Dr. Cynthia Overton
Senior Director, Tech Workplace InitiativesCompany: Kapor Center
Role: Session Presenter
2022 Conference Session:
Understanding the Lack of Diversity in Tech Through The Leaky Tech Pipeline Framework
Cynthia Overton, PhD, is senior director of Tech Workplace Initiatives at the Kapor Center, where she builds community and provides learning opportunities for professionals advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the tech industry. In this role, she leads Diversity Advocates, a professional learning community dedicated to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce throughout the tech industry. She also operates Our Collective, a group of tech professionals working to advance inclusion for Black and Latinx talent through employee resource groups.
In addition, Cynthia serves as co-principal investigator for a research study funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and led by Quality Education for Minorities Network that seeks to expand the evidence-based understanding of HBCU STEM learning environments in which undergraduate students are most likely to thrive and subsequently go on to attain doctoral degrees in science and engineering.
Prior to joining the Kapor Center, she worked for 13 years at a behavioral and social sciences research firm leading initiatives that enhance opportunities for underrepresented populations. This included helping to launch and sustain corporate-wide diversity and inclusive efforts. Cynthia also has a long history of working on federally funded projects that aim to improve outcomes for people with disabilities. This included serving as co-project director for the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center, a national center funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research to make research meaningful to those with spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and burn injury. She also served as project director for three National Council on Disabilities Annual Progress Reports to the White House and Congress.
Dr. Overton holds a BA from Hampton University, an MS and PhD from the University of Michigan in learning technologies, and a master’s degree in PR/corporate communications from Georgetown University. She also completed the Diversity and Inclusion Certificate program through Cornell University and the Assistive Technology Applications Certificate program offered by California State University, Northridge Center on Disabilities.