Tech leaders launch free mentorship initiative for underrepresented tech workers

business, woman of colour

Plato and Boast.AI have partnered and brought together more than 150 tech leaders globally to provide free virtual mentorship to Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) working in tech.

“We all need to provide better opportunities for BIPOC and people from under-represented communities.”

The Plato-led program, Circles for Inclusion, will connect underrepresented tech workers to mentorship from tech leaders via virtual group “circles”. It aims to serve 2,000 BIPOC participants through circles led by over 150 tech founders and engineering and product leaders. The initiative is being offered through Plato’s online mentorship platform.

Participating mentors include Canadian tech leaders Ideshini Naidoo of Wave Financial, Roy Pereira of Zoom.AI, Shelly Bezanson of Thoughtexchange, and Hanif Joshaghani of Symend. Circles are organized around specific themes, such as how to advance your product career as a minority, level up your engineers, or elevate your leadership as a woman of colour.

“As an immigrant and gulf war refugee myself, my mentors in the tech community helped launch my career,” said Lloyed Lobo, co-founder and president of Boast.AI. “I won’t forget that.”

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In a LinkedIn post announcing the initiative, Boast.AI wrote “we all need to provide better opportunities for BIPOC and people from under-represented communities.” Founded in Canada, Boast.AI is a financial services company that helps North American firms claim research and development incentives from the government.

“Mentorship for people of color in the tech industry is one of several systemic factors that prevent them from obtaining senior positions and achieving their career potential,” wrote the program’s other partner, Plato, in a post regarding the launch.

“By connecting virtually, participants can share experiences, obstacles, and successes, all while gaining insights and the knowledge needed to become a better leader,” wrote Plato. The company’s CEO, Quang Hoang said he was motivated to give back to the community in an actionable way following in light of the ongoing protests occurring around the world.

Circles are set to meet weekly to discuss various leadership and career-related topics. Different circles have different intended audiences and eligibility requirements; for instance, some serve women working in engineering for small to medium-sized companies. Participants commit to meeting once a week for a month.

Image source Unsplash

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling in-depth Canadian tech stories and breaking news. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.

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