Dropbox’s global head of diversity to deliver keynote at Inspirefest

30 Mar 2016

Judith Williams, head of diversity, Dropbox. Photo: Connor McKenna

Judith Williams, global head of diversity at Dropbox, will be one of the most eagerly-anticipated speakers at Inspirefest in Dublin this summer.

Originally an entrepreneur in her own right, as well as a college professor, Williams came to Dropbox from Google, where she directed diversity programmes like the unconscious bias work stream, and built strategies for the recruitment, retention and advancement of Google’s technical employees.

As a professor, her research focused on the construction of racial identity in theatre and popular culture in the US and Brazil, and she conducted archival and ethnographic research in Latin America and the US. With a primary degree from Harvard, and a master’s and PhD degree from Stanford University, Williams has a deep interest in all aspects of difference and inclusion, and brings that passion to her new position at Dropbox.

We caught up with her on her first trip to Dublin in her new role, and chatted about what diversity means to her and to her team at Dropbox, and how it is key for innovation.

“Of course, gender matters. It matters a lot,” she said. “But when we think about diversity, we think about the similarities and differences that we all bring to the workplace.

“We think about our inherent diversity, the things we were born with – where I was born, my gender, my ethnicity – but then along our journey we all pick up acquired diversity – our experiences, our education and things we have been exposed to – and it’s really important we have both, because when we have both that’s really when we get the creative abrasion that leads to innovation.”

You can watch the full video interview below:

Dropbox is also a headline sponsor of Inspirefest 2016.

“Inspirefest assembles such a dynamic collection of speakers, and changes the conversation in tech. It shows how inclusion actually drives innovation, and we want to make sure that we are part of it,” said Williams. “We’re honored to have the opportunity to engage with the Inspirefest community and together drive change in the industry.”

Judith Williams will be a keynote speaker at Inspirefest 2016, Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM. Join us from 30 June to 2 July 2016 for fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity. Get your tickets now.

Ann O’Dea is the CEO and co-founder of Silicon Republic and the founder of Future Human