Diverse by Design – Mountainview 2017

On Wednesday, October 25, 2017, Per Scholas and the Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) hosted Diverse by Design, the fourth in a conversation series about building diversity and inclusion in the workforce.

Over 100 leaders representing organizations across the tech, finance and nonprofit sectors gathered at Google’s Global Headquarters to reflect on the need for entrepreneurship and innovation in delivering diversity, ensuring equity and infusing inclusion philosophies into the workplace. Speakers and panelists shared best practices in uncovering unconscious bias in hiring and tactics for C-suite leaders to identify, coach and retain diverse talent across all levels of their organizations.

This page highlights speakers and key learning moments from the event.



  • Ginny Clarke, Diversity & Internal Mobility Lead, Leadership Staffing, Google
  • Jason Mills, Executive Director of Machine Learning & Advanced Analytics, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Ginny Clarke, Diversity & Internal Mobility Lead, Leadership Staffing of Google kicked off the event by welcoming guests to Silicon Valley and discussed the the evolution of Google’s talent philosophy to recruit and hire diverse candidates. She encouraged leaders to invest in competency based hiring as a tool to assess candidates more equitably and have greater potential to receive offers.

Jason Mills, Executive Director of Machine Learning & Advanced Analytics of JPMorgan Chase & Co., spoke to the opportunity that leaders in tech have to hire diverse talent to build products that will change the world and create a future free of the biases we have inherited in the present.

He challenged the audience to consider the power that technology has in helping us all lead better lives and how having diverse leaders involved in that conversation, helps even more people have greater possibilities.


  • Presented by Damien Howard, Vice President, Social Ventures, Per Scholas
  • Moderated by Kelly Burton, Founder and CEO, Founders of Color
  • Danielle Beavers, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Greenlining
  • Jesse Cortez, Global Inclusion Effectiveness Lead, Inclusion and Diversity, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Molly Ford, Director of Equality Programs, Salesforce
  • Erika Lunceford, Director, BNY Mellon

Panelists from the Town Hall highlighted how their employers are championing diversity in inclusion and how companies need to be both nimble and courageous to keep pace with the rampant innovation taking place in the sector. Recruiting programs across varied lines of diversity, staff affinity or resource groups (including White allies) and leveraging C-suite executives in retention and advancement initiatives were offered as effective strategies in moving the needle, but agreed that more attention is needed at the policy level to ensure that companies are making diversity and inclusion organizational priorities and values. In light of tech companies’ recent practice of releasing their diversity data, panelists pushed the audience to consider the importance of also retaining their current talent and making their environments more welcoming and inclusive.



In line with the event’s theme of engendering diversity through an entrepreneurial lens, Stephanie Lampkin spoke to technology’s power to build inclusive recruiting systems. As founder and CEO of Blendoor, she works to mitigate unconscious bias in hiring by sharing candidate info without photos, names or dates of employment to ensure equitable consideration in the hiring process. Blendoor uses analytics to help leaders to unearth their biases and offers remediation support to help them change their organizations.



  • Presented by Ken Walker, Senior Vice President Core Mission Support, Per Scholas
  • Moderated by Luis Arzu, Chief Information Security Officer, Farm Credit Financial Partners, Inc.
  • Kelly Dolan, Co-Founder, Thrive Impact Sourcing
  • Viola Maxwell-Thompson, President and CEO, ITSMF
  • Eric Westphal, Senior Director of Global Legal and Corporate Affairs Operations, Cognizant

Thought leaders from the Solutions Panel addressed how their companies are building pipelines for diverse talent through public-private partnerships, such as Per Scholas’ partnership with Cognizant and through extending their lenses to recruit from minority serving institutions and the need for tech leaders from underrepresented backgrounds should play a role in helping to elevate extant diversity initiatives and programs.



  • Damien Howard, Vice President, Social Ventures, Per Scholas
  • Ken Walker, Senior Vice President Core Mission Support, Per Scholas

Per Scholas’ own Damien Howard, Vice President, Social Ventures and Kenneth Walker, Senior Vice President, Core Mission Support closed the event by charging the audience to be courageous, bold and intentional to generate the change needed in the technology sector.

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