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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives

DEI Initiatives: Making Corporate Culture In Tech More Diverse and Inclusive

Working inside the federal government of the United States and then within tech companies in Silicon Valley, I have seen many different approaches to building a winning business culture. 

One thing that became clear pretty quickly, even before experts started publishing data validating it as true, was that working with people from different backgrounds opened me up to new ideas and led me to see ways to improve myself. As a leader of teams, I observed this happen at a broader scale, when the diverse teams that I managed often excelled over teams that didn’t bring as many different perspectives to solving problems. 

Over time, at different stops on his career journey, I became more and more intentional about building diverse teams, and in return saw a very positive impact from that effort, both in terms of employee enjoyment of and investment in their workplace and in terms of business results. 

Building the Base and Leading Diversity:

During my tenure as Chief Security Officer at Facebook, I focused on team dynamics and emphasized diversity within the largest team I had ever managed to that point. Under my direction and with the support of my chief of staff, we launched pioneering initiatives, establishing new benchmarks within the company and the broader tech industry.

One of our key efforts was the establishment of the first “unconscious bias” training workshop at Facebook. This program, a novelty at the time, aimed to illuminate the inherent biases we all carry, challenging the status quo and promoting a more inclusive work culture. It has since become a staple in the tech industry, thanks in no small part to the groundwork laid by my team.

Later, after I joined Uber, I embraced an executive leadership role focused on diversity, specifically as the executive sponsor for UberHue, an ERG for the African-American community, where I advocated on their behalf for a more inclusive and equitable environment. 

When building my third security organization at Cloudflare, I published an article on building a diverse security team and supported relevant advocacy conversations within the company.

Beyond the Office: A Lifelong Commitment to DEI

My DEI efforts extend well beyond the corporate setting. I have been an active participant in volunteer activities, sharing my knowledge on internet safety and the importance of diversity with various audiences. My engagements range from speaking at middle and high schools to fire departments, police departments, and youth organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs.

I have contributed to fostering future leaders by speaking at prestigious institutions such as Stanford, Harvard, and the University of Alabama, Birmingham, emphasizing the importance of minority hiring in tech and law. I have also initiated volunteer programs, such as those with the Facebook security team at the East Palo Alto Boys and Girls Club, demonstrating my belief in the power of community engagement.

Currently, I continue coaching tech executives on how to build diverse teams and share the insights from my professional journey at conferences. Most recently, in April 2024 I keynoted the Minorities in Cybersecurity conference.

Joe interviewing former US Attorney General Eric Holder at an Uber company all-hands meeting on the importance of diversity in the workplace.