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Eliminating Barriers to Entry: Building an Equitable and Inclusive Tech Workforce

Cynthia Villarreal July 6, 2022

The mass adoption of technology during the pandemic accelerated the already growing need for skilled technologists. The tech industry is uniquely positioned with quality, high-growth, high-wage jobs that can transform the lives of some of the most vulnerable people nationwide. While Big Tech has historically gated diverse candidates out of opportunities, the future must be met with inclusive and equitable approaches to tech workforce development if it is going to continue to scale and innovate. 

This session will discuss the most common barriers that keep capable but underestimated people from success (transportation, bills, healthcare, and/or childcare) and the strategies that have successfully transformed thousands of lives via paid apprenticeships.


Fireside Chat (3 speakers maximum)

Meta Themes

  • Reimagine Systems

  • Deliver Equity and Inclusion


Economic Development; Economic Recovery; Technology; Tech Workforce; Tech apprenticeships; Tech Workforce Development

Purpose and Desired Outcome

Purpose: Demonstrate key workforce development strategies implemented nationwide in targeted demographics of underrepresented people groups that positively impact long-term career opportunities and earnings potential. Desired outcome: Motivate entities across sectors to invest into communities and people coming from stories of poverty or stories of exclusion either directly or through third-party partnerships.


  • Allocators (Family Offices, HNW Individuals, Foundations)

  • Corporate & SME

  • Government

  • Service Providers

  • Accelerators & Incubators


  • NameJake Soberal
  • TitleCo-CEO & Co-Founder
  • OrganizationBitwise Industries
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameIrma Olguin Jr.
  • TitleCo-CEO & Co-Founder
  • OrganizationBitwise Industries
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameJonathan Holifield
  • TitleSVP of New Economies
  • OrganizationBitwise Industries
  • StatusConfirmed
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