Netta Jenkins and Jacinta Mathis, founders of Dipper
Since the evolution of technology, leading tech industry entrepreneurs of color have been fighting for more inclusivity and equity in the white, male-dominant field. Netta Jenkins and Jacinta Mathis, co-founders of Dipper, have made it there mission to put Black women and other people of color on the STEM map by creating a tech hub that gives people of color a voice in the workplace.
Netta and her partner Jacinta Mathis have proven track records of business & inclusion and marketing & product, respectively. “When I think of Dipper, I immediately think about the stars in the sky and opportunity,” Netta said. “I think about my immigrant parents from Liberia that looked up in the sky at that beautiful Dipper and dreamed about coming to America.”
Not only is the app innovative, it also has a sophisticated interface that extends beyond the normal function of a chatroom, it’s a forum where you are prompted with thought-provoking questions to encourage honest work stories within the Black and brown community. We spoke with the co-founder to learn more about what prompted the dynamic duo to develop Dipper, the importance of diversity in STEM, and advice they’d give to other entrepreneurs of color. Continue reading to learn more about these powerful women in tech.
Netta (N): We wanted to create a similar digital safe place to the one we had created for each other in the actual workplace. We want to share the resources and knowledge of D&I leaders and those that have come before us. We also strive to continue the legacy of change and work towards equitable solutions.
N: Reaching for diversity in every industry is at the core of Dipper. We personally chose careers in STEM because we recognized, early on, the power that innovative technology has to bring change to the world. This power of technology is why we decided to utilize technology as a tool to reach people of color and empower companies to create more equitable and inclusive workplaces.
N: It is always best to start as a scientist of your own career. Find your community through places like Dipper and share with others—listen, learn, experiment. Do not let minimal experience in tech keep you from going after opportunities in the field. If you continuously find that you do not have the skills for the roles you are most interested in, work to develop these new skills by utilizing classes or workshops.
N: The future of Dipper is to create a global platform for people of color and companies. There is so much work that needs to be done and we need a digital meeting place to collaborate, learn, and take action. Dipper is here for it.