My New Vantage Point at SalientMG
As a business reporter since before the dot com bust (That’s B.C. — Before Cellphone), I’ve chronicled the evolution of digital media and marketing — from the early days of ad networks and behavioral targeting to today’s rapidly-moving mobile location data, IoT and AI sectors. My nearly two-decade reporting career immersed me in a dizzying array of subjects revolving around privacy and security issues, data analytics, political technology and voter data, government regulatory oversight, and more.
The best journalism not only zooms in on the details, it zooms out. In my work as a reporter, I encouraged the industry and people I wrote about to do just that: take a step back and observe their panoramic views, consider the impact their technologies, innovations and business cultures have on people and society. I shed light on potential digital privacy infringements, questioned consumer data practices, amplified rarely-heard voices and even trained a critical lens on how industry deals with serious gender bias issues.
It was only a few days after I announced my departure from a near-five-year stint covering the data industry for Advertising Age in late June that I found myself on the phone with Mack McKelvey. She’d contacted me, in part, to discuss issues raised in a critical piece I wrote that questioned how the ad industry addressed gender inequality. We talked about the need for real, constructive change in the way advertising, technology and the business world in general works to reverse the woeful lack of women and minorities in executive roles.
Our compelling conversation led to more of the same, and ultimately an invitation to join Mack and her firm, SalientMG, in its modest quest to ease the path towards visibility for under-represented minorities and women involved in technology and innovation. There is a lot of talk about gender ratios, glass ceilings and diversity initiatives, but not enough action that sparks real change. When Mack shared her goals, there were no grandiose mission statements about changing the world, no empty empowerment slogans, no motivational self-help style platitudes about helping people “achieve their dreams.”
There were, however, concrete ideas about how to steer industry beyond checking a “diversity” box towards fostering truly inclusionary environments. After a few weeks in my new role as Strategic Partner, Writing and Content at SalientMG and Producer and Host of our soon-to-launch podcast, The Credentialed, I’ve already begun to spotlight under-represented people innovating behind the headlines in tech, making them and their often disregarded views more visible to media, industry watchers, investors and hiring managers.
In this challenging work, I’m informed by the industry knowledge I’ve gleaned in my years as a reporter, and look forward to applying the writing, research and reporting skills I’ve honed in the same and new ways. I’ll also continue writing about and discussing important topics related to the tech world and the society it so heavily influences.
If you’re interested in learning more about what I’ll be doing at SalientMG, or in working with us, please feel free to contact me at Kate@SalientMG.com.