When the Reboot Representation Tech Coalition was formed in late 2018, our goal was to harness the philanthropic power of leading tech companies to support an increase in the number of Black, Latinx, and Native American women earning computing degrees. To achieve what we set out to do, we knew we would need a visionary leader at the helm.
As we established the Coalition’s foundation, the Reboot team embarked on a thoughtful and intentional search for a collaborative, compelling, one-of-a-kind executive to build and lead Reboot – a credible thought leader with lived experience of the challenges Reboot sought to address, a seasoned industry veteran who could collaborate as a peer with tech companies coming together to create systemic change, and a passionate advocate for equity and opportunity. We knew that not many candidates could meet this high bar — but one did.
We are thrilled to introduce Dwana Franklin-Davis as Reboot’s inaugural CEO. In her role, she’ll guide our Coalition towards investments in an equitable tech industry that embraces underrepresented women of color, in computing fields and beyond. We knew when we met her that Dwana had what it takes to lead Reboot, but we weren’t the only ones. Our inaugural board chair and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Dell Technologies, Brian Reaves said that “Dwana is an excellent addition to the team. As a technologist and Black woman herself, Dwana’s experiences and perspectives will be invaluable as we work collaboratively across the industry to change the narrative of diversity in tech.”
The current state of representation in tech is unacceptable and must be solved; here’s what makes Dwana the perfect person for the job:
A demonstrated track record of senior leadership. Dwana is someone you want on your team. Throughout her career, she has proven an effective, strategic leader skilled at navigating towards a shared outcome. Dwana is joining Reboot after 13 years at Mastercard, where she contributed to innovative, leading-edge efforts as a senior software engineer and as a project lead before ascending to senior leadership roles. She spent five and a half years in Vice President positions and has brought immense value as a leader, mentor, decision maker, and team member.
Lived experience in the very fields we aim to impact. As an underrepresented woman of color who has spent her entire career in technical environments, Dwana exemplifies the idea that exposure and opportunity can make a difference. She studied computer science in college. She worked for years as a software engineer. She took on management roles where she oversaw infrastructure, security, data, and quality assurance. Her resume showed us that Dwana really, deeply knows what a technical career entails — and that she will fight for others to have the same opportunity. From college to career, Dwana has seen firsthand the specific barriers facing underrepresented women of color — challenges that are often forgotten and must be accounted for specifically. We think she’s better equipped than anyone to move past problems and towards solutions.
A clear commitment to supporting underrepresented people of color in corporate, technical environments. Dwana’s passion for creating diverse and inclusive environments isn’t just personal — she’s taken action to support representation in the workplace. Throughout college, graduate school, and her career, Dwana has helped countless young people find their paths. Dwana was a founding member of MasterCard’s Leveraging Employees of African Descent (LEAD) Business Resource Group and served on its steering committee from 2008 to 2011. She also acted as the St. Louis Chapter President for the Black Data Processing Associates, which is focused on enabling the upward mobility of African Americans and other underrepresented groups in technology fields, for nearly two years. Her dedication to diversity and representation in tech shines through.
We’re so excited to have her on board. Please join us in welcoming Dwana to the team. To read more from her on why she’s excited about this initiative, check out her recent piece on Evoke or find her bio here.