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Debra Lee Considering Launching a Tech Fund to Black Women of Color

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The former BET chairman hinted that she and others are talking about creating a fund that would support women of color in tech.

At the Upfront Summit in Pasadena, CA Debra Lee acknowledged a new IPO diversity initiative announced by Goldman Sachs that beginning in July, it won’t take public any company that doesn’t have at least one “diverse” board member, with a particular focus on women.

“I mean, we’ve been talking about this for so long that I understand why they did it,” said Lee. “I think [both initiatives] are a good thing, because the companies aren’t going to do it.”

Lee then went to discuss her annual conference, where she brings together powerful women of color.  She said she pairs up women who know each other and who nominate other women, which transformed“into something much more important than I ever thought.”  That’s when she suggested that she and others of her powerful friends are talking currently about creating a fund that would support women of color in tech.

Debra Lee also oversaw the launch of the first network for black women (BET Her).  In May 2018, after spending more than 30 years at BET Networks, Debra Lee stepped down as chairman and CEO, following a series of reorganizations within Viacom cable networks.


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