The tech industry is currently in a unique and very public struggle with diversity and inclusion. At the same time, much of the industry has embraced mindfulness as a central aspect of internal culture. In this panel we’ll explore how mindfulness practices can inform, support and facilitate our work on inclusion – through greater individual self-awareness, productivity, empathy and resilience.
Rachel Williams joined Yelp (again!) in November of 2014 as the Head of Diversity and Inclusion. She is currently focused on building Yelp’s diversity initiatives to accelerate action. Having grown up in San Mateo, CA, Rachel often found that she was one of only a couple faces of color in her classrooms. This early awareness of her own differences inspired her thirst for increased diversity and inclusion at a young age.
With a B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley and more than 15 years of human resources experience in a variety of industries including technology, life sciences, consumer products and retail, Rachel has honed her expertise in recruitment, organizational development, and strategic change activities. She is thrilled to be able to narrow her focus on Diversity and Inclusion, a very important element of the employee experience and a passion for Rachel. She returns to Yelp after most recently serving as the Head of Talent Acquisition for ClearSlide. She has also held talent acquisition roles at SolarCity, Peet’s Coffee & Tea and was Recruiting Manager at Yelp in 2010.
Jennifer is a part of the People Ops team at Medium where she leads their culture and diversity initiatives. Before Medium, she founded CultureBit, a company that helped startups calibrate and scale company culture during periods of growth. In her free time, she loves to camp in the wilderness, write game theory models about everyday life, and read every epic fantasy novel she can find.
Neema Moraveji, Ph.D. is an expert on the design and study of technologies that promote healthy and high-performing states of mind. As director of Stanford University’s Calming Technology Lab, he studies how interactive products can mitigate the damaging and distracting effects of acute and chronic stress. He taught the popular “Designing Calm” at the Stanford Design School and his work has been covered in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and NPR among other esteemed publications. Dr. Moraveji is co-founder and chief product officer of Spire, the first wearable to track and influence both activity and state of mind.
Dr. Moraveji received his B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland at College Park and his M.S. from Carnegie Mellon University. He received his Ph.D., “Augmented Self-Regulation”, from Stanford University. For more information on Dr. Moraveji’s work visit moraveji.org, @moraveji, or blog.spire.io/2014/06/24/breath-spire-a-few-key-questions/
Susan Geear is an internationally acclaimed coach, consultant, and social justice advocate, committed to partnering with leaders to support wide-ranging initiatives for personal, professional, organizational and social change. Integrating her entrepreneurial, leadership, and managerial experience, with her ongoing personal and leadership development, Susan’s coaching results in purposeful action and sustainable change for executives, teams and individuals.
In addition to her private business, Susan is leading the innovative leadership and education programs for the Advancing Leadership Institute. The Emerging Leaders program won the NAFCU 2013 Innovation Award. She also served as Co-Director, faculty and coach for the Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) in support of GWLN’s Global Leaders for Justice and Women Leaders for the World programs. As part of her work with GWLN, Susan worked with individuals around the globe to foster a commitment toward global citizenship, social consciousness, and personal responsibility.
Susan’s background includes over 20 years in business and technology. With this, she knows well the synergy possible in collaborative efforts – a value she brings not only to her one-on-one sessions, but to group dynamics as well. In addition to her coaching certifications she is certified in a variety of assessment tools, she has studied meditation and practiced mindfulness for over 10 years and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management.
Melinda Briana Epler has more than 20 years of experience elevating brands and developing business innovation strategies for social entrepreneurs, mature social enterprises, Fortune 500 companies and global NGOs.
As Founder & CEO of Change Catalyst, Melinda empowers diverse, inclusive and sustainable tech innovation through events, education, mentorship and funding. Through Tech Inclusion, an initiative of Change Catalyst, she partners with the tech community to solve diversity and inclusion together. Her work spans the full tech ecosystem, from Education to Workplace, Entrepreneurship and Policy.
Melinda speaks, mentors and writes about diversity and inclusion in tech, social entrepreneurship, women entrepreneurs and investing. She is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker – her film and television work includes projects that exposed the AIDS crisis in South Africa, explored women’s rights in Turkey, and prepared communities for the effects of climate change. She has worked on several television shows, including NBC’s The West Wing.