[Women] Here’s Your Pipeline

Pooja Bhatia – Ozy – Wednesday, 27 November 2013 (originally published 19 Nov)

Kathryn Finney
Image: Ozy

There’s a fairy godmother up in Harlem named Kathryn Finney. These days, she’s wont to describe herself like this: “Big hair, even bigger ideas.”

What’s the big idea? It’s to take on the dirty white secret of a tech industry headquartered in Silicon Valley: It might pretend to be colorblind, gender neutral and meritocratic, but really it’s very male, very white, rather Asian and hardly at all black or female. In other words, the start-up world is basically a bro club.

Finney’s remedy is to create networks and pathways to guide outsiders, especially women, into tech. You want a pipeline of kick-ass, black women techies? Finney began building one last year. It’s a tech conference called FOCUS100, and in the space of 15 months, it’s become a Big Deal, where big deals can happen. It’s now part of Finney’s new business, Digital Undivided, which aims at nothing less than diversifying the tech sector . . .

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