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Kayla Mann of Adobe discusses the importance of diversity in the tech industry

Kayla Mann (Photo credit: A.R. Shaw)

More than 4,000 techies and inspiring entrepreneurs attended the third annual AfroTech conference in San Francisco. Kayla Mann, a Howard University graduate, went to AfroTech on behalf of Adobe to reach out to potential talent at the conference.

Mann, a talent marketing specialist at Adobe, spoke with rolling out about diversity in the tech industry.

Why was it important for Adobe to be at AfroTech?

We are really excited to be here because it’s important that we have representation. We’re just excited to network with all of this amazing Black talent in the Bay Area and taking advantage to get to know some of these amazing personalities. 

What are your thoughts on diversity in the tech industry?

I’ve had conversations with my coworkers, and we hate when some people say that there is no talent in the pipeline. The talent is there as represented by all of the people that were at AfroTech. We want to shed light on all of the amazing talent. We need to see them represented whether that’s through our Digital Academy program, which takes nontraditional candidates and prepares them for a career in tech. We’re going to teach you what you need to know. We just want you to be passionate about it and then we will get you there every step of the way.

What advice do you have for college students who are seeking to enter the tech industry?

I would say now is the time to learn. Seek out those extra coding classes, and do what you need to do to build up your skills. You already know what you bring to the table; now all you have to do is just capitalize on those languages and make sure you can really speak to what you’re passionate about. Stay focused on those four college years and perfect your craft.  

A.R. Shaw
A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.

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