“There’s been a shift in the way [diversity is] thought about and talked about that makes me really optimistic that we’re going to solve this problem.” - Laura Weidman Powers
If you recognized yesterday’s #BlackHistoryNBT feature, you’ll be no stranger to today’s superwoman. In 2012, alongside Tristan Walker, Laura Weidman Powers co-founded non-profit organization Code2040. Their mission is to ensure that by the year 2040 – when the US will reportedly be majority Black and Latinx – African-Americans and Latino/as will be proportionally represented in America’s innovation economy as technologists, investors, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs.
“What we are excited about is ending structural racism in America,” says Powers in an interview with Philanthropy.com. Technology as an industry provides some of the “most stable, highest paid jobs in America, she notes. “The average tech worker’s salary is greater than the median household income of a black family and a Latino family combined. The tech world is an ideal starting point for greater workplace inclusion. It’s “risk tolerant” and open to experimentation.”
In 2016, Powers joined the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy for a six month term in 2016 as a senior policy advisor to U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith where she compiled a “best-practices” report on diversity in the tech workforce, an action plan she hopes technology companies can continue to use as a guide for diversifying their businesses’ demographic makeup. Laura Weidman Powers holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish from Harvard University, and MBA and JD Law degrees from Stanford.