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Celebrating the Impact of DE&I in Tech

April is “Celebrate Diversity Month” and the perfect time to honor and appreciate the diversity of traditions, backgrounds, and cultures that surround us. During this month each year, we come together to celebrate the unique perspectives of others, learn about each other’s different lifestyles, and improve our understanding of each other. 

In honor of “Celebrate Diversity Month,” we’re hearing from professionals who are helping pave the way for greater diversity and equity in technology. In this inspiring panel, we covered a variety of topics, including how our panelists began their tech careers, the significance of DE&I in the tech industry, and overcoming societal challenges as tech professionals.

Watch the full panel on-demand and learn more about our panelists below.

About the panelists

Jesse Cooper, Sourcing Advisor & Enterprise Sales Sourcing Recruiter Team Lead at Salesforce (he/him/his)

Jesse Cooper has been at Salesforce since October of 2018, and has loved the ride since day one! With over 10 years in the software sales recruiting industry, Jesse started as a Senior Sourcing Recruiter at Salesforce and was promoted twice in August 2020 as a Sourcing Advisor and East Coast Sourcing Team Lead.

Originally from Madawaska, Maine, one of the four corners of the US, Jesse is a huge fan and lives out his life focused on equality and equity as an out, Bi-racial Gay Cisgendered man. In addition, Jesse made the plunge into becoming the new President of Salesforce’s Interfaith Employee Resource Group, Faithforce, in May 2019. Faithforce is the Interfaith employee resource group at Salesforce focused on celebrating, supporting, and fostering understanding of our global faith and spiritual diversity through inclusive and educational events and initiatives. The group champions faith diversity and inclusion, interfaith and intersectional collaboration, and allyship across the company. Jesse is also on the Board of Directors at Knock Knock Give A Sock, a strong nonprofit with a goal to humanize homelessness one sock at a time, by turning transactions of sock donations into meaningful interactions where neighbors can get to know one another.

Outside of work, Jesse is an avid reader, traveler and appreciates experiences over objects, has been hitting the gym since 16, loves gaming (PS4 – soon to be PS5), the beach, warm weather, swimming, reading, going to the movies, and hanging out with close friends.

Connect with Jesse: LinkedIn, Twitter, Website

Briana Yarborough, Co-Founder at CModel, Executive RevOps Leader, Fractional CXO & Advisor, Various Startups and Tech DEI Champion

Briana is a seasoned RevOps Leader, a co-founder of a RevOps solution in development. She serves as an advisor and executive leader for several high-growth start ups where she utilizes her expertise in GTM strategy, SaaS, Supply Chain, Revenue Operations, Strategy, General Operations, Finance, Procurement, and Business Intelligence.

She is an active thought leader of RevOps in multiple revenue communities and as a champion and engaging member for a number of communities created for marginalized groups. She most recently received recognition for being one of the top 25 RevOps Leaders of 2022 by Revenue.io, has been featured in leadership articles sharing her road to RevOps story, and was featured on several podcasts earlier this year.

Outside of work, Briana is married and lives with her wife, a rambunctious toddler, and the cutest Pomeranian you’ve ever seen. She is a resilient leader who values community-building, transparency, empowerment, and innovation who is data-driven, results-oriented, and passionate about DEI/ Intersectionality, research, innovative technologies, people/ relationships, and operational efficiency.

Connect with Briana: LinkedIn, Website 

Aparna Jue, VP of Product at FormAssembly

Passionate about product with an eye for detailed differentiation, Aparna has been in the product management and design space for over 15 years in various leadership capacities exploring, conceptualizing, and managing strategy, product vision, and market roadmaps with an emphasis on differentiated UX.  

As an Engineer by degree, she has had the pleasure of creating and leading global Product Management programs in companies ranging from large-scale enterprises to agile startups all with an innovation and technology mindset.  Prior to joining FormAssembly, Aparna was the product executive for a leading blockchain and cryptocurrency platform.

At home, she spends time with her human family, 3 dogs, and a Sulcata tortoise and enjoys outdoor activities and reading during her downtime.

Connect with Aparna: LinkedIn, Website 

Marisa Hambleton, Founder and CEO, M2HX

Marisa is a Salesforce MVP. Currently, she is the Founder and CEO of MH2X where her focus is delivery leadership for enterprise solutions on and around the Salesforce platform. For over 20 years she’s been tackling complex software projects and helping companies achieve their strategic goals with technology. Marisa is a leader, passionate technologist, entrepreneur, and community organizer who believes “we rise by lifting others”. 

Marisa has been building on the Salesforce platform since 2009 and co-leads the Salesforce Phoenix Developer Group. She founded Cactusforce in 2019, a community conference for Salesforce developers, architects, and configurators where fellow Salesforce experts can meet and share their expertise. 

For relaxation, Marisa reads, writes, and goes camping. She is a wife, mother of 3 children, a grandma to 1 grandson, has 2 cats, fosters 1 dog, and 1 teen. She makes regular trips to her native El Paso, Texas to share the caregiving of her parents and get her chile relleno fix. Marisa is 3x Salesforce Certified and PMP Certified. She earned her Master of Science in Information Management from ASU and her Bachelor of Business Administration in CIS from UTEP.

Connect with Marisa: LinkedIn, Twitter, Website

Beenish Saeed, Director of Operations at Boss Beauties

Beenish is an award-winning speaker, author, and technology evangelist with a mission to ignite human spark and augment human experiences in technology, with inclusion. She loves building and optimizing go-to-market revenue architecture for a variety of areas, including teams, tech stacks, and executive advisories.

Beenish works as the Director of Operations at Boss Beauties, a Web3 empowerment brand helping women and girls design the careers they love, and leads partnerships with household brands such as Marvel, Barbie, Hugo Boss, and others to connect the physical world with the digital.  

She has successfully led high-growth SaaS companies to over $70 million in ARR, worked with the Innocence Project and wrongly convicted individuals, co-authored a data governance book with the British Computer Society, and has led research groups on convergence finance for the African Development Bank. She is happy to be pursuing her lifelong dream to humanize digital transformation in technology. 

Beenish is also the founder of Like Minded Females Network Toronto, where she expanded the community in Canada, on-boarded universities, and grew the national team.

Born and raised in Karachi to Pakistani parents, Beenish has lived and worked in eight cities across Asia, Europe, and America. Through these experiences, she has shaped her global perspective and cultural sensitivity, which motivate her work to make a technological, social, and legal impact. She received her L.L.B with Honours from the University of Sussex, and a Master of Management, Innovation & Entrepreneurship from Queen’s University.

Connect with Beenish: LinkedIn, Website 

Swati Marda, Senior Principal at Slalom

Swati is a Senior Principal at Slalom and has been working as a Salesforce professional for 12+ years with experience in CRM implementations, from global multinational companies to small/medium companies, across multiple industries. Her expertise encompasses requirements gathering, analysis, development, technical design, and enterprise architecture. 

Swati is a part of the leadership team and Women in Tech group at Slalom and is passionate about growing people around her and helping them find their own path. Swati is very proud of the work Slalom does as a company and helping their customers realize their vision.

Connect with Swati: LinkedIn, Website

Join future sessions

To join more FormAssembly webinars, visit our webinars page. Also, be sure to check out our Women in Tech panel for insights from leading women in the tech industry.

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