Founded by a group of impassioned CIOs and technology leaders, TechPACT makes commitments to address inequality within the technology space. Founders pledge to reduce the digital divide and pursue representative diversity across race, gender, age and more by the end of the decade.
For years, minorities have been underrepresented in the tech industry. TechPACT founders and members are working to establish a precedent that everyone has equal opportunity for success. Not only is the non-profit committed to reducing the digital divide, it’s also about supporting members withing the technology community and mentoring those seeking careers within the information technology space, so they have the ability to navigate potential opportunities in their futures.
Michael Smith, CIO for The Estée Lauder Companies, founded the organization after realizing the low numbers of minority representation cross C-level technology roles. “The numbers speak for themselves. Clearly opportunities to pursue a career in technology have not been available to everyone.” Smith decided to take action and create change. After reaching out to others in his network of CIOs and passionate technology leaders, the TechPACT framework was formed. “It was from the efforts and thought leadership of this initial leadership group that the mission, vision and approach for TechPACT was created and we began building the organization and board that could affect change.”
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TechPACT plans on providing support and resources from closing the digital divide in youth education with ongoing skills training, access to technology, job access, career mentoring and professional development for rising leaders. The organization plans to achieve their mission through both the individual and collective efforts of their members. Members are asked to take the “TechPACT Pledge,” a personal promise and statement that commits individuals to be accountable to help reduce the digital divide and increase representation. “If every member takes the pledge seriously, shares the mission and remains accountable for it, the TechPACT impact can reach and impact thousands of companies, touching and changing the lives of millions around the globe,” Smith says.
Including Smith, the TechPACT board and founding members include: Earl Newsome, CIO Cummings Inc.; Larry Quinlan, CIO, Deloitte; Janet Sherlock, CIO Ralph Lauren; Frank Florian, Sr. Manager Accounting Solutions, Hershey; Seth Carpien, Director, Novant Health; Bertina Ceccarelli, CEO, NPower; Denise Flemming, VP/CIO, Boeing; Dean Del Vecchio, EVP, CIO and Chief of Operations, Guardian Life; Magunth Vaithylingam, CIO, College of Southern Nevada; Raki McGregor, VP New Business Growth, Novant Health; Pawan Verma, EVP/ Global CIO, MetLife.