Today on SYCK, I’m interviewing long-time Googler, Fabian Elliott, who has ten years of tech experience and who has leveraged data to further social justice education and change through his company Black Tech Mecca.
He is opening up about his wild ride at Google, his entrepreneurial mindset and learning the balance of work and family.
Fabian speaks about his experience with diversity at Google and his role in revitalizing Google’s black employee group.
He also speaks to the difficulties and rewards in leading social equity conversations at the height of racial tensions in 2020.
Fabian and I talk about the actions we can take to increase diversity in our own companies and how to grow your professional network in both quantity and quality.
In This Episode:
[04:34] Fabian’s entrepreneurial and professional background
[11:20] Alternative career interests
[25:19] Diversity at Google and creating Black Tech Mecca
[33:58] Google’s response to racial issues and Fabian’s experience
[39:13] What actions can individuals take to increase diversity in their circles and companies
[45:00] How to grow your network in quality and quantity
[52:00] Best career advice and book recommendations
Fabian created Black Tech Mecca out of a desire to use data for social change. It started as a company survey and expanded to include cities and communities as a way to use data to inform better programming and resources for underrepresented and underserved groups.
Companies need to be aware and provide support for their leaders who are working to make social and racial justice progress. It is extremely taxing and if there isn’t adequate support from top leadership, it can lead to burnout.
Don't necessarily chase a particular title or role. Instead focus on what problems you're passionate about solving. Always maximize your options and don’t limit your potential by your decision making.
Fabian Elliott is the past President and Chief Executive Officer of Black Tech Mecca, Inc. and currently a Customer Experience Lead at Google Cloud Africa. Black Tech Mecca helps cities assess racial equity in the local tech sector and surface fresh insights that accelerate measurable growth. BTM developed a proprietary SMART BTE City Assessment Framework consisting of 39 key indicators and 120 metrics spanning K-12, Higher Education, Corporate, and Entrepreneurship pillars which has been deployed in three major cities funded by Google, NBC-Comcast, and the Knight Foundation. In his role at Google Cloud, Fabian helps bring the best of Google Cloud to their largest African customers on their Digital Transformation journeys.
Prior to launching BTM, Fabian led the revamp, revitalization, and rebrand of Google’s black employee group in which he completed his term as inaugural appointed Global Co-Chair back in 2015. In this role, Fabian co-chaired the 10-person leadership team responsible for the 700+ membership across the company and the 14 chapters spanning the globe including London, Dublin, and Sao Paulo.
Fabian is recognized by Builtin Chicago as one of the Top 50 Tech Influencers to follow, 2016 Porsche Power 30 Under 30 in Technology, Chicago Defender 2017 Newsmaker Award – Technology, 2017 Black Enterprise Modern Man 100, and 2019 Museum of Science and Industry Black Creativity Innovator. His work with Black Tech Mecca has been featured in Ebony, Black Enterprise, The Chicago Tribune, Comcast Newsmakers and other media outlets.