President Obama Announced Initiatives To Bring More Women And Minorities Into The Tech Sector

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  • 6 years ago
  • Posted: August 5, 2015 at 10:11 am

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit gave the country a global platform to showcase different ideas that can attract investment from different parts of the world. The Summit played a big role in exposing Kenya’s readiness to do business with other investors and President Obama with other delegates who crowded the city with ears open, placed a great indication that the world is also ready to do business with Kenyans.

President Obama supported the minorities and women in his speeches in order to diversify the teams involved in the development of a nation. At the first-ever White House Demo Day, President Obama announced a number of initiatives to bring more women and minorities into the tech sector and urged the industry to “not leave half the team on the bench.”

The president encourages the private sectors to close the diversity gap in the technology industry. On Tuesday, the White House announced a number of new initiatives involving major tech companies, such as Amazon and Microsoft; well-known developed capital firms; and engineering departments at large universities committing to concrete plans to foster diversity within their organizations. The announcement is part of the Obama administration’s first-ever Demo Day, an event where startup founders from diverse walks of life and various parts of the country came to the White House on Tuesday to showcase their innovations.

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The Demo Day was majorly a campaign to support the women and the minorities who always find it hard to put their startups on the map to attract more funds and support from investors. Cnet reports that today only 1 percent of venture-capital backed startups are led by an African-American, and only 3 percent of startups are founded by women. Obama said at a press conference from the White House Demo Day that these statistics must change to ensure the US remains a driver of innovation throughout the world.

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“Finding capital is tough for any entrepreneur starting a company, but it can be harder if you’re a woman or an underrepresented minority who all too often have to fight just to get a seat at the table.” Obama said.

“Today America is home to more high-tech companies than anyplace else in the world,” Obama said. “But we’ve got to make sure that we’re taking full advantage of this moment by tapping all the talent America has to offer, no matter who they are or where they set up shop.”

Companies like Intel and Pinterest have pushed for diversity but the president urged them to do more to support the minorities. President Obama announced commitments from 40 venture capital firms, including Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, as well as more than a dozen companies, such as Amazon, Microsoft and Xerox that have committed to take new actions to ensure diverse recruitment in hiring. These companies will adopt variations of the so-called “Rooney Rule,” adopted by the National Football League, which requires companies to consider at least one diverse candidate for every senior executive position. Facebook and Pinterest have recently adopted similar policies.

“We’ve got to make sure that everybody is getting a fair shot,” Obama said. “The next Steve Jobs might be named Stephanie or Esteban. They might never set foot in Silicon Valley. We’ve got to unleash the full potential of every American — not leave more than half the team on the bench.”

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