Welcome to Episode 4 of Adweek’s new diversity and inclusion podcast, D&I TBD. This week, Streamlytics CEO Angela Benton joins us to discuss diversifying artificial intelligence, data brokerage and more.
Benton’s company recently introduced Clture, a data-ownership app for the black community that helps people monetize their digital footprint. But before founding Streamlytics in 2018—Insecure’s Issa Rae is an investment partner—Benton was already well-known as the founder of NewME, Silicon Valley’s first accelerator for minority tech entrepreneurs that helped raise over $47 million in capital.
On the pod, Benton riffs on how the latest diversity scandal at Google shows how the tech industry sometimes takes a step backward, as well as forward, in its slow march to inclusion. She also speaks frankly about NewME’s own experience with Google—which, she says, quickly degraded after a staffing change at the digital giant.
“When I got started in tech, I had the opportunity of having a lot of internal champions at many of these big tech companies,” Benton says. “Whether you’re trying to get hired or get funded … a lot of times, it’s the internal champions that are leading the way. And if those people are not from diverse backgrounds, it can really impact businesses in visible, but also detrimental, ways.”