Google Hosts The Elc’s 2015 Q1 Corporate Board Initiative Event

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The Executive Leadership Council held its 2015 Q1 Corporate Board Initiative (CBI) Networking Reception and Panel Discussion on Thursday, March 26. The event was hosted by Google at their global headquarters in Mountain View, CA. More than 70 ELC members and invited guests gathered for this special event focused on The Future of Black Executives in Silicon Valley.

The evening kicked off with a networking reception which was held in an interactive showroom featuring the latest Google gadgets and technology. Guests had the opportunity to test new products like Google Glass and Google-powered smartwatches. Attendees were also able to network with leading black executives in Silicon Valley, including former D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty.

Google’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond offered welcome remarks which provided great momentum leading into the panel discussion. David was joined by Nancy Lee, Director of People Operations at Google, who discussed the importance of diversity in the technology industry and provided solid examples of the company’s efforts to build a diverse workforce of “Googlers.” She teased the company’s upcoming Googler In Residence program which places Google employees at historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) to help guide the schools’ computer science programs. The initiative is currently being implemented at Fisk University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Hampton University and Howard University.

The event then segued into a panel discussion featuring David Drummond and ELC members Jim Anderson, President of Americas at BAE Systems, Ehrika Gladden, Senior Director of Americas Cloud Consumption Models at Cisco and Dan Reed, Head of Global Sports Partnerships at Facebook. The group shared their thoughts on past challenges, current solutions and future opportunities for inclusive leadership in the technology sector. The panel was moderated by Sheila G. Talton, CEO of Gray Matter Analytics, who engaged the guest speakers in an open and candid dialogue. The panelists addressed past barriers and impediments to growth that black executives encounter on the path to the C-Suite and Boards of Directors that paved the way for the current solutions and changing landscapes that we are witnessing today in the technology industry. Their collective experiences provided the ideal mix of insights for the audience.

The evening concluded with a post-event cocktail reception where guests continued the conversation offering their thoughts on the future of diversity in the technology fields and identifying what their companies are doing to ensure that the pipeline and the C-Suite reflect the marketplace trends in the future.

The ELC’s CBI program is designed to prepare black executives for service on corporate boards. It builds awareness, improves readiness and enhances the visibility of ELC members who are interested in and actively pursuing board service. The Silicon Valley event is the first of several quarterly CBI events set to take place throughout the year. Additional events are scheduled in New York, Miami and Washington, D.C.

Google hosted The ELC’s Corporate Board Initiative Q1 event which featured a panel discussion on The Future of Black Executives in Silicon Valley.

(lef to right) Sheila C. Talton, Gray Matter Analytics; Ronald C. Parker, The Executive Leadership Council; Jim Anderson, BAE Systems; David Drummond, Google; Nancy Lee, Google; Ehrika Gladden, Cisco; CBI Co-Chair Billy Dexter; Dan Reed, Facebook; and CBI Co-Chair Louis Parker.

ELC members and invited guests mingle during the pre-event networking reception at Google.

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