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How One Man Hopes to Diversify the Tech Industry Through His ‘Platform’

When you think “tech,” chances are you don’t think black people, you probably don’t think brown people and you surely don’t think women.

This is a disturbing trend that Hank Williams, the founder of Platform, noticed about three years ago while he was living in the tech mecca of California’s Silicon Valley.

“I was part of a documentary that Soledad O’Brien did on the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley, and it was really the first time I’d ever thought really deeply about the issue,” the tech entrepreneur recalled to The Root.

“I lived in Silicon Valley … for about three months, and during that time … I never saw a black or Latino person sitting in a café or doing things that a local person would do,” he said. “There were a few Latino people working there, but basically there was no one.”

Of course, that wasn’t to say Williams was naive, but to see diversity so lacking in the heart of the industry was disheartening.

“I was aware that there weren’t a lot of black people … in tech, but it’s a much more visceral experience to live in a place that’s the heart of Silicon Valley and the heart of the most important part of the economy and not see any people that look like you. My impetus [for launching Platform] was viewing that at the end of those three months,” he explained.

 

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