Elephant in the Valley
Sunday, March 13
2:00PM - 3:00PM
Austin Convention Center
531 E 4th St
Gender bias has become one of the most important discussions and movements within the tech industry. Michele Madansky and Trae Vassallo are two of the authors of the recently-released “Elephant in the Valley” report that provides strong data documenting the workplace challenges in the tech industry. This study was inspired by the impactful conversation that came out of the Ellen Pao / Kleiner Perkins trial from March 2015: “What we realized is that while many women shared similar workplace stories, most men were simply shocked and unaware of the issues facing women in the workplace.”
Madansky and Vassallo will discuss the “Elephant in the Valley” survey, the reaction they have encountered since its release, as well as solutions they think the tech industry can embrace to improve upon the many problems exposed in this report.
Laura Weidman Powers
LAURA WEIDMAN POWERS
CO-FOUNDER AND CEO
Laura Weidman Powers is the co-founder and CEO of CODE2040, a nonprofit that creates pathways to success in the innovation economy for Blacks and Latino/...Show the rest
LAURA WEIDMAN POWERS
CO-FOUNDER AND CEO
Laura Weidman Powers is the co-founder and CEO of CODE2040, a nonprofit that creates pathways to success in the innovation economy for Blacks and Latino/as. She brings to this work a background in entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, youth development, and technology. Laura has started two organizations in the education space, one nonprofit arts education organization in West Philadelphia that is currently celebrating its 10th 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 in New York and, most recently before CODE2040, she served as VP of Product at a consumer web startup in Los Angeles, redesigning the product development process to be inclusive of engineers.
Laura is a 2013 Echoing Green Fellow and a 2013 Stanford Social Innovation Fellow. The Root named her one of the 100 Most Influential African-Americans in 2013 and Goldman Sachs named her one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2013. In 2015, San Francisco Magazine saluted her as one of 37 Soldiers of Social Change, and Fortune named her one of 10 Female Executives on the Rise. Her work has been covered by The New York Times, Forbes, NBC, Bloomberg, Fast Company, NPR, and others. Laura currently sits on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She has a BA cum laude from Harvard College and a JD and an MBA from Stanford University.
Laura and CODE2040 are based in San Francisco.
US Chief Technology Officer
White House Office Of Science And Technology Policy
In September 2014, President Obama named Megan Smith the United States Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. In this role, she serves as an Assistant to the...Show the rest
In September 2014, President Obama named Megan Smith the United States Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. In this role, she serves as an Assistant to the President. As U.S. CTO, Smith focuses on how technology policy, data and innovation can advance the future of our nation.
Megan Smith is an award-winning entrepreneur, engineer, and tech evangelist. She most recently served as a Vice President at Google, first leading New Business Development -- where she managed early-stage partnerships, pilot explorations, and technology licensing across Google’s global engineering and product teams for nine years -- and later serving as a VP in the leadership team at Google[x] -- where she co-created the company’s “SolveForX” innovation community project as well as its “WomenTechmakers” tech-diversity initiative and worked on a range of other projects. During her tenure she led the company’s acquisitions of major platforms such as Google Earth, Google Maps, and Picasa, and also served as GM of Google.org during its engineering transition, adding Google Crisis Response, Google for Nonprofits, and Earth Outreach/Engine, and increased employee engagement.
Megan previously served as CEO of PlanetOut, a leading LGBT online community in the early days of the web, where the team broke through many barriers and partnered closely with AOL, Yahoo!, MSN, and other major web players. Megan was part of designing early smartphone technologies at General Magic and worked on multimedia products at Apple Japan.
Megan has served on the boards of MIT, MIT Media Lab, MIT Technology Review, and Vital Voices; as a member of the USAID Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid; and as an advisor to the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and the Malala Fund, which she co-founded. She holds a bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, where she completed her master's thesis work at the MIT Media Lab.Hide the rest
Michele Madansky Consulting