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How Startups Can Overcome Innovation Roadblocks Threatening Growth

In the evolving business and technology landscape, innovation is a major marker of progress. However, ideas are often obstructed by hurdles that challenge the expansion of creativity. As organizations strive to pioneer new horizons, they frequently grapple with a phenomenon known as the “innovation stall.” Innovation stalls occur when the regular flow of creative ideas within an organization temporarily slows down or halts. This can result from factors like resistance to change, cultural issues, or resource constraints. Amidst these challenges , navigating the delicate balance between tradition and transformation becomes a crucial endeavor for organizations aiming to redefine the boundaries of what’s possible. What Is The Biggest Blocker To Innovation? Understanding the obstacles to innovation is pivotal for crafting effective strategies . Among the blockers, a prevalent one is resistance to change entrenched within organizational culture. Embracing innovation requires a fundamental...

Corinne Dorsey

Feb 2, 2024

Uber's Chief DEI Officer Suspended For Hosting 'Don't Call Me Karen' Events That Spotlighted White Women

A diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) leader at Uber has been reprimanded after hosting an event for white women who are offended by the term “Karen.”

Shanique Yates

May 22, 2023

23-Year-Old Ahriana Edwards Lands Her Size-Inclusive Footwear Brand In Macy's Within 1 Year Of Business

Ahriana Edwards has a size-inclusive shoe line that will hit the shelves at select Macy’s stores.

Samantha Dorisca

Apr 24, 2023

Op-Ed: Inclusion Must Define Technology’s Future

In 1986, the Commodore 64 had become the bestselling single personal computer model of all time. More than 17 million were sold, including one to my parents. I remember the C64 and its place of prominence in the living room of our home in Cleveland, OH. It was there even when there wasn’t any furniture (And I was on it a lot). That Commodore 64 was my first real exposure to computing and it helped catalyze my interest in technology. A few years after college I dove into startup life, and from there I went on to build a career in cybersecurity, to become a CEO, and it all led me to my role today, which is to help Microsoft identify the partnerships and investments that will shape the future and tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges. Unfortunately, many people do not have access to technology, even in 2023. The Pew Research Center estimates that today in America, four out of ten low-income households are without computing devices of any kind. A 2022 National Urban League...

L’Oréal Unveils Device That Aims To Make Applying Makeup Easier For Those With Limited Mobility

L’Oréal is launching a new technology device that aims to help individuals with limited mobility apply makeup with ease.

Samantha Dorisca

Jan 5, 2023

This Founder Is On A Mission To Ensure People Of Color Are Represented Through Stock Photography

Have you ever been on the hunt to find good-quality images of people of color but didn’t really have much luck? This founder is on a mission to help. To change that reality and showcase representation, Steve Jones launched a diverse media agency embracing the distinct and touching stories of minority groups overlooked by the media. The ideation for a media agency began in 2013. Jones’ career was small-business focused and aimed to help businesses build and execute high-impact experiences through engaging digital strategies. Over the tenure of Jones’ career, he noticed it was difficult to find great quality images of minority groups despite the heightened priority for diversity among people and corporations. “We go to work, we wear suits, we dress professionally, we have different styles, and different ways that we look. Yet, there was no place you could find these variations in looks and people,” Steve Jones told AfroTech. Once Jones closed his company, The Circl, in 2017, he...

Samantha Dorisca

Dec 14, 2021

This Trio Is Throwing A Black Paper Party This Holiday Season With Their Line Of Inclusive Products

Black households contributed $835 billion in consumer expenditures in 2019 alone and the combined spending of these households has increased by five percent annually over the last twenty years, according to reports. With the holiday season at our front door, the Black purchasing power is predicted to be at an all-time high. Although many companies will reap the benefits of the Black dollar, few are embracing representation in their products. Black Paper Party is on a mission to create more inclusive items for Black families to shop for this year. Founded in September 2020 by Madia Willis (chief executive officer), J’Aaron “Jae” Merchant (chief product designer) and Jasmine Hudson (chief merchandising officer), the trio reckoned Black families were underrepresented each holiday. Combining their love for the culture with 25 years of experience in retail, product development, and creative design, they knew it was time to create products that were reflective of the Diaspora. “ Having...

Samantha Dorisca

Nov 24, 2021

OneTen Pledges 3,500 Tech Scholarships To Support Underserved Black Talent

To provide a space for Black talent in tech, OneTen — a group of industry executives aiming to hire and build Black individuals to create an equitable and inclusive workforce — has launched its inaugural scholarship program to provide support for over 3,500 students over the next two years, a press release states. The program was created to spearhead underserved Black talent toward the tech industry — with a focus on four core tech competencies: digital marketing, business analytics, front end developer, and predictive analytics — despite not acquiring four-year degrees. “By investing in talent transformation, we can help remove the barriers to diversity in tech. By providing access to resources that are designed to nurture and develop people’s skills, we can help get more Black talent into the technology space,” Dennis Schultz, Executive Director of the BIT Foundation, said in a press release. As a contribution toward OneTen’s commitment, Udacity and Blacks In Technology will lend...

Samantha Dorisca

Oct 18, 2021

Pinterest Aims To Redefine Representation Through Tech With The First-Ever Hair Pattern Search

Black Pinterest users were elated in 2018 when the app first introduced its search tool to filter out results for brown and dark skinned tones. Pinterest has announced that it’s continuing to make strides toward catering to its Black, brown, and Latinx demographic with its new feature — a search tool to filter out hair textures. “Today we’re introducing our latest advancement in inclusive beauty hair pattern search – a first-of-its-kind technology, that empowers users to search for hair inspiration across hair of all types ranging from protective, to wavy, to bald,” said Pinterest in its announcement. Try it now and #SeeYourself here: https://t.co/dFkklsWLKv pic.twitter.com/Zgi5Iiszjz — Pinterest Business (@pinterestbiz) August 18, 2021 While cognizant of the importance of diverse hair representation , Pinterest’s hair pattern options will not only scale from coily, curly, wavy, and straight textures, but also will help one search for protective styles. Plus, those who are bald...

Ngozi Nwanji

Aug 18, 2021

Intel, Dell, Nasdaq, NTT DATA And Snap Form An Alliance Focused On Diversity And Inclusion

There has been increased attention on how business leaders address diversity , equity, and inclusion in the workplace. After nearly a year since the nation experienced civil unrest, a group of large corporations are banning together to keep the conversation going. Intel , Dell Technologies, Nasdaq, NTT DATA And Snap Inc. have teamed up to formulate a new coalition called the Alliance for Global Inclusion, Intel shared in a recent press release . Dawn Jones, Intel’s chief diversity and inclusion officer (CDIO) and vice president of social impact, told AfroTech that the companies formed this coalition to further commit to developing and aligning on shared metrics that track progress in diversity and inclusion. “This isn’t new for Intel – we’ve been growing and expanding our efforts to create more inclusiveness and close critical representation gaps for many years, and as we’ve done so, we realized that our efforts alone are not enough,”  Jones told AfroTech. “We connected with...

Michelai Graham

May 20, 2021

Shola Ajewole Named FX’s SVP of Creative and Cultural Diversity

Shola Ajewole has been appointed the Senior Vice President of Creative and Cultural Diversity at FX. In this newly-created role, Ajewole will spearhead the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts via cultivating relationships and content material, assisting expertise to reach initiatives, and working with Disney General Entertainment Content’s diversity, equity and inclusion team, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Ajewole joined FX in 2016 and served as their enterprise affairs lawyer overseeing deals for scripted, unscripted, and animated series and fostering partnerships between FX and Walt Disney TV divisions. He has served as VP of enterprise and authorized affairs at Fox 21 TV Studi Ajewole says he’s honored to continue to uphold FX’s commitment to empowering a variety of voices and his own career dedication to diversity and inclusion. “I’m honored to take this new role and excited to work with John Landgraf, Eric Schrier and the rest of my colleagues to help FX build on...

Abriana Walton

Mar 24, 2021

Following Her True Passion, CEO Elizabeth Lindsey Announces Transition From Byte Back to Urban Alliance

Byte Back CEO Elizabeth Lindsey is stepping down to take on the role as CEO of Urban Alliance, a national youth workforce development nonprofit. Byte Back is a tech inclusion nonprofit with presence across the DMV region. The nonprofit offers computer training, IT certification and career services for adults seeking careers in tech. Lindsey worked at Byte Back for five and a half years before thinking about the possibility of moving on. “I wasn’t actively looking for something at all,” Lindsey told AfroTech in a video interview. “I’ve always wanted to run a national organization and Urban Alliance has sites in D.C., Baltimore, Chicago and Detroit. It’s quite a bit larger than Byte Back and the work that Urban Alliance does is just so close to my heart.” Lindsey said the search firm that Urban Alliance hired reached out to her after the nonprofit’s current CEO, Eshauna Smith, recommended her for the lead role. She applied for the position and after two months of interviewing, she...

Michelai Graham

Mar 11, 2021

Verizon Aims to Close Digital Divide For Underserved Communities With Inclusive Internet Initiative

Bridging the digital divide amongst underserved communities is essential to giving everyone in the nation equal access to critical communications networks. According to Verizon’s latest initiative, the telecommunications company has created a way to make reliable, high-speed internet more accessible to those in underserved communities who meet financial assistance requirements through Verizon Fios Forward. A news release shares the Fios Forward program was first offered to new customers back in April 2020, and generates much faster and more equipped internet services, unlike traditional home Internet assistance programs. It also offers eligible customers a discounted rate for faster internet service. The goal of the program is to rid customers of unreliable internet providers who limit their access to quality home internet, which often lacks speed and the capacity to handle more than one user’s demands. This has become an increased issue over the last year due to many citizens...

Njera Perkins

Jan 6, 2021

Fifth Third Bank Pledges $2.8B Toward Inclusion, Equality, and Racial Equity

Fifth Third Bank is the latest company to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to diversity and inclusion! The bank has committed $2.8 billion to speed up their efforts on inclusion, equality, and racial equity — a triple threat when it comes to the advancement of Black Americans. According to Black Enterprise, the Cincinnati-based bank will provide $2.2 billion in lending, $500 million in investments, and $60 million in financial accessibility. Another $40 million will be used toward its Executive Diversity Leadership Council’s Accelerating Racial Equality, Inclusion, and Equity commitment. “As we continue to make meaningful strides in advancing inclusion and diversity in our industry and in our communities,” said Greg Carmichael, Fifth Third CEO and Chairman, in a news release. “The dedicated investment, philanthropy, and lending efforts will help accelerate our progress toward promoting equality, equity, and inclusion, both within the Bank and in our communities,...

Shanique Yates

Dec 10, 2020

The Lip Bar CEO Melissa Butler Built Her Brand to Change the Beauty Industry's Standards For Women

The issue of diversity in the beauty industry has been a long-standing debate, especially when Black women are excluded from the conversation. Beauty standards according to the media have contributed to the stigma of racial bias that still exists today, which is what motivated entrepreneur Melissa Butler to create an inclusive brand where women of all shades are represented. Frustrated with the unrealistic standards of beauty defined by the industry, Butler created The Lip Bar — a vegan and cruelty-free beauty brand helping to remind the beauty world and its consumers that everyone is beautiful.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by The Lip Bar (@thelipbar) “I’m determined to change the way people think about beauty and their experiences with beauty,” she said. “More than anything, I’m just determined to increase the self-esteem of women everywhere.” Butler originally started out as a licensed stock broker on Wall Street before quitting her job and committing to her brand...

Njera Perkins

Nov 18, 2020