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February 15, 2024

An Interview with Greg Greenlee — Founder of Blacks in Technology

By Lottie Williams

As we commemorate Black History Month, it’s crucial to honor the profound impact of Black individuals on various industries, including the dynamic realm of technology. One organization at the forefront of championing diversity and inclusion in tech is Blacks in Technology (BIT). In this blog post, we delve into an insightful interview with Greg Greenlee, the founder of BIT, shedding light on his journey, the challenges faced by Black professionals in tech, and the vision driving BIT’s impactful initiatives.

From Commodore 16 to Championing Diversity: Greg Greenlee’s Tech Odyssey

Greg’s voyage into the world of technology spans over two decades, ignited by an early fascination with computers and nurtured by his father’s encouragement. Despite humble beginnings with a Commodore 16, Greg’s passion for technology continued to flourish, guiding him through diverse roles in the tech landscape, from helpdesk support to his current position as a Senior DevOps Engineer.

Birthing a Movement

Greg’s inspiration to establish Blacks in Technology (BIT) stemmed from his observations at tech conferences, where he noticed a stark lack of Black representation. Determined to address this disparity, Greg envisioned a platform where Black individuals could connect, collaborate, and access resources to thrive in the tech industry. Thus, BIT was born, initially as an online community focused on visibility, support, and empowerment has blossomed into a global movement boasting over 30,000 members across 80 chapters. Today, BIT stands as a beacon of hope, offering essential resources like:

  • Free or low-cost training: Equipping aspiring technologists with the skills they need to excel.
  • Mentorship and career guidance: Bridging the gap between ambition and opportunity.
  • Networking opportunities: Fostering connections and building a supportive community.

Breaking Down Barriers, Building an Inclusive Future

Greg remains optimistic about the power of awareness, representation, and community support in overcoming obstacles faced by Black professionals. Through BIT, Greg and his team strive to dismantle the barriers hindering Black professionals’ entry and advancement in tech, including:

  • Limited access to education and resources: Providing scholarships and targeted outreach programs to bridge the gap.
  • Systemic racism and unconscious bias: Advocating for fair recruitment practices and inclusive workplace cultures.
  • Lack of mentorship and role models: Offering mentorship programs and showcasing diverse success stories.

Beyond BIT

While BIT is dedicated to driving diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives within the tech industry, Greg emphasizes that the ultimate goal is for organizations like BIT to no longer be necessary. BIT aims to cultivate a future where diversity and inclusion are intrinsic to every facet of the tech sector, where individuals from all backgrounds have equal opportunities to thrive and succeed.

Constant Learning and New Perspectives

At ALTA IT Services, we recognize the importance of constantly learning from diverse perspectives and experiences. Greg’s journey with BIT underscores the invaluable insights gained from embracing diversity and fostering inclusion in tech. As we celebrate Black History Month and honor the contributions of Black leaders like Greg, let us recommit ourselves to creating a more equitable and inclusive tech landscape, where innovation thrives, and everyone has a seat at the table.

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