"This frank, spirited guide spotlights a thoughtful leader who embraces social responsibility." — Kirkus
With witty humor and a strong sense of self, musician, model, and technology executive Shavone Charles recounts her journey through Google, Twitter, and more – and outlines her mission to make space for herself and other young women of color both online and IRL.
Pocket Change Collective was born out of a need for space. Space to think. Space to connect. Space to be yourself. And this is your invitation to join us. This is a series of small books with big ideas from today's leading activists and artists.
"The right balance of curiosity and good old nerve has always pushed me toward good directions in my life. During the darkest, most discouraging times, I can lean on those two parts of me." In this installment of the Pocket Change Collective, musician and technology phenom Shavone Charles explores how curiosity and nerve led her from a small college in Merced, California, to some of the most influential spaces in the tech world: from Google to Twitter to eventually landing a spot on the coveted Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Grateful for being the first in many spaces, but passionate about being neither the last nor the only, Charles tells her story in the hopes of guiding others and shaping a future where people, particularly women of color, feel empowered to make space for themselves and challenge society’s status quos.
Activist, entrepreneur, and technology executive Charles delivers an empowering account of her journey as a Black woman in tech in this insightful nonfiction volume, part of the Pocket Change Collective series. While emerging technological media conglomerates, such as Google and Facebook, were attractive opportunities to young tech-literate students around 2007, 16-year-old San Diego native Charles felt "an overwhelming sense of anxiety" at the lack of Black representation ("It was hard to fathom the idea of seeing... a person like me, working at a place like Google"). Nevertheless, her parents encouraged her to pursue a career in tech. During an internship at then-startup Twitter, Charles finds community in her Black coworkers, then, in an effort to bolster support for people of color in the office, founds Blackbirds, the company's first resource group for Black employees. Via an assured voice, Charles chronicles her experiences with keen perceptions on corporations' lack of diversity and the effect that has on marginalized professionals. While detailing her struggles, including feeling like she doesn't fit in with her peers and contending with little mentorship, she encourages readers to "break down the doors and institutional ceilings" standing in their way. Ages 12–up.