Over the past week, MassTLC has, rightfully, been called out in the press and on social media for a lack of diversity in the individual leadership categories of our annual awards program. While MassTLC works diligently throughout the year on advancing women and other underrepresented populations in tech, we failed to spotlight and recognize that advancement. For this, I apologize.
MassTLC’s Board of Trustees and team are dedicated to strengthening and expanding the region’s tech community and work diligently to provide resources, programming, and other opportunities to support and recognize the success of all individuals in our community. Unfortunately, we have not met those expectations in our individual categories of our leadership awards program over the past several years.
We are taking immediate actions to remedy this failure.
We have reopened nominations in all of our individual categories — CEO of the Year, CTO of the Year, CMO of the Year, and Emerging Executive — for two additional weeks (until Aug. 10). In addition to meeting with many leaders who have offered their help, we invite the community to help us ensure we have included the best of the best.
The existing finalists will remain in each category, and we will add five additional finalist slots per category, for a total of 10. We will also add additional female tech leaders to our current judging panels to review and select the expanded finalist pools for each category.
Furthermore, we commit to engaging our tech leadership community in a complete review and overhaul of the awards program for 2019 and beyond, including a reexamination of the nominations process, categories, criteria, selection process, format, and more, to ensure we are meeting the inclusion standards we have set for ourselves.
We thank the authors of an op-ed in the Globe for addressing this important issue and demanding needed changes, and we appreciate the support of many who have been reaching out directly to help improve our process for celebrating all our tech leaders.
Tom Hopcroft is president and CEO of MassTLC.