Closing the Gap and Building Community in Tech

GSB 117

Being a woman of color in tech is already a trifecta of minority identities, adding others like being an immigrant, part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and mental health, means that it’s hard to find people who look like you or have similar backgrounds. On this panel, you will learn how these women have created communities in the tech world that fulfill parts of their identities and created spaces for themselves closing the gap.

Dominique Hollins is a Seller Diversity Ambassador at eBay, she leads efforts that enable economic opportunity for diverse business owners through eBay’s marketplace. Hollins is an equality advocate and currently serves as a global diversity influencer throughout eBay and the broader tech community. Her work in diversity and inclusion was activated 7 years ago during her time at Google as a leader with the Black Googler Network (BGN). Later, she founded Black Employees at eBay (BEE), establishing a more visible global presence for eBay’s black community. She also served as a global lead for eBay’s LGBT community, United in Pride, where she restructured, rebranded and revitalized the community while increasing exposure to senior executives. Hollins is currently the Co-Founder of Our Collective, a community resource group for Silicon Valley professionals of all backgrounds.

Ajuna Kyaruzi is a Site Reliability Engineer at Google, where she works on the team responsible for building, deploying, monitoring, and maintenance of Linux Virtual Machines supporting some of the largest software systems in the world. Kyaruzi was born and raised in Tanzania and as an international black woman in tech she often finds herself navigating diverse cultures. The Grinnell College graduate, co-created a coding community for families living in rural Iowa. She is currently doing research into replicating that model in her hometown Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. At Grinnell College, she was also a leader of student groups including the African Caribbean Student Union, Women in Computing, Association of Computing Machinery Student Chapter and Grinnell Appdev. Kyaruzi is looking to recreate those spaces in New York as mentor in Code Next and Africode, programs aimed at matching high school and college students from underrepresented backgrounds to mentors in tech.

Gabriela Zamudio is co-founder and CTO at FounderGym. Gabriela Zamudio began her career in Silicon Valley in 2013 as a software engineer at ThoughtWorks where she worked with different clients, including a multinational e-commerce company, one of the largest healthcare organizations in United States, and a fintech startup. Most recently, Gabriela launched a consulting practice, offering web development services to startups and nonprofits as well as serving as a technical advisor for Mission Asset Fund.

This panel will be moderated by Chantel McGee, a journalist and social entrepreneur on a mission to give a voice to marginalized groups. McGee is best known for her coverage of the tech sector for CNBC, where she reported on all the big tech companies including Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook. Prior to CNBC, McGee was a tech reporter for the Daily Dot where she covered the intersection of technology and culture. She also spent some time producing multimedia content and executing content marketing strategies for AOL, Viacom, as well as various celebrities and startups. McGee began her career in television covering general news for News 12 and Regional News Network in New York.