Virtual Diversity in Tech Series: The Importance of Minority Female Entrepreneurship and Leadership

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Some minority women are first-generation entrepreneurs and long time leaders. Minority women are the only ethnic group with more business ownership than their male peers.

Minority women entrepreneurs: come together with us to collaborate, share your startup, and scale profitable business secrets on how breaking through the male-dominated industries requires leadership.

Featured Speaker(s)

Cheryl Ingram, Ph.D., is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Strategist who specializes in training, developing, and implementing strategies for business development in DEI. She is CEO and Founder at Inclusology, an automated DEI platform to help HR professionals build inclusive workplaces. As well, Cheryl is CEO and Founder of DiverseCity LLC, a diversity and equity consulting firm specializing in diversity and equity assessments, training, coaching, and consulting. The recipient of several awards and honors for leadership, Cheryl earned her Ph.D. in Education from New Mexico State University.

Elaine Montilla is Assistant Vice President and CIO for information technology at The Graduate Center CUNY, a Forbes Technology Council member and contributor, and an AMA Women’s Leadership Center presenter. She is an accomplished senior executive with two decades as an IT leader in higher education. Elaine is also a TEDx speaker and the founder of, a blog and social media brand dedicated to empowering women and minorities, especially in tech. Skilled in Educational Technology, IT Strategy, Management, System Deployment, and Project Portfolio Management. Recognized for staff professional development, change leadership, and talent for communicating with diverse groups of people.

keiko.jpg Keiko Munechika, CEO, HighRI Optics, Inc. and the co-founder of Daisuki Coaching. Being a scientist herself, she is passionate about supporting women/men in the tech/science field to move forward in their careers. She firmly believes that success is 80% psychology and 20% mechanics. For that reason, she works on her clients' mindset as she helps them go from where they are to where they want to be. Keiko holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry and also a Chief Executive Officer of a technology company (HighRI Optics, Inc) in the San Francisco/Bay Area. She brings in the on-the-field experience of leadership and management into her coaching. Her private clients include individuals in medicine, science, and technology.

Co-Moderator: Lori Pressley-Mitchell created Black Women in Technology (BWiT) as a Meetup group late in 2014, as somewhat of a social experiment. New to Los Angeles and a self-described tech enthusiast, she attended technology events around the city and noticed most of the events were not well attended by Black Women. Her goal was to provide a space for African-American women to develop relationships, opportunities to network, professional development, and technical know-how. Black Women in Technology LA is now recognized as a non-profit organization. Lori has been in technology since 1996, working at that time as a system administrator and a Respiratory Therapist. She graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems.

Co-Moderator: Samantha Scully is the founder of Sam Scully Staffing Inc. (SSS). Sam Scully Staffing is an information technology and professional technical training firm based in Los Angeles. Sam recruits and staff's IT talent to corporate partners. SSS finds professionals in-demand skills jobs by locating STEM-talent from various pipelines. Sam and her team create alliances with individuals and partnerships within public sector clients, the City of LA, and Los Angeles International Airport.