Meet Amy Schapiro, the Silicon Valley activist helping Google transform the future of the tech industry.
Where and how did your journey into Technology start?
I grew up near Silicon Valley, and there are home videos of me at 3 years old using software to learn the ABC’s on my family’s clunky desktop. However, I didn’t start working in technology until 2008, working for a website for youth activists and running a digital community organizing campaign in partnership with a Nike corporate responsibility initiative. After the economic downturn of 2009, I moved to New York to earn a Master’s of Science in Social Work at Columbia University. It was after grad school that I was recruited by CODE2040’s CEO to be the organization’s first hire and build what has become one of the more innovative and successful organizations to diversify the tech industry, concentrating on building strong pathways for talented Black and Latinx technologists to succeed in tech. I stepped down from that role in 2014, and have been now contracting at Google since mid-2015, co-leading Women Techmakers, Google’s global program to support women in technology by providing visibility, community, and resources.Amy Schapiro
What challenges/obstacles have you encountered on your journey, and how have you overcome them?
Asking hard questions, building strong relationships, and taking calculated risks have enabled me to overcome challenges and innovate while often operating in ambiguity. To achieve my goals of building CODE2040 into a successful tech non-profit as well as building scalable initiatives such as the Women Techmakers Membership program in my current role at Google, it has been critical for me to cultivate a learning mindset. In both roles, my learning curve has been steep and I’ve learned to be very resourceful as I have needed to quickly learn best practices for elements of my roles that require highly technical expertise. The strategies that have been most helpful for me have been to establish relationships with subject-matter experts, study relevant data and trends, and ask a lot of questions.Amy Schapiro
What birthed your passion for diversity?
I have always valued cultivating a community of people who come from a variety of life experiences, and I have a passion for advocating for marginalized communities. My education and work over the years in cities across the U.S. and across the world have opened my eyes to the innovative impact made possible by bringing together people from different backgrounds. I have enjoyed proactively addressing the obstacles and barriers that exist along the educational and professional trajectory to create sustainable life-altering change on an individual and industry level.Amy Schapiro