Tennis powerhouse Serena Williams has been a fierce advocate for equity within the realm of sports and beyond, and she’s furthering her efforts to ensure individuals from underrepresented groups have a seat at the table across different industries. For her latest project, Williams has joined forces with the cloud technology platform Karat to increase the representation of Black engineers in tech.
The athlete and entrepreneur is supporting the company’s Brilliant Black Minds initiative. The program was cultivated to eradicate barriers that aspiring Black engineers often face when trying to launch their careers in the technology industry. After conducting research, Karat discovered Black developers lack access to practice interviews and the company has pledged to use its Interviewing Cloud technology to fill the gap. Through the project, Karat is providing engineers of color with free access to technical interviews, mentorship support from an ecosystem of experienced engineers and tech-focused career development workshops.
Williams is backing Karat’s mission to add over 100,000 new Black engineers to the tech workforce within the next ten years. “The technology industry is focused on solving some of the world’s biggest challenges,” she shared in a statement. “My focus is ensuring the solutions to those challenges are developed by all of us. There has never been a shortage of brilliance in Black America; only limits to the access and opportunities extended to our community. That is why I am proud to team up with companies like Karat who are taking actionable steps to bring more diversity and equity to the industry, as well as call on others to be part of the change.”
Research shows only 7.4 percent of the tech workforce is Black. Initiatives like Brilliant Black Minds will help advance diversity within the industry.
This isn’t the first project Williams has supported that is centered on inclusivity in the workplace. In 2020, she teamed up with the company The Mom Project to connect mothers with career opportunities.