April Walker, contributors network, technology

Introducing Technology & Enterprise With April Walker: A Q1 Conversation About Tech

BLACK ENTERPRISE jumps into tech talk with a new series "Technology & Enterprise" powered by tech innovator and expert April Walker.

What Are We Going to Discuss This Year?

The proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI), Generative AI, ChatGPT, data privacy, and cybersecurity, and how these things will play a critical role in the way every industry shapes and influences societal norms, human condition, public health, policy, economic development, skills, and careers.

A truly full circle moment – I have been an avid reader of BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine since the beginning of my professional career, starting in the late eighties and early nineties. Now more than three decades later, I’ve achieved a lot of career goals, for sure, but with this publication, I am realizing a career milestone – writing my own quarterly column for the very magazine that, for decades, served as part of my toolkit and compass for how I would navigate my career journey; but it was also within the pages of this magazine that I gleaned what was possible, for me, for us! There is nothing more powerful than seeing in print what you, too, can become! I recall the first time in 2014 – where BLACK ENTERPRISE featured on its cover and devoted a piece about a Black woman in corporate America reaching the heights of the corporate ladder – ‘shero’ Ann C. Fudge, President of the Maxwell House Division of Kraft General Foods. That was career-life changing, as I would intently read the magazine’s monthly chronicle and features of the likes of former CEOs, Ursula Burns, Xerox Corporation; Kenneth I. Chenault, American Express; Walgreens Boots Alliance, Rosalind Brewer; to present day business mogul, Mellody Hobson Hobson, Co-CEO Ariel Capital Investments. I, too, would aspire to succeed in these very similar corporate ecosystems.

While I share the drive, ambition, and, yes, courage that these remarkable Black executives possessed to achieve their career goals, our passions differed just as the paths we traversed to get there – hence our industries of focus were markedly different; for me, Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) was where I found not only opportunity and possibility, but one that today I celebrate more than three decades in career. Working for some of the largest corporate enterprises and technology companies in the world, I have served as a senior technology executive leading global organizations and today I serve as Senior Vice President for a Fortune 100 technology company. It is my passion for all things tech that has led me to this pivotal moment – Technology and Enterprise by April Walker, and I could not have asked for a more fitting inaugural start than to publish my first column in February – Black History Month!

So, what am I going to write about and share with you each quarter? Technology and industry, of course. And I will do so with the intention to educate, inform, and enlighten you as the reader who seeks discernible value within the words and concepts I write about. This column will have concerted focus to present the impacts and opportunities new and emerging advancements in tech have and will, with vigor, have on our community-at-large. I will discuss important topics such as the proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI), Generative AI, ChatGPT, data privacy, and cybersecurity, and how these things will play a critical role in the way every industry shape and influences societal norms, human condition, public health, policy, economic development, skills, and careers. I will also introduce the latest gadgets, tools, apps, tips, training, and innovations that you may consider viable to incorporate into your daily lives. The practical use of these technologies will have vast and direct correlation to the overall well-being of our community and all communities-of-color; however the benefits without proper governance could prove less equitable for the minority populace, particularly since it is these communities least likely to enjoy access to new skills enablement and training, en masse.

Befitting this month’s celebration of our history, I recently discovered Dr. King, in his brilliance and uncanny ability of foreseeing and speaking of a future that many could not even have begun to fathom during his time on earth, often spoke about science and the impact of technology on society, and it rings true today.

In his infinite wisdom, Dr. King profoundly remarked, “We must work passionately and indefatigably to bridge the gulf between our scientific progress and our moral progress. One of the great problems of mankind is that we suffer from a poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually.”

I am excited to take this journey with you and look forward to your embrace and following of this column. I value and welcome your opinions and suggestions on topics that are of interest to you. I thank the BLACK ENTERPRISE media company for offering this space to join the voices of this long-standing steward in the Black community and will, with overwhelming diligence and enthusiasm, strive to author articles that meet the high-quality standards that we have all come to expect from this publication.

April Walker is a digital transformation expert, technologist, board member, published author, industry thought-leader, and C-suite advisor. A career spanning more than 30 years in STEM, April has held leadership roles in both the public and private sectors. She has been an executive leading global organizations and served as a catalyst for driving change, direction, and developing enterprise-wide and global strategies for digital transformation, technology, and innovation for Fortune 500 companies including Microsoft, MetLife, and NBCUniversal, to name a few, and today, April serves as Salesforce’s Senior Vice President of Customer Success for North America.

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