Inspirational Women: Mina Saidze
Mina Saidze, founder of Inclusive Tech, the first European advocacy and consulting organization for diversity in tech, has one particular goal: Closing the diversity-gap by promoting underrepresented groups including women and people of colour in tech industry.
Born 1993 in a refugee hostel in Hamburg as the daughter of political activists from Iran and Afghanistan, she is driven by the idea of helping others and fighting for a more equitable future.
The self-taught programmer, specialised in big data analytics, owns a degree in economics. She made a lateral entry into the tech industry and worked as a data analyst for leading media and ecommerce companies in Germany. What ultimately led her to founding Inclusive Tech was the realisation that she, being a woman and person of colour, was an exemption in the IT environment.
Currently, the development teams of the most powerful technologies are still predominantly white, male, and middle- and upper-class, resulting in services, business models, and products being developed from a homogeneous point of view. This can have real consequences for underrepresented groups, Saidze says: For instance artificial intelligence (AI) can be misogynistic or racist if the algorithm is not trained to be non-discriminatory.
“I build a bridge between tech and people.”
On a mission to promote diversity in tech, especially in the fields advanced analytics, data science, and machine learning, Inclusive Tech provides a community with more than 4500 members. Inclusive Tech also advises companies on how to hire diverse tech teams and develop inclusive technologies. They organize meetups, symposia as well as networking events and will prospectively offer support programs for career switchers in cooperation with companies.
For her engagement in leveraging the potential of technology to contribute to a more inclusive and equitable society, Saidze has received several honours and awards. For instance, she has been included in the Forbes 30 under 30 list in Tech in DACH region 2021 and received the Emotion Award 2021 in the category “Women of Digitalization”.