On November 8th during AfroTech in Oakland, Black women techies, entrepreneurs and CEOs gathered together at Scott’s Seafood Pavilion in Jack London Square for the conference’s first annual Women in Leadership Dinner, presented in partnership with Hilton. The event,  co-hosted by Morgan DeBaun, CEO and founder of Blavity, Inc., and Andréa Richardson, Head of Multicultural Engagement at Hilton, converged more than 70 women in tech for an inspirational evening of connection, camaraderie and well-deserved commendation. 

Over an intimate dinner setting, DeBaun and Richardson spoke about the opportunity for women in tech to continue taking on leadership positions and the importance of extending their network. The dinner provided attendees the chance to connect and celebrate one another and promote even more advancement for women in the field. 


“Hilton, you have been such a huge support to Blavity for so many years, since the beginning,” DeBaun said in her opening speech. “Thank you for all that you do, I know there are extra responsibilities that come with being successful in this space and this is an opportunity for us to bring other people along with us on this journey.”


Several founders and CEOs, including Melissa Butler of The Lip Bar and Mandela SH Dixon of Founder Gym, were in attendance and represented a wide swath of verticals within the tech space from beauty to nonprofit and beyond.

“In the male-dominated industry that is tech, it was inspiring to be amongst remarkable women who are running successful businesses and spearheading innovative strategies for major companies within the technology space,” Richardson said. “Hilton was honored to play a role in creating a room that highlighted the accomplishments of these women and celebrated the trails they’ve been able to, and will continue to, blaze.”


Additionally, during the dinner CEOs and founders were able to learn more about Hilton and how the 100-year-old company continues to create room for people of all cultures and backgrounds to come together in order to feel seen, heard and represented. 

With Hilton celebrating its 100-year anniversary this year, the company believes it’s important to continue collaboration with people in the technology field in order to remain innovative as it looks ahead to the next 100 years, added Richardson. 

“We truly believe in supporting deeply the mission to serve and empower multicultural communities, which means that we’ll continue to learn from and collaborate with important community organizations and platforms such as Blavity and its AfroTech experience in the years to come,” Richardson said.  


The Women in Leadership Dinner is just one example of how Hilton is dedicated and intentional about bringing diverse groups together, such as women in tech, to network, establish lifelong bonds and impact the world. 

To learn more about the great work Hilton is leading, check out the site. 

This story is brought to you in partnership with Hilton.