“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” – Wayne Dyer
My name is Elaine, and I am the founder of 5xminority, a company, and social media brand dedicated to empowering women and minorities, especially in tech. I am also the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for US School Assessment at Pearson, a Forbes Technology Council member, and contributor, a TEDx Speaker, and an AMA Women’s Leadership Center presenter. I am an accomplished senior executive with over two decades of IT leadership in education. I am skilled in Educational Technology, IT Strategy, Management, System Deployment, and Project Portfolio Management. I’ve been recognized for staff professional development, change leadership, and talent for communicating with diverse groups of people.
As a Latina immigrant, I’ve experienced first-hand the barriers that prevent many talented individuals from reaching their full potential in the tech industry. I’ve walked the path laden with discrimination, biases, and inequities. But I’ve also witnessed the immense potential that lies within every individual, waiting to be unleashed.
In my long journey in the tech industry, I’ve seen the magic that diversity can bring to innovation and business success. But I’ve also witnessed the stagnation that stems from the absence of it. From my experiences battling systemic inequities, I understand that diversity isn’t merely a box to check off. It’s a strategic necessity, a powerhouse of innovation, and a call to shatter the status quo.
That understanding sparked the creation of 5xminority. My passion project, my mission. A platform that empowers underrepresented groups to break barriers and rewrite the narrative in tech. We champion diversity, promote inclusivity, and fiercely advocate for equity. It’s not just about creating a safe space for people to express themselves freely; it’s about harnessing diverse perspectives to drive technological innovation.
But beyond diversity and innovation, my journey has taught me another crucial lesson – the importance of psychological safety. Our minds are our most significant assets, yet they are often overlooked. By promoting psychological safety, we pave the way for creativity, collaboration, and productivity. We transform workplaces into breeding grounds for innovation and success.
As we venture into a future shaped by generative AI, we need to lean on our ‘soft’ skills more than ever. Empathy, emotional intelligence, and effective communication will be the defining traits of successful leaders. Because, at the end of the day, businesses are about people – the ones who create, innovate, and propel us forward.
Through my writing, speaking, and coaching, I aim to inspire and equip leaders with the tools to foster diverse, inclusive, and psychologically safe spaces. I also strive to mentor women in tech, fostering confidence and helping them navigate their unique challenges.
My story is one of resilience, determination, and an unwavering belief in the power of diversity. But it’s not just my story; it’s the story of countless others who have faced and continue to face the hurdles I did. And together, we’re striving to rewrite the narrative, one step at a time.
I invite you to join me on this journey. Let’s innovate, disrupt, and lead with empathy. Together, we can create a tech industry that mirrors the diversity of the world it serves.
– Elaine Montilla, Founder