According to the American Express “2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report,” there are just under 4 million African-American women and Latina owned businesses in the U.S. While this is progress, there is room for many more. I am a committed, passionate and relentless advocate for diversity.

When it comes to technology, it will never be as rich and deep as it could be without the creativity and approach to problem solving that a diverse group brings.

Without diversity, especially in the workplace, we can miss out on the next great thing or idea.

The National Science Foundation notes that more women are enrolled in all U.S. undergraduate programs than men are today. Just 18% of women earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering as recently as 2012. This number was even lower for Hispanics (8%) and for blacks (4%). How are we going to fill the emerging 650,000+ technology jobs in 2018 if the talent pool doesn’t reflect the emerging workforce?

As a female minority owner and diverse supplier, I have seen the benefits of what happens when there is not only diversity of race and gender, but diversity of thought as well. How any innovations have been missed because there weren’t employees who reflected the consumer and customer base?

It is part of my mission to be a champion of diversity. In 2017, I have been chosen to be a part of New Jersey’s Governor-Elect, Phil Murphy’s transition team! I am honored and humbled to be a co-chair of the Government Technology and Innovation committee. I look forward to bringing my objective, my voice and my experience to transforming New Jersey’s government to be a more accessible and transparent one!