Industry Trends & Research


From Day One to Real Talk

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The Karat Team

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Last week Karat celebrated the launch of our new Brilliant Black Minds program. As part of that celebration, our own Portia Kibble Smith, Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, joined a panel with the great team at From Day One to talk about anti-racist hiring. Today, we’re proud to announce a continuation of the equitable-team-building conversation with our next Real Talk: Diversity in Tech event, scheduled for Thursday, March 18, 4 PM ET / 1 PM PT.

Register for Real Talk: Diversity in Tech – Womxn in Tech for free>

The panel features seven incredible womxn leaders from around the tech industry.

Meet the Real Talk Panelists

Real Talk moderator: Angela Rosebero (she/her/hers), Chief Diversity Officer, Riot Games

During her more than twenty years of human resource experience, Angela has held positions leading D&I, talent management, and leadership development for companies in the technology, financial services, asset management, government, entertainment, and manufacturing industries. Prior to joining Riot, Angela was the Global Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Dropbox. Previously she provided human resource guidance to Fortune 500 companies including T. Rowe Price, Jones Lang LaSalle, Genworth Financial, Whirlpool Corporation, and Manpower International.

Angela has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work including Black Enterprise’s 150 Diversity Executive, The Network Journal’s 25 Influential Black Women in Business, and 50 Out Front for Women’s Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion. She has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, The Diversity Journal, and The Commercial Real Estate Women’s Network. Angela studied at the University of Louisville and Roosevelt University.

As Chief Diversity Officer for Riot Games, Angela Roseboro develops and implements initiatives that ensure diversity and inclusion is tightly integrated into Riot’s broader strategy to identify, recruit, develop, and retain the best talent to make incredible experiences for players.

View Angela’s LinkedIn Profile>

Real Talk panelist: Sonja Gittens-Ottley (she/her/hers), Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Asana

Sonja Gittens-Ottley is the Diversity & Inclusion Lead at Asana, where she’s responsible for crafting the company’s strategies for recruiting employees from underrepresented groups and creating an inclusive environment that allows them to thrive. Prior to her roles in Diversity & Inclusion at Asana and at Facebook, she was global policy counsel for Yahoo’s Business & Human Rights Program. Sonja is a native of Trinidad & Tobago.

View Sonja’s LinkedIn Profile>

Real Talk panelist: Gia Griffith (she/her), VP Accelerated Commercialization, Visa

As a global leader, Gia creates products, programs, and services from strategy to execution across markets. Her experiences converge on developing initiatives that drive growth and scale, delivering cross-functional, global projects, and building high-performing, diverse teams. Most recently, Gia joined the Global Product Team at Visa where she works to commercialize their Data, Security & Identity Products and deliver a set of value-added services to Visa’s customers across the ecosystem.

Gia holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering, MS in Engineering Management/Systems Engineering, and an MBA in International Business. She has been recognized by Diversity MBA and named to the Top 100 under 50 Emerging Leaders list in 2013. Additionally, she is a Posse Foundation Scholar, active volunteer, and career mentor.

View Gia’s LinkedIn Profile>

Real Talk panelist: Shannon Hogue (she/her/hers), Head of Solutions Engineering, Karat

Shannon Hogue Brown started her career writing software over 20 years ago and has moved through the ranks as an Engineer and, ultimately, CTO. She is passionate about improving developer productivity so that dreams and innovations can be built. As Head of Solutions Engineering at Karat, Shannon works closely with engineering teams to understand their hiring bars, align interviews to them, and create more predictive hiring processes. She lives in San Francisco with her two dogs, Samus and Locke.

View Shannon’s LinkedIn Profile>

Real Talk panelist: Katrina Jones (she/her), Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Leader, GICS, Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Katrina Jones is the Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Leader for AWS Global Infrastructure business, and works with stakeholders across the business to develop solutions that improve organizational health and employee engagement, and disrupt bias in order to foster a more equitable and inclusive workplace. Katrina has specialized expertise in this space — she’s served as a diversity and inclusion lead at large, complex global companies and startups, and has created diversity and inclusion strategies designed to attract, retain and advance talent from marginalized communities.

Katrina’s expertise in this space is sharpened by her previous experience working in HR, where she’s worked in a variety of roles and functions, from recruiting to employee relations and compliance. Katrina earned a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies from The University of Texas at Austin, and a Master of Arts in Human Resource Management from The Catholic University of America, and lives with her family in the Atlanta metro area.

View Katrina’s LinkedIn Profile>

Real Talk panelist: Rokeya Jones (she/her), Principal Program Director, Education Engineering, Microsoft

A gifted diversity advocate, public speaker, and award winner; Rokeya has spent 10+ years in tech sharpening her craft as an innovative leader and game-changer in digital transformation, mobility, IoT, and emerging technologies. She is a senior executive who is passionate about new tech, diversity, and the future of the industry.

View Rokeya’s LinkedIn Profile>

Real Talk panelist: Fiona Tan (she/her/hers), Global Head of Customer and Supplier Technology, Wayfair

Fiona Tan drives the continued growth of Wayfair’s world-class Engineering organization while setting the vision and strategy for the development of systems and technologies that shape customer and supplier experiences. Prior to Wayfair, Fiona served as senior vice president of U.S. Technology at Walmart where she was responsible for innovation and engineering execution spanning its site, mobile app, and all associate and merchant-facing technology across its e-commerce and stores business in the U.S.

Tan’s prior roles at Walmart include senior vice president of Customer Technology and vice president of Engineering. Prior to Walmart, Fiona served in a number of leadership roles at Ariba, where she led a global engineering organization responsible for the strategy, lifecycle, and delivery of the Ariba Commerce Network, as well as TIBCO Software. Fiona has a master’s degree in Computer Science from Stanford and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from MIT.

View Fiona’s LinkedIn Profile>

Building off of the themes from last week’s From Day One event, our panelists will:

  • Share the personal impact of sexism and system racism on womxn and underrepresented minorities in tech.
  • Discuss best practices for connecting mentor/mentee relationships to career growth opportunities.
  • Highlight effective leadership techniques for fostering authentic, inclusive work environments.

About Real Talk: Diversity in Tech

In 2017, Karat created the Real Talk event series spearheaded by our DEI head, Portia Kibble Smith, to share the experiences of underrepresented minorities in tech with honesty and transparency. As the world’s leader in first-round technical interviews, we know that bias in the hiring process is very real. Not only is bias painful and unfair, but it also prevents companies from accurately assessing talented candidates and helping them grow in their careers. At Karat, we work to eliminate this bias by conducting rigorous, human, and fair technical interviews that are consistent and standardized.

The objective of Real Talk is simple: provide an open environment where leaders and innovators in tech can speak freely about navigating this industry as an underrepresented minority—and what companies can do to truly create diverse teams and inclusive environments.

To date, we’ve worked with Dropbox, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Indeed, Convene, Snapchat, and Airbnb and we are excited to announce that Real Talk continues this year — virtually!

Register for free:

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