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‘Lack of diversity hurts everyone’ in the tech community

May 18, 2016

Felix Addison, COO and vice president of Temple grad-founded Whose Your Landlord, shared his company’s experiences of persevering, during the second panel with local technologists. He talked about the difficulties of meeting with investors, getting funding and being taken seriously as as person of color.

Tiffanie Standard, founder and CEO of Prestige Concepts and wearable tech company We are MENT (who spoke at another diversity-focused event that week), talked about the dangers of insensitivity when it comes to diversity — like when she was asked by someone if her company was making wearables for black people.

Courtney Wilburn, developer at O3 World, added that Philly’s tech community is actually one of few in the country that isn’t losing a large number of black and Latino college graduates, which presents “an opportunity to capitalize on that diversity.”

“Lack of diversity hurts everyone,” Wilburn said.

She made a similar point at the mayoral town hall earlier during the week.

Ather Sharif, founder of accessibility-focused consultancy EvoXLabs who just started working at Comcast, is proud of Philly’s “small, intimate community” with its “common sense,” and he believes local companies have “started to realize the importance of having a diverse skill set, a diverse background.”

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