Aug 18, 2020

The BPTN North American Pandemic and Anti-Racism Task Force

Bizclik Editor
5 min

TORONTO, Aug. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ - On Tuesday Aug 18th, at 6:30 pm EST, BPTN will release data collected from almost 1,300 Black Professionals in the industry across the US and Canada. May 2020, Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN), convened Tech Executives from across North America to create the Black Tech Pandemic and Anti-Racism Task Force. This Task Force, co-chaired by executives from Salesforce, Tableau and TD Bank, built a tailored three-tiered action plan aimed to help reduce the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black Tech in the workplace.

Here are some stats on COVID-19

  • 40% of COVID deaths in the US are from African American communities but this community only makes up 13% of the total US population
  • In Toronto, 21% of reported cases affect Black people, who make up only 9% of the city's overall population
  • Since the start of the pandemic, Montreal districts with higher numbers of Black people and more cramped housing have registered the most cases of COVID-19, according to an analysis by CBC News
  • In Dallas, majority-Black neighborhoods had a potential community need for COVID-19 patient support 46 percent higher than majority-white neighborhoods

Here's what you need to know:

Outcome 1: COVID-19  is having a disproportionate effect on Black Tech and their families.

  1. The impact of this virus is not just on underprivileged Black people: 67.62% of Black Tech professionals have been directly or indirectly affected by this wide-spreading virus. 
  2. Tech companies shouldn't assume Black employees are not impacted, as almost 50% of Black tech workforce has been emotionally, losing family - including children,  work and having to move back home, or live in a multi-generational home and worried about loved ones who work on the frontlines.
  3. Three themes emerged: Tech companies must help "lighten the burden" caused due to the additional cognitive load from COVID-19; Black Tech Professionals are losing loved ones, and financially, Black tech professionals are not only supporting themselves, but due to the disproportionate job loss in the community, they're forced to support their immediate and extended families.

Outcome 2: Tech companies need to act NOW
BPTN engagement with tech companies, its 10,000+ members and data from the task force support the development of "The Table of Elements For a Post-Pandemic Recovery and Elimination of Anti-Black Racism in Tech." This periodic table is a practical tool for the many companies who understand the need to act, but aren't sure where to start. It's a self-assessment tool all tech companies will have access to. It's designed for Thought Leadership, equipped with practical advice that will help Tech companies act in a timely manner.

Outcome 3: BPTN's global campus is an intersectional hub
Tech companies and Black Tech need a place to engage. In 2021, BPTN is set to launch an all-encompassing platform promoting job opportunities, events, networking, mentoring and so much more. Moreover, companies will have access to the aforementioned Periodic Table, resources such as best practices on hiring, retaining and nurturing Black tech, and the chance to meet an abundance of amazing talent from the community.

Members of the Taskforce:

Task Force Co-Chairs

Archana Subramanian, COO and Senior Vice President, Salesforce (San Francisco Bay Area)

Tim Clark, CIO Business Segment Technology, TD (Toronto)

Molly Q Ford, Senior Director, Global Equality Programs, Salesforce (San Francisco Bay Area)

Scott Gibbs, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Industries, Tableau (New Jersey)

Lekan Olawoye, Founder, BPTN (Toronto)

Task Force Executive Members
Imran Khan, President and CEO UGO, Head of Digital Experience, TD (Toronto)

Colleen Ward, Vice President Technology Solutions, TD (Toronto)

Caroline G. Gayle, Managing Director, Canadian Technology Financial Services, Accenture (Toronto)

Margot Goodson, North America Diversity & Inclusion Lead, SAP (Philadelphia)

Paul S. Kearns, AVP, Business Relationship Management, Sun Life (Boston)

Sheri Robinson, Senior Manager -Data and AI Lead, Accenture (Toronto)

Meghan L. Murray, Director of Finance, Triton Digital (Montreal)

David King, Director of Employee Experience, Diversity & Belonging, Shopify (San Francisco)

Tammy Connelly, Talent Acquisition Leader, Shopify (Waterloo)

Alyssa Merwin, VP, North America Sales Solutions, LinkedIn (Washington DC)

Michael Dennis, Partner, KPMG (Montreal)

Andrew Alleyne, Partner, Fasken (Toronto)

Earl Simpkins, Partner, US Strategy Leader, PwC (Dallas)

Jennifer Laidlaw, Inclusion Partnerships, Office of CEO, CIBC (Toronto)

Derek Quashie, Partner US Immigration, PwC Canada (Brampton)

Karen Rodney, Vice President, People, Talent & Vibe, Fiix Software (North York)

Katie Allen, Manager, Sustainability & Social Impact, Fiix Software (Toronto)

Max Bazile, Senior Manager, Deloitte (Brampton)

Allan Porter, Vice President, Infrastructure and Technology Enablement, Sunlife (Toronto)

Rezarta Sherifi, Human Resources Manager, Herjavec Group (Mississauga)

Katherine Isaac, VP, Herjavec Group (Toronto)

Sumit Oberai, SVP, Digital Technology, RBC (Toronto)

Tarisai Madambi, Senior Manager, Management Consulting, KPMG (Toronto)

Sabry Tozin, VP of Engineering, Linkedin (San Francisco)

Kateau James, Managing Director, Global CIO office, Deloitte (Atlanta)

Task Force Advisors
Richard Wiltshire, Head of Customer Success, Sales Solutions, North America, LinkedIn

Adijat Sade Akinsipe, Enterprise Recruitment Lead – QE / Architecture / Innovation & Wealth Management Technology, RBC

Kalsang Tanzin, Regional Manager, Mid Market - LinkedIn Sales Solutions

Greg Butler, Head of Customer Success, Chicago, LinkedInSales Solutions

Media involvement: On Tuesday Aug 18th, at 6:30 pm EST, BPTN will release data collected from almost 1,300 Black Professionals in the industry across the US and Canada via Zoom. All media are welcome to attend by signing up prior the launch event through this registration link.

If you are unable to attend, we are also available for interviews prior to the event. For further information or interview requests please contact [email protected]

Stay connected - Follow BPTN on LinkedIn

About Black Professionals in Tech Network

Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN) is the largest tech network in Canada with over 10,000 members, and in the top three in North America. We bridge the "Network gap" in the tech industry by providing Black tech and business professionals with access to senior executive sponsorship, skill-building and a strong peer network to support professional growth and advancement.  We facilitate exposure for tech companies to hire and promote Black tech talent through pipeline building, internal culture development and becoming an "Employer of Choice."

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