October 11, 2021

Today I have something different for you. Last spring, I recorded a conversation for the virtual South by Southwest conference with Cleve Mesidor. Cleve founded the National Policy Network of Women of Color in Blockchain, among other roles. SX had us to talk about the lack of diversity in the tech sector, and what to do about it. We had a great conversation, and we got permission to share it with you as a podcast.

As I said to Cleve, if you had asked me to predict, at the start of my career, whether racial and gender diversity would still be a major challenge in 2021, I would have said no. I would have thought that by now, certainly there would still be vestigial discrimination, but that for the most part, men and women of all races and ethnities would be distributed throughout the workplace, at all levels. Certainly there’s been progress in these decades, but that vision spectacularly has not materialized. 

I think I also would have predicted that young industries, like tech, would just  “grow up” diverse. And that, too, would have been spectacularly wrong. 

Cleve has thought about and worked with this issue for years, and in our conversation she shares insights, advice, and models.

In addition, as her role suggests, she has also worked in and thought about crypto and blockchain for years. I know you’ll be fascinated to hear her thoughts.

Please also note that she is the author of the book, “My Quest for Justice in Politics & Crypto.” 

More on Cleve

Cleve Mesidor leads the National Policy Network of Women of Color in Blockchain and is an Advisor to the Blockchain Association. Recently OneUnited Bank, America’s largest Black-owned bank, recognized Cleve as a member of the “Black Crypto League.” Mayor Muriel Bowser has appointed her to the DC Innovation and Technology Inclusion Council. A Washington insider, Cleve previously served as an Obama Presidential Appointee, a senior staffer in Congress, and in the leadership of national political campaigns. She hosts the annual Congressional Briefing of Women of Color in Blockchain in the nation’s Capitol. Cleve is a Howard University alumna and author of “THE CLEVOLUTION: My Quest for Justice in Politics & Crypto.”

More for our Listeners

Please follow AIR on LinkedIn and Twitter, and also please follow me personally on Twitter @JoAnnBarefoot. And be sure to leave us a five-star rating on your favorite podcast platform.

AIR is hiring! We need a global head of marketing and communications, as well as a project manager for our TechSprints. Come to www.regulationinnovation.org/join-air.

We are very excited about a podcast coming up this fall with the Netherlands’ Queen Maxima, who is the UN’s Global Advocate for Financial Inclusion. We’re also going to do a fascinating show on AI and fairness with Lisa Rice of the National Fair Housing Alliance and Kareem Saleh, CEO of FairPlay. And we have some fun surprises coming soon.

AND….here’s one to look forward to. Nick Cook has joined our team at AIR, as Head of Global Strategy and Partnerships. Nick previously led innovation at the UK Financial Conduct Authority and is one of the world’s most highly regarded leaders on regulatory innovation. He’s been on the show, I think, 3 times before, and we’re soon going to do a special show on his insights about modernizing financial regulation.

By popular demand, I’m also recording our whitepaper, the Regtech Manifesto, as a podcast. Recording it takes time, but coming soon!

It’s not too late to register for my presentation at the FDIC’s great fall conference — I’ll speak about Banking on Data: Great Possibilities, Great Responsibilities! I’ll also be speaking at SCxSC 21, with the securities regulatory commission in Malaysia. And I’ll see many of you in person at Money 2020, where I’ll have a lively discussion with Hummingbird CEO Matt Van Buskirk and with Brian Brooks. Brian, of course, is the former acting Comptroller of the Currency and was, briefly this year, CEO of Binance US. We’re going to try to figure out regulation and cryptocurrency.

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