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Published: September 19, 2018 Author: Staff reports

Stephanie Lampkin, TEDx speaker and former downhill ski racer, will deliver her keynote speech titled, “Control Your Identity, Control Your Destiny,” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, in the Baker University Center Theatre on the second floor.

She will also participate in a roundtable discussion of diversity and leadership on Thursday, Oct. 4 from 10:30 a.m. to noon in Baker University Center 219. Limited seating is available for the roundtable discussion. To attend the roundtable, RSVP to cutlerscholars@ohio.edu.

Lampkin’s visit is part of the OHIO Leadership Summit, which brings together scholars programs and leadership development programs to discuss the many different approaches to leadership that influence our community.

Named to MIT Tech Review’s list of 35 innovators under 35, Lampkin also has been featured by The Atlantic, Forbes, NPR and Fast Company. Her 14-year career in the tech industry has included founding two startups and working in technical roles at Lockheed, Microsoft and TripAdvisor.

At the age of 13, Lampkin learned to code. By the time she was 15, she was fluent in computer programming. She later earned a bachelor’s degree in management science and engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from MIT.

After college, Lampkin remembers being told her background was not “technical enough” when applying for a position at a well-known tech firm in Silicon Valley. She ended up landing a position at Microsoft, where she would spend five years working in a technical position. She continued to wonder if her earlier job denial could have had something to do with the fact she is a black woman.

That experience motivated Lampkin to create a job matching tool called Blendoor, which aims to reduce race- and gender-related bias in hiring. It allows people searching for employment in the tech sector to upload their resumes and then hides their names and photos from potential employers.

Lampkin said the idea is to avoid bias by removing gender and ethnicity from the equation. During her research, she found that, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research study, a “white sounding” name can return as many job callbacks as an additional eight years of experience from someone with an “African American sounding” name.

Lampkin’s visit is sponsored by the Cutler Scholars and co-sponsored by the Multicultural Center, BSCPB, OHIO Fellows, OMSAR, Margaret Boyd Scholars, the Women’s Center, the LGBT Center, and Student Senate.  

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