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CINCINNATI, Ohio – Kickstarter CEO Everette Taylor sheds light at Black Tech Week on how the tech giant is making deliberate efforts to promote diversity within its executive leadership. 

Since its establishment in Miami back in 2016 by Felecia Hatcher and Derick Pearson, Black Tech Week has served as a guiding light for Black technology professionals for several years and is now onwed by the Lightship Foundation

In a bold move towards creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace, Kickstarter’s CEO, Everette Taylor, sheds light on the company’s deliberate efforts in promoting diversity within its leadership ranks.

The tech’s CEO explained to Candy Glenn from Microsoft during a Q&A at Black Tech Week that he’s “intentional” about bringing together a team of exceptional individuals, not just because diversity matters, but due to their unparalleled expertise in their respective fields.

Kickstarter CEO Talks Diversity at Black Tech Week
Candy Glenn, Sr. Commercial Executive – Microsoft Education sits with Kickstarter CEO Everette Taylor at Black Tech Week 2023 on Wednesday, July 19, 2023 | Photography provided by Lightship Foundation.

“It’s been really important and really intentional to do that. When you think about most of the time, when you’re bringing on a CFO, you’re thinking about one, a man, and typically, a White man, as a CFO.

“I remember our three final candidates were a South Asian man, a Black man, and a Black woman, and I was very proud of that. And I brought in [sic] other Black executives into the company and got more on the way.”

Early this month, Kickstarter announced that it taped Sindy Wilson, the former VP of Finance Transformation & Analytics at Lyft to be its new CFO. 

Under Everette Taylor’s leadership, Kickstarter is seemingly making waves with its unapologetic focus on fostering a diverse leadership team. But this isn’t just a checkbox exercise – it’s a genuine commitment to recognizing the talent and potential that people from all walks of life can bring to the table explains Taylor.

“What people don’t understand is – it’s because they’re the f-ing best!” adding, “Sindy was the number two in finance at Lyft. The VP of Finance and Analytics at Lyft,” and she was a Black woman. “She deserved it. She was the brand CFO at Auto Trainer – a multi-billion dollar business. Like–she deserves to be CFO at Kickstarter. She earned it,” Everette Taylor said to the audience at Black Tech Week. 

According to Forbes, “Only 4.4% of Black women are in management positions and only 1.4% hold C-suite positions, despite being 7.4% of the U.S. population.”

Kickstarter’s dedication to diversity is evident in its thoughtful approach to recruitment and hiring practices. Instead of merely filling quotas, Kickstarter is seemingly seeking out the most qualified candidates who can truly make a difference in the company’s success.

“We do all of these things to really support our people, and I feel like the Black people that are out there that are executives and leaders: They see this [Kickstarter] as a place where they feel safe. They know that they’re gonna have a CEO that, you know, protects them, uplifts them, you know, and all of those things.”

Taylor believes that by embracing individuals with unique perspectives and experiences that Kickstarter’s workforce becomes stronger, more innovative, and better equipped to tackle challenges.

Everette Taylor emphasizes that the pursuit of diversity is not just a matter of meeting social expectations; it is a strategic move that aligns with Kickstarter’s core values.

His approach has gained recognition and praise, not only from within the company but also from industry observers who admire Kickstarter’s genuine commitment to creating a more inclusive workplace, companies like Black Tech Week and the Lightship Foundation. As other companies strive to follow suit, Taylor’s message resonates as a beacon of progress in the tech industry.

Nehemiah D. Frank is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Black Wall Street Times and a descendant of two families that survived the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Although his publication’s store and newsroom...

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