Did I face huge obstacles? Yes. But some of the things I experienced, along with my continued contact with other minority employees, helped me find a way that I can give back, and perhaps be part of a solution to the diversity problem in Silicon Valley.
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Sacramento, CA (PRWEB) April 26, 2016
Recently, the CEO of Intel revealed that his leadership team has received threats (Yahoo News, April 24, 2016) for his company’s efforts to create a more diverse workplace. Earlier this year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reprimanded his employees for defacing “Black Lives Matter” on the walls of the Facebook campus.
It’s been no secret of late that the technology industry needs more minorities. Intel, for example, put its money where its mouth is by investing $300 million in diversity recruiting efforts just last year. But when those minorities enter the technology workplace, what will they encounter?
According to career advisor Damon Smith, these recent reports lend proof that work like his is desperately needed in the tech industry, as minority tech employees are unknowingly entering a hostile workplace.
“It’s always been well know among the minority employees that the workplace can be quite hostile to people of different cultures. But now the media is picking up on it,” says Smith. “Some minorities have coworkers within their culture group to help them navigate the challenges they face. But many, especially African Americans and Hispanics, have largely had to do it alone. What I’ve seen is that it takes a toll on their careers, their health, and ultimately, their success in the industry.”
Despite these observations, Smith claims his 18-year career at Intel was a valuable learning experience.
“There were some good people there of all cultures and races, and plenty of perks to working for the company. In fact, when I left, I’d recently been promoted and my career was moving along quite well,” he says. “Did I face huge obstacles? Yes. But some of the things I experienced, along with my continued contact with other minority employees, helped me find a way that I can give back, and perhaps be part of a solution to the diversity problem in Silicon Valley.”
Smith’s dynamic background includes not only his career in technology, but also two professional sports, football and motocross. He grew up in the most diverse region of California, the Bay Area, when the technology industry was just beginning to explode, and is a second generation employee of Silicon Valley based tech corporations.
Smith’s company, Souletics, produces its own socially responsible technology, and earlier this year released a career development app titled "Game of Choices II,” which ranks #1 for career games in the iTunes app store. He offers peak performance training, mentorship, diversity coaching, and personal development programs, tailored for both individuals and corporations. He has spoken internationally on topics of diversity and cultural bullying in the workplace. He mentors professionals ranging from elite athletes to entrepreneurs.
Formed in 2011, Souletics® creates socially responsible technology centered around developing a winning mindset, healthy living, peak performance and mentoring programs. In addition to mobile apps, the company offers corporate training programs, individual mentoring, books, videos, a health and wellness blog (http://www.SouleticsResourceCenter.com), and a 40-day transformation program, available on its website http://www.SOULPOWER.ACADEMY