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How Bank of America Managing Director Janelle Curtis Advises Diverse Employees To Prosper In Their Careers

Navigating through a new career can be both an intimidating and exciting journey. But, this experience can be made easier when you are part of an inclusive workplace that offers the support you need to grow in your career and achieve your professional goals. Janelle Curtis, Managing Director, Global Banking and Markets (GBAM) Operations at Bank of America, knows this experience all too well from her own career background. Curtis took the time to share her advice on how to build a successful career in tech and other fields based on her own perspective working in corporate America as an African-American woman. Two and a half years in with Bank of America, Curtis currently leads the Process Automation and Operational Excellence organization for GBAM Operations. In this role, she focuses on leveraging intelligence automation tools to streamline processes and deliver more value to Bank of America’s employees and clients. Working in a high-level position at one of the top financial...


Dec 30, 2019

Bouncing Back: This Walmart Labs Leader Uses Adversity to Build Opportunities in Tech

Claude Jones hasn’t always had it easy, but he’s using his success to help others achieve things they never thought were possible. Growing up, Jones faced a lot of challenges. His stepfather was abusive, and the middle-class neighborhood he grew up in was not accepting to Black people. “My life was a battlefield where I was always defending myself,” Jones said. That was until his seventh-grade guidance counselor told Jones that he believed in him. The moment was a springboard for increasing his confidence, and Jones later grew into a leader. Today, he is the head of the Walmart Labs office in Carlsbad, California, which is part of the greater San Diego area. His team uses technology to empower associates and make Walmart’s business more efficient around the world. From using machine learning to optimize online grocery order picking by associates in stores to using in-store robotics that make stocking products on the shelf easier, the Walmart Labs team is creating the shopping...


Nov 20, 2019

How to Navigate Your Entry into Tech and More Memorable Career Advice From Two Qualcomm Engineers

Whether you’re newly graduated or looking for your next career refresh in the tech industry, seeking advice from those senior to you is always a plus. The AfroTech community is a space where this type of networking often takes place. Qualcomm engineers Ruth Tadesse and Dr. Michael Alston joined us to give profile their experience in the tech space at such an industry leading company. The two also dropped some gems on how to conduct your next tech job search, discovering your true passion(s) and adjusting to a new job once you receive it. Here’s what they had to say: Ruth Tadesse Senior Engineer, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. Qualcomm What’s the most unique or interesting aspect of your job? I am a software engineer as part of Qualcomm Technologies AI Software team. In collaboration with our AI research group, we develop efficient hardware, algorithmic advancements and software tools to enable AI our Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ chips. The most unique aspect of my job is an obvious one, which...


Nov 14, 2019

How American Express Sets the Industry Example for Inclusion and Diversity

The company employs and supports a diverse group of colleagues to reflect the wide range of customers served Inclusion and diversity are more than just marketing buzzwords. Genuine respect and inclusion for all cultures, ethnicities, and belief systems are critical for a harmonious, thriving workplace. When a company is serving a global customer base, these principles become even more essential. Named the 2019 company on the 100 Best Companies to Work For by Fortune, American Express knows the value of inclusion and diversity. The company understands that the best way to serve its wide range of customers across the world is to hire and engage meaningfully with colleagues from all walks of life. Amex supports inclusion and diversity through a variety of initiatives such as its wide range of colleague networks that foster inclusion, support colleagues and celebrate the diversity of the company’s workforce. Amex promotes the principles of fairness and respect for everyone on multiple...


Nov 12, 2019

Join American Airlines at AfroTech 2019 to Learn About The Future of Travel

Ever wondered what it’s like to work in the travel and the airline industry? Well, maybe it’s time to stop wondering. American Airlines has teamed up with AfroTech to provide a select group of students and guests with an inside look at how American works and the career opportunities they offer. Since its founding over 90 years ago, American Airlines has always lead the airline industry in innovation and customer experience. On Nov. 8, come to the American Airlines College Students and Innovators Mixer at Iron & Oak to learn how American stays on the cutting edge of technology. Among many discussion topics, IT leaders will talk about how it’s harnessing emerging technologies like Machine Learning and Computer Vision to reimagine the future of travel and how the company prioritizes diversity and inclusion in every business unit. You will also find out about American’s incredible employee travel benefits (think, unlimited free travel) and mingle with members of their IT organization....


Oct 30, 2019

Revamp Your LinkedIn Profile For AfroTech 2019

Are you thinking of going to AfroTech this year? The event will bring together more than 6,000 Black tech professionals from November 8 to 10 at the Oakland Convention Center. It’ll be an opportunity to meet entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders – even your next employer. But to turn chance meetings into career-changing relationships, you need to come prepared. You need an all-star LinkedIn profile, ready to impress your newest connections. The following four steps will help you revamp your profile for AfroTech: Step 1: Choose the right profile picture Your profile picture is the first thing people see when they look you up. Just having one gets you more profile views and connection requests. You want to make sure it’s professional, approachable, and friendly. Tips for choosing a solid profile picture: Use a photo that looks like you. Make sure it’s recent. Crop the picture to show the top of your shoulders and a bit of space above your head. You want your face to fill about 60...


Oct 24, 2019

How Empowers Women to Make History in the Tech Industry

The nonprofit organization supports an inclusive tech environment through competitions, tech-based programs, and the annual Grace Hopper Celebration. Women have been pioneering new frontiers in technology for decades. Examples of trailblazing women technologists include Katherine Johnson, a former NASA research mathematician, who helped the United States put a man on the moon. Dr. Patricia Bath was the first Black woman to complete a medical residency and have a medical device patented. Rear Admiral Grace Hopper was the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics. Her expertise allowed her to join the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II to work on the Mark I computer and, after the war, the more advanced Mark II and Mark III computers. Grace also helped create the first compiler for computer languages and was the first female recipient of the National Medal of Technology in 1991. In 2016, she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her many contributions...


Oct 22, 2019

How Indeed Employees Promote Diversity and Inclusion Around the Globe

The company’s Black Inclusion Group and Vice President of Inclusion are dedicated to serving underrepresented communities. Deemed the world’s #1 job site 1 , Indeed is a platform that prioritizes diversity and inclusion by giving candidates all over the world a chance to be connected with new opportunities. The site welcomes over 250 million unique visitors each month, catering to a diverse group of people not only worldwide — but also within the corporation itself. ( 1 comScore Total Visits, March 2018, 2 Google Analytics, Unique Visitors, September 2018) The company proudly supports an inclusive work environment where all employees feel empowered to positively contribute because they believe diversity and inclusion ultimately impacts the success of the business. That’s why Indeed celebrates its employees’ unique experiences and backgrounds with Inclusion Resource Groups (IRGs). Each of their nine IRGs is provided an executive sponsor and an annual budget to achieve their mission....


Oct 18, 2019

How Is Pushing To have 50/50 Gender Equality in Tech By 2025

The organization plans to support its goal with inclusive initiatives, programs and competitions. Fighting for a seat at the table in the world of tech is hard enough for women, but keeping that spot often proves to be just as difficult. Women make up just 25 percent of the tech workforce and the statistics are even more disproportionate for women of color (1 percent for Latina/Hispanic women, 3 percent for Black/African American women and 5 percent for Asian women), according to a study by NCWIT . Another sobering statistic cited is that 56 percent of women will leave the tech sector by the time they are mid-career professionals. Big tech companies such as Facebook, Lyft, and Google release annual diversity reports to show how they are combatting diversity disparities that are rife in the industry. Organizations such as are taking active steps to ensure that women technologists have space in an industry that has traditionally shut them out. is diligently...


Oct 16, 2019

R/GA Tech Leaders Discuss How Diversity in Tech Can Help Eliminate Bias in AI

An in-depth interview with three leaders within the company on steps to breaking down bias in tech. Artificial Intelligence plays an increasingly significant role in our daily lives and is sure to make an even bigger impact in the future. Yet, the reputation for diversity and inclusion in the field is nothing short of abysmal. In April of this year, AI Now Institute released a damning report on the state of diversity in AI. Among its findings were that: Only 18 percent of authors at leading AI conferences are women. More than 80 percent of AI professors are men. There is no public data on transgender workers or other gender minorities. AI has even shown signs of discrimination against persons of color and women when it comes to algorithms, further creating a bias and disparity in the field. R/GA is a leader in the field of marketing and advertising. With an impressive roster of clients like The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Nike and Samsung, the company uses emerging technologies like...


Oct 16, 2019

How The Black at Uber Employee Resource Group Commits To Inclusion And Success For Black Employees At The Company

The ERG is dedicated to investing in the community to promote professional development and recruiting at Uber. Navigating through the corporate world can be challenging when there aren’t enough diverse opportunities in which employees can engage. A company’s work environment can make a huge impact on employees’ work ethic, ultimately impacting overall culture of the company. Employees at Uber took responsibility for shaping the culture of the company and committed to more inclusion by creating the Black at Uber Leadership Council. The goal is to create a community where Black employees and those who hold leadership positions can thrive in the workplace, thus promoting more inclusion and diversity. Uber’s senior manager of people development and co-chair for Black at Uber, Dr. Nandi Shareef, spoke with AfroTech about the experience of being a Black woman in leadership at the corporation and with Black at Uber. Recruiting coordinator and lead of Black at Uber, Leah Lester, also joined...


Oct 9, 2019

The Sky’s The Limit: How Dropbox Partners With Skyline High To Support Computer Science Education

Sometimes it just takes a little inspiration to lead young people into careers that could change their lives. That’s why Dropbox, one of the leading collaboration platforms, offers opportunities for its employees to influence students from local schools through their community engagement program. Dropbox is partnering with Skyline High in Oakland, California through the Oakland Public Education Fund. This non-profit is apart of a larger initiative called Circle the Schools, where the goal is to align companies, like Dropbox, with local Bay Area public schools to provide additional support to teachers and students. Volunteers also participate in various events like Computer Science Week to inspire students and show them that there are many different career paths available in the field of technology. The company expanded its efforts to include Skyline High and Bret Harte Elementary school in the Bay Area in 2018 after successfully partnering with Mission High School in San Francisco...


Oct 8, 2019

How The Home Depot Provides The Tools To Build A Technology Career

Atlanta has become one of the fastest-growing startup scenes in the country. According to a report by the CBRE Group , the city has one of the most competitive tech markets in the country and is ranked in the Top 10 Tech cities list. Founders from around the country are bringing their ideas to the burgeoning technology scene for a chance to be the next Jeff Bezos or Steve Jobs. The city is also home to the $100 billion home improvement retailer, The Home Depot. The brand and its internal technology team are blazing a trail into the technology field one hire at a time. In 2018, the company kicked off a three-year strategic plan with an $11.1 billion investment in the company. The plan includes seamlessly connecting the customer experience in-store and online, creating an industry-best supply chain, and speeding up the checkout process for customers. An internal and external upgrade in technology was needed for the company to meet these goals. As part of the initiative, the company...


Oct 2, 2019

How Working In A $100 Billion Retailer Gives Entrepreneurial Vibes

Tia Likely, technology director at The Home Depot, talks about her experience working in tech Building from the ground-up is an experience that The Home Depot likes to offer both its customers and associates alike. As the world’s largest home improvement retailer, The Home Depot provides its associates a wide range of skills to excel in their field of work, especially in the field of technology. Although the company is a $100 billion retailer with multiple offices in Atlanta, technology centers in Austin and Dallas, and other locations around the country, there are projects executed that give associates more responsibility, which can instill a sense of ownership and the opportunity to contribute firsthand to the corporation’s growth. These are the vibes that employees seeking technology positions likely receive from a startup, but it happens within the walls of The Home Depot. Tia Likely, technology director of customer and loyalty, spoke with AfroTech about how working in...


Sep 27, 2019