In Episode 103 (recorded live), Melinda Briana Epler, Founder & CEO of Empovia (formerly Change Catalyst), joins Paula Quintana, Senior Analyst, for High Alpha Innovation’s Satellite Series event on “How to Be an Ally.” In this fireside chat, Melinda shares how we can start our journey as allies to drive a more inclusive and equitable culture in a startup ecosystem. She introduces small steps anyone can take to intervene and counter the impact of microaggressions across teams. She also discusses how startups can set tangible goals and develop strategies to achieve measurable progress for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
About Melinda Briana Epler (she/her)
Melinda Briana Epler has more than 25 years of experience elevating brands and developing business innovation strategies for startups, Fortune 500 companies, and global NGOs.
As CEO of Empovia (formerly Change Catalyst), Melinda is a strategic diversity, equity, and inclusion advisor for executives, entrepreneurs, investors, and activists around the world. As part of her changemaking work, she is an inclusive leadership coach, trains executive and management teams, and builds learning and development solutions for clients.
Melinda is the author of How to Be an Ally (McGraw-Hill) and the host of the popular "Leading With Empathy & Allyship" podcast. She is also a TED speaker, award-winning documentary filmmaker, and former marketing and culture executive. She speaks, mentors, and writes about diversity and inclusion, empathy, and entrepreneurship.
About Paula Quintana (she/her)
As a Senior Analyst at High Alpha Innovation, Paula works to launch new startups with partners through business model design, assumption validation, and market research. Her passion to leverage innovation to create positive change and improve lives is evident in her work spearheading DEI initiatives within the High Alpha Innovation community. Paula was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia and now lives in Richmond, Virginia.
For more about Empovia, and to find educational resources and highlights from this episode, visit https://ally.cc.
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Creator & Host: Melinda Briana Epler
Co-Producers: Renzo Santos & Christina Swindlehurst Chan
Podcast Rocket: Rob Scheerbarth & Nina Rugeles
[Image description: LEA promo and photos of Melinda Briana Epler, a White woman with red hair, glasses, and black shirt; beside her is the orange book cover of
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