Proven Leaders in Chicago Technology Economy Will Bring Experience and Networks as Committee Will Help Generate Ideas to Promote Technology Economy for Minorities Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that, for the first time in the City’s history, a council has been appointed for the sole purpose of creating opportunity for minorities in Chicago’s technology economy. “Chicago’s technology economy is thriving, creating thousands of jobs and generating interest from around the world,” said Mayor Emanuel. “As we experience this unprecedented growth in this key sector, it is incumbent that the opportunities that are being developed are available for all Chicagoans and that the city’s technology community reflects the diversity and vitality of the city itself. These talented leaders will work directly with the technology community and my office to create innovative programs and new ideas that will help expand the diversity and vibrancy of the technology economy throughout the City.” The Technology Industry Diversity Council will have three main goals: ∙ Increasing the percentage of minority employees for technology firms. ∙ Increasing the percentage of minority-owned and operated technology firms. ∙ Helping to create a pipeline through which Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges of Chicago students can transition into the technology economy. The council will be given an initial four-month timeline to make its first set of recommendations to Mayor Emanuel for specific things that can be undertaken by the Mayor’s administration to foster this sort of growth. The members of the Council were chosen from the technology community based on proven leadership and success in fostering diversity in the technology community. The members of the council are: Josh Hernandez, Walk.by Eddie Lou, Shiftgig David Zapata, Zapwater Roger Martinez, Quantum Crossings Ian Hood, CGN Blackwell Global Consulting Neal Sales-Griffin, Starter League Emile Cambry, Cibola Talia Mashiach, Eved Darrell Higueros, Next Generation Seyi Fabode, Power2Switch Nancy Joseph-Ridge, Takeda Daniel Salcedo, Mobcart
The City of Chicago has, under Mayor Emanuel’s leadership, made great strides in fostering diversity in other areas of the City’s business community, through innovative programs in the department of procurement, such as the diversity business initiative. These programs allow the government of Chicago to encourage private sector adoption of important public policy objectives, and have resulted in strong growth and positive outcomes for minority business owners throughout the City, as well as the business community as a whole. The Council on Diversity in Technology will work closely with Chicago’s Office of New Americans, as well as ChicagoNEXT, to ensure that their recommendations dovetail closely with the ongoing efforts to make Chicago a welcoming city, as well as ChicagoNEXT’s efforts to attract technology businesses to the city. Mayor Emanuel has made the growth of the Chicago technology economy a key priority, attracting thousands of technology jobs to the City and working directly with dozens of companies to promote growth. From large technology firms such as Google and Nokia, each of which have expanded their presence, to incubators such as 1871, Mayor Emanuel has focused on building an environment in which technology companies can come to Chicago and thrive.