Vera Baker

Small Business Stories

From The Hustle
 

 

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In her job on the editorial team at Viva Tech — a Paris-based tech conference that describes itself as the largest in Europe — Vera Baker scours the news for speakers to invite.

But when the conference comes around each June, Baker has noticed a glaring pattern. “The one thing I see always is that there are not a lot of people of color in these rooms,” she said.

Fast forward to this past April. Baker was on furlough from Viva Tech, and she hit on an idea. All that tech news she was reading? She could spin it into a newsletter for women of color founders, to increase access to major conferences.

Baker sent out her first batch of For Colored Girls Who Tech to 100 friends and colleagues on April 21, and she’s since upped her subscriber count to 1k+. Especially during the pandemic, her work feels pressing.

“We see the numbers that say women in tech are more likely to be laid off,” she said. “Statistics are even worse for women of color.” One reason: Women, especially women of color, tend to have less seniority than men in general, she says.

Baker’s resources for entrepreneurs of color:

“I’m a big advocate for applying to incubators, accelerators, and other startup programs that help founders flush out their ideas and connect with investors,” Baker said. Say, the Y Combinators of the world.

But she also has a few other suggestions:

  • Future VC is working to diversify the VC space.
  • AfroTech is a media and events company geared toward black tech workers.
  • AfroBytes hosts events in NY, SF, Hong Kong, Nairobi, and other cities to connect the world to the African tech landscape.

How to support Baker: Subscribe to For Colored Girls Who Tech.

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