#RaceOnTech: How An Early Love Of Math Led Her To The Role Of CEO : All Tech Considered This week, NPR's All Tech Considered is connecting with diverse innovators in tech and science. Kiverdi CEO Lisa Dyson discusses an early role model, her work and the need to boost tech education.
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#RaceOnTech: How An Early Love Of Math Led Her To The Role Of CEO

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#RaceOnTech: How An Early Love Of Math Led Her To The Role Of CEO

#RaceOnTech: How An Early Love Of Math Led Her To The Role Of CEO

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/421488224/422673001" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Finally in All Tech today, a note about an online conversation taking place this week. It's about diversity in the science and technology fields. Big tech firms have released statistics and pledged to do more to diversify. Facebook, for instance, recently said that just 4 percent of their U.S. tech workers are black or Hispanic. More broadly, according to a survey this year by the Anita Borg Institute, women account for about 21 percent of the technical workforce. But those figures don't tell the whole story. This week on Twitter, Tumblr and our All Tech blog, some people of color who are in tech leadership roles are talking about their personal experiences, people like Lisa Dyson.

LISA DYSON: I am the CEO and cofounder of Kiverdi. We make oil from CO2 using the power of biotechnology.

SIEGEL: Dyson is African-American. She has a PhD in physics from MIT. Her interest in technology goes back to her teen years.

DYSON: When I was in high school, I wanted to learn the programming language C, but there were no classes. So I asked my math teacher to teach me. He actually took his free period where he'd normally be doing other things and taught me C programming every single day. So for those that didn't ask, that option wasn't available. And still today, there are many schools throughout our nation that don't offer things like programming and other tech courses.

SIEGEL: Lisa Dyson says greater access to tech in schools will ultimately boost diversity in science and technology. To join the conversation this week on Twitter and Tumblr, you can follow the hashtag #RaceOnTech.

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