Transitions, Setbacks and Entrepreneurship to Build Epic Careers

2/27/2019
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Welcome back to Tech Forward, listeners! This week, I spoke with Kanika Tolver, IT professional and founder and CEO of Career Rehab. Through her career coaching business, Kanika helps students, professionals, and retirees transform their careers via 1-on-1 services as well as events, webinars, and digital resources. She’s also the author of Life Rehab: Don’t Overdose on Pain, People, and Power. Kanika and I will be discussing different strategies for Black women and other underrepresented...

Duration:00:35:43

Rebroadcast: Investing in 1,000 Underrepresented Founders in 20 Years

2/20/2019
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Hello and welcome back to Tech Forward, listeners! This week, I'm rebroadcasting my conversation with Jarrid Tingle, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Harlem Capital. An early-stage investment firm, Harlem Capital in on a mission to diversify the landscape of entrepreneurs receiving venture funding by supporting women and people of color. As stated in the Forbes feature, the ultimate goal is to fund 1000 founders from diverse backgrounds over the next 20 years. Jarrid and I discussed how...

Duration:00:31:47

Spurring Economic Development With Blockchain

2/13/2019
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Welcome back to Tech Forward, listeners! On this week’s episode, I spoke with co-founders of Public Bloc, Ali Akil and Hamzah El Amin. Public Bloc is a blockchain platform that provides low cost universal access to financial services for global development projects. Ali brings to Public Bloc years of experience as an Account Executive for the IBM Watson Cloud Platform. He’s also a U.S. Army veteran, and was an analyst for the U.S. Treasury Department where he was part of a team that crafted...

Duration:00:29:14

Rebroadcast: How LGBTQ and Black Women in Tech Can Be Their Best Advocate

2/6/2019
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Welcome back to Tech Forward, listeners! This week, I'm rebroadcasting an episode from May of last year, when I spoke with Angelica Coleman, tech aficionado and Director of Community at Lesbians Who Tech. A global community of over 35,000 queer technologists, Lesbians Who Tech connects talent with existing companies by hosting summits nationally as well as globally. They partner with hundreds of companies every year, and offer coding scholarships to queer and gender nonconforming women. As...

Duration:00:26:00

Sparking Dialogue about Race and Racism Through Storytelling and Interaction

1/30/2019
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Hello listeners, and welcome back to Tech Forward! This week, I spoke with Catherine Wigginton Greene, Executive Director of content and engagement at Point Made Learning. She directed the feature documentary I’m Not Racist… Am I? (INRAI) which followed a diverse group of teens through a yearlong exploration of race and racism. From there, she led the development of Point Made’s newest offering – INRAI Digital – which uses the documentary as the foundation for a 3.5-hour online antiracism...

Duration:00:29:43

Rebroadcast: Overcoming Barriers to Funding Through Passion and Perseverance

1/23/2019
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Hello listeners! This week on Tech Forward, we are rebroacasting our episode 2 interview with madeBOS founder and CEO, Martha Hernandez. Martha has served in several Talent Acquisition and Talent Management and Sales leadership roles for organizations such as Coro, Give Something Back, Mi Pueblo Food Centers, and Inner City Advisors' Talent Management Initiative. Most recently, she was Save Mart Supermarkets' Director of Talent Acquisition. Martha has a successful track record of...

Duration:00:40:20

Building Tech Solutions for Social Impact Using Blockchain Technology

1/16/2019
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Hello listeners, and welcome back to Tech Forward! This week, I spoke with Aishwarya Balaji, Founder and CEO of Impact Chain Lab. By using blockchain technology, Impact Chain Lab is focused on building equitable communities around the globe. Aishwarya became interested in the disruptive power of blockchain in her previous roles as a consultant and leader at Build Academy, and now identifies ways to apply this technology to create solutions in the global development landscape. On this...

Duration:00:27:09

Providing Culturally Sensitive Teletherapy to Increase the Life Expectancy of Black Men

1/9/2019
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Hello listeners! Welcome back to another episode of Tech Forward. This week, I spoke with Kevin Dedner, Founder and CEO of Henry Health. Henry Health's mobile app provides self-care and mental health support through culturally sensitive teletherapy, serving the population with the lowest life expectancy in the U.S. — black men. Kevin is an experienced public health leader, and through Henry Health, he is committed to leveraging the power of technology to add 10 years to the life expectancy...

Duration:00:24:25

Navigating the Barriers to Diversity in the Evolving World of Public Relations and Digital Marketing

1/2/2019
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Happy new year, listeners, and welcome back to Tech Forward! On this week’s episode, I’ll be speaking with Nesh Pillay, the founder of Press Pillay. With a focus on empathy, equality, and sustainability, Press Pillay is a digital communications agency on a social mission. As a former journalist, Nesh covered international advertising and marketing as a founding reporter of The Drum’s New York team. At Press Pillay, she leverages her knowledge of marketing, PR, and branding from “the other...

Duration:00:23:09

Rebroadcast: Why Has Diversity Progress Been Slow at the Tech Giants?

12/26/2018
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Hello listeners, and happy holidays! This week, I'm rebroadcasting the inaugural episode of the Tech Forward podcast. Back in March of this year, I spoke with Courtney Bass, a HR Business Partner at Google, who coaches and advises leaders on team management and motivation. As an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace, Courtney has spent her career developing and implementing strategies that both individuals and teams can leverage for meaningful collaboration and...

Duration:00:35:33

Creating a Platform for Music Discovery While Ridesharing

12/19/2018
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Welcome back to Tech Forward, listeners! For this week’s episode, I’m excited to share my conversation with Sean McKenzie, Co-Founder and Director of Driver Engagement at Steereo. By combining the power of music streaming with the popularity of ridesharing, Steereo is a music discovery app that gives emerging artists exposure and valuable data, while compensating rideshare drivers. Sean is an award-winning entrepreneur and a 3-time founder with a strong background in brand strategy, consumer...

Duration:00:32:56

Using Technology to Simplify the Immigration Process for International Talent and their Employers

12/12/2018
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Hello listeners, and welcome back to Tech Forward! This week, I’m speaking with Mahi Inampudi, Vice President of Product and Technology at Envoy. Envoy creates and manages technology that aims to make the immigration process seamless and efficient for both immigrants and their employers. Having experienced the immigration process firsthand as an employee, employer, and a family member, Mahi’s decision to join Envoy was a very personal once. On today’s episode he’ll be sharing his story, as...

Duration:00:18:03

Confronting Bias and Unequal Treatment From All Levels In the Workplace

12/5/2018
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Hello, listeners! Welcome back to Tech Forward. On this week’s episode, I’m speaking with Wes Kao, a marketing strategy and product launch expert who works as a consultant and advisor to multiple consumer brands and tech startups. She serves as a mentor to entrepreneurs through her roles with WeWork Labs and Backstage Capital. Previously, Wes was the founding Executive Director of Seth Godin's altMBA. Today on the show, we’ll be talking about the leadership lessons she’s learned during her...

Duration:00:28:39