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Increasing the Black Footprint in Tech - How to Create a Safe Space for Black Employees


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Increasing the Black Footprint in Tech - How to Create a Safe Space for Black Employees

Amplifying Black Excellence

Join two Workivians with non-traditional career backgrounds, who were able to find a safe haven in Workiva's culture and Black (BERG) Business Employee Resource Group. Learn what Workiva is doing to change the narrative and increase the black footprint in tech.

Kevin Purvis

Bridget Finkeldey

Kevin Purvis joined Workiva as a Solutions Architect in November 2020. He brought with him 5+ years of experience in the consulting space and over 15+ years working for various Software as a Service companies that had him performing roles in QA, Technical Support and Implementations. This helped him to develop the skills that have allowed him to grow as a consultant. In his time at Workiva, he has helped to refine the new hire training process as well as lead projects featuring FERC, Global Statutory Reporting and WData Enablement solutions. He currently sits on the Leadership Board of the newly created Black BERG at Workiva as the Collaboration Pillar lead. He is also the GSR Lead for North American based Solution Architects.
Before joining Workiva, he was a Senior Solutions Consultant at JAGGAER, a company that sells procurement based Software as a Service. While there he enabled their various solutions that enabled clients to create Contracts, manage their supply chain vendors, administer RFPs to procure goods and services and track and manager their procurement spending. He worked with large and complex clients such as Harvard, PwC, University of Wisconsin, University of Pennsylvania, SiriusXM, Waste Management and Vulcan Materials Company. He also worked with various other universities, commercial businesses and utilities companies to implement these software solutions. He also engaged in various Diversity and Inclusion efforts within the company.

He received his Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science at North Carolina State University and currently resides in Fuquay-Varina, NC.

Aileah Olds

Bridget Finkeldey

Aileah grew up in Durham North Carolina, shortly after she and her family relocated from Newark New Jersey. After high school, she attended and graduated from Winston-Salem State University where she studied English and HR Management and went on to have a 9-year-long career in Human Resources and Project Management in the public sector and healthcare. Feeling like she reached a peak in her career, she decided to make a career pivot and after doing a lot of upskilling she decided to make a career transition and is now a Solutions Architect with Workiva, a Fortune 100 software company based out of Ames Iowa.

Over the course of her career, she has created a training program that has been awarded $1.4 M and implemented software that has helped many peers successfully transition careers. She now hosts a live series on Linkedin that highlights professionals from unconventional backgrounds who have successfully broken into the tech industry and offers events and services to help other industry pivoters achieve the same results.

Aileah leans on her expertise in designing and leading paid training programs for large corporations to attract, train and retain talent to now help others who wish to break into the tech industry as well. She is passionate about anti-gatekeeping, integrity, mental health awareness, and career advancement and is proud to have joined a company that shares many of those same values.

Desmond Jackson

Bridget Finkeldey

Desmond Jackson joined Workiva in September 2019 as an Associate Client Services Manager focused on investment/mutual funds clients. In April 2021, Desmond moved into a people leadership role to coach and develop Client Relationship Managers focused on investment/mutual fund clients. In September 2022, he transitioned into the newly created role of DEIB Business Partner in which he provides guidance and support for Workiva's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives as well as its BERGs (Business Employee Resource Groups). Desmond is a graduate of University of Detroit Mercy and has served on several not-for-profit boards. He resides with his family in Dallas, Texas.

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