The role of the Chicago technology community in civic discourse

November 10, 2016

I sent the following messages to the employees of PowerReviews yesterday and so many of them thanked me for sending it that I wanted to share it here as well. I am trying to focus my energy on constructive steps I can take to make a difference. I am posting here on BuiltIn Chicago because as members of the technology community we have tremendous power to set an example, live by our values and as Steve Job's once said "make a dent in the universe"


To All PowerReviews Employees,

Like many of you I am still processing the results of the election last night. Although this was a political event with an unexpected outcome, I want to comment on something larger.

I believe in the power and strength of diversity. I am proud of how PowerReviews, as a small microcosm of the larger world, celebrates diversity. Every time I get to know each of you better I come to appreciate the diversity of your backgrounds, experiences and beliefs. We draw our strength from our different experiences. And our differences are a common bond that make us better. So let me say firmly and proudly, we respect and celebrate everyone regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or country of origin.

Government plays an important role in shaping policy, but it is people and organizations that shape attitudes and behaviors. I want to let you know, that my resolve is to do more; to hire, train, and promote a more and more diverse workforce. This is one of the best ways I can think of making a difference in a country that will be facing a myriad of challenges in the coming years.

I am sad today for all the people that felt so hopeful and optimistic to elect the first woman president. I am sad for the many groups that feel attacked and disrespected. I am sad that the country is divided and politics has become so negative and the conversation lacks genuine debates about policy and values and has devolved to a focus on personality and scandal.

But I have faith in democracy. I have faith in people. I have faith in America that we will find a way to work together.

And I take solace knowing that we as friends and co-workers are where it all both begins and ends. We can build the kind of diverse and respectful organization as a model for other companies and the rest of the society. And that thought makes me hopeful and optimistic.

​"​Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead



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