Internationally Recognized Thought Leader, Strategy Advisor & Women-in-Technology Trailblazer; Former IBM Chief Accessibility Officer
Frances West is the founder of FrancesWest&Co, a global strategy advisory company focusing on operationalizing diversity inclusion through digital transformation. West and her expert partners help public, private, non-profit, and start-ups thrive and grow through digital inclusion and purpose-driven innovation strategy.
West has 30+ years of global business management, technology sales, emerging market development and organizational leadership experience. She held numerous executive positions, including being IBM’s first Chief Accessibility Officer where she managed a global team from IBM Research to establish IT accessibility standards, shape government policies, and develop human first enterprise technology and solutions enabling all people to reach their highest potential, regardless of their age or ability. Because of her expertise, West was invited as the sole IT industry representative to testify before the US Senate on the need to pass the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
West is a board member/advisor of both for-profit and non-profit companies. As a first-generation Asian immigrant, she brings a unique personal perspective in addition to her board base global business background, especially on topics such as DEI and ESG. West was recognized as the 2021 Directors to Watch by the Private Company Director.
A globally sought-after public speaker, West has delivered TedTalk, keynotes at business conferences, employee town halls, and policy forums such as the United Nations international events and global IT conferences such as Mobile World Congress, World Congress on Information Technology, Consumer Electronics Show and SXSW.
West is the author of the book “Authentic Inclusion™ Drives Disruptive Innovation,” a C-suite oriented cultural and digital transformation leadership best seller selected by CES and SXSW as one of the 2019 Technology Business Book of the year.
West and her expert partners help clients to understand and operationalize inclusion as a business imperative from the very top and guide them in formulating technology innovation and institutional practice strategy to achieve market expansion, brand differentiation and talent acquisition.
Purpose, Profit and Principle: The Path to Inclusive Digital Transformation
Frances’ focus here is on the implications of technology and the 4th Industrial Revolution, examining why we must think human-first and act holistically to fulfill tech’s promise to serve and delight all humans.
Taking It Personally: Gaining Strength from Your Ethnicity, Your Family to Live Authentically
In this timely talk, Frances speaks about why bringing your whole life to work strengthens your inner compass and helps manage the challenges of adversity and the disruption of the unknown, based on her personal journey as a trailblazing woman in tech, from non-English speaking Asian immigrant to the C-suite at IBM. She covers how to lead as an Asian immigrant woman in times of change or crisis.
Best of Both Worlds: Why and how Asian Value creates Authentic American Leadership
Frances talks from the heart about the myths and truths surrounding Asian women who lead. She shares personal stories of challenges encountered and overcome and how she manages through turbulence. Her insights are drawn from her three decades ascending through the ranks and reaching the top of the corporate ladder at IBM. Frances’ perspective on building consensus and relationships to foster long-lasting loyalty offers a holistic strategy valuable for every woman, of any ethnicity.
Human First Design and the Inclusive Digital Workplace: A Blueprint to Removing Barriers and Driving Value
Frances talks about how to operationalize inclusion holistically from the top down and across all functions, so it scales and sustains. She takes a close look at why technology is not fulfilling its promise and how we can better prepare the workforce of the future.
Authentic Inclusion: The Strategic Business Imperative that Drives Disruptive Innovation
Learn from this Insightful talk on new perspectives that will inspire leaders to achieve disruptive innovation through authentic inclusion, offering a strategic blueprint for business to operationalize inclusion.
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