Bridging Gaps in Tech with Creativity and Flair: Meet Googler Daraiha Greene
Daraiha J. Greene is the Global Manager of External Community Affairs for the Women & Black Community Engagement team at Google. She develops relationships with external organizations, influencers, key opinion formers, as well as media and entertainment executives. She also manages the Digital Coaches Program at Google, which accelerates opportunities for entrepreneurs of color and diverse communities by expanding their access to Google tools.
Daraiha also enjoys her time spent shifting the narrative of computer science (CS) in mainstream media as the Head of Multicultural Engagement for Google’s CS in Media initiative, a role she created to ensure inclusive and intersectional representation of computer scientists on-screen.
Because of her artistic background as a professional dancer and actress, Daraiha began Google’s ‘CS+X’ series, which highlights the intersections between computer science and artistic industries, including music, dance, fashion, sports, and theater. She developed the Google-funded web series, GODCOMPLX, to showcase inclusive portrayals of computer scientists. Daraiha led a partnership with Campus MovieFest to create Infinite Deviation, a platform hosting CS-themed shorts and mobile games targeting various demographics.
Daraiha is the proud founder and CEO of Rays of Sunlight, Inc. (launching soon!), a 501(c)(3) life skills youth organization focused on business leadership, mindfulness, social learning, personal growth, and creative expression.
She is a recipient of the Holiday Soul Inclusion Influencer Award and has been named to Motivation for Black People’s 2018 Power 28 list. Daraiha graduated from Dartmouth College with B.A. degrees in Sociology and Theatre.
Here, she shares more about her work at Google.
How and why did you begin working at Google?
Growing up, I didn’t envision myself working at a place like Google. I did not go to college thinking, “I'm going to work at a tech company.”
I started dancing at 4 years old, and I pursued performing arts and theatre throughout high school and college. I wanted to build a career in the performing arts, but I also wanted to have a technical job first. So, I went to college initially in pre-med. However, I soon realized that medicine was not a good fit. I was changing career paths when Google came to Dartmouth and held a career workshop.
I loved what they had to say about building leadership and development opportunities for diverse communities. I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and try a career in business. I interned at Google during my junior year. I loved the collaboration, innovation, and the people who work at Google. I learned a ton of transferable skills, made lifelong connections, and soaked up all of the resources and wisdom available to me. I ended up receiving a full-time offer, and had the luxury of knowing I had a job at Google during my entire senior year at Dartmouth. It’s crazy to me that it’s already been 6 years!
Can you give an overview of your role and mission at Google?
My mission at Google is to ensure that underrepresented groups, such as people of color, women, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and people with disabilities all have a seat at the tech table. I do this through a few roles at the company, and they work in tandem with one another.
The first is as the Head of Multicultural Engagement for Google’s Computer Science in Media initiative. I get to collaborate with engineers, tech consultants, writers, and producers to pitch storylines to TV shows and create original content, highlighting diverse portrayals in tech and computer science. Our aim is to show that those who work in computer science can belong to any demographic. We also want to show that computer science can be fun and unconventional.
My second role is as Google’s Global Manager of External Community Affairs. I work on our Women and Black Community Engagement team to think strategically about Google’s external partnerships, sponsorship investments, presence at conferences, and speaking engagements, so we can encourage more members of the Black community and women to pursue careers in technology.
My third role consists of managing Google’s Digital Coaches program. I work closely with the current group of Digital Coaches we have supporting major markets in the US. I help them train and empower underrepresented small business owners and entrepreneurs to bridge the digital divide, get their businesses online, and help them grow their profits by leveraging Google's products and resources.
How does your background influence your work?
I have always been tech savvy and really strong in math and science, but I was never exposed to anyone who looked like me – a young Black woman – doing computer science or creating technology.
So, the work I do is actually very personal to me. I am passionate about it because I want to ensure that others like me have the opportunity, access, and resources they need to pursue a career in tech. We should all strive to be the career example that we didn’t have.
Because of my performing arts background, I bring my own flair to the work. For example, I was able to create Google’s ‘CS+X’ series, which highlights the intersections between computer science and industries like theater, fashion, music, dance, and sports. I want to showcase all the cool computer science and technology going on behind the scenes of industries that are more inclusive. I am always looking for innovative ways to bring my whole self and experiences to my job. I am fortunate that Google creates a safe space for me to do so, and I would encourage other companies to do the same.
What's the strategy behind the Digital Coaches program?
We want to ensure that all underrepresented communities, small business owners, and entrepreneurs are represented online.
We are hoping to build better products and promote equity and economic growth for everyone. Our Digital Coaches are committed, and they're on the ground in diverse communities doing impactful work on a daily basis.
We want to make sure that we are proximate and that we are building and maintaining relationships with people who use Google’s tools to grow their businesses and thrive online.
How can people engage with a Google Digital Coach?
We have eight incredible coaches in eight major US markets right now, and we are hoping to expand and make this a global program soon.
I encourage everyone to check out our Digital Coaches profiles on Accelerate with Google and sign up to attend an upcoming workshop if you happen to live in, or can travel to, one of the current markets.
If you have any specific inquiries, feel free to email us at email@example.com.
Photo credit: Ruben Morales
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