Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity matters.

  • 85% of respondents to a Forbes study of large global companies said that diversity is crucial for innovation.
  • But Fortune magazine reports that companies often lose diverse talent because of the lack of inclusive culture.
  • And just one employee in a technical role costs $150,000 to $200,000 to replace.


Because of this, the tech industry is taking big steps to create more inclusive and diverse workplaces. Soma Collaborations has been a part of this change by working with carefully selected partner organizations to co-organize monthly 5-star events, build a community of over 430 members in less than a year, co-facilitate TechTown Diversity Change Agent training, appear as a guest on podcasts, moderate panels, and co-host the largest Women in Tech event Portland has ever experienced. There are plenty of ways to get involved in this movement. Please join us!


Diversity matters.

  • 85% of respondents to a Forbes study of large global companies said that diversity is crucial for innovation.
  • But Fortune magazine reports that companies often lose diverse talent because of the lack of inclusive culture.
  • And just one employee in a technical role costs $150,000 to $200,000 to replace.


Because of this, the tech industry is taking big steps to create more inclusive and diverse workplaces. Soma Collaborations has been a part of this change by working with carefully selected partner organizations to co-organize monthly 5-star events, build a community of over 430 members in less than a year, co-facilitate TechTown Diversity Change Agent training, appear as a guest on podcasts, moderate panels, and co-host the largest Women in Tech event Portland has ever experienced. There are plenty of ways to get involved in this movement. Please join us!


“Terra was able to take a diverse group of people from total strangers to fully engaged cohorts in two hours. We were sincerely discussing topics typically reserved for close friends... I would recommend Terra as a facilitator for companies that would like to see measurable positive results and true learning occur versus simply buying a canned speech to check off some corporate legal compliance task."
-Don Nasca, Business Development Manager, Delta Electronics Corp.
“Terra was able to take a diverse group of people from total strangers to fully engaged cohorts in two hours. We were sincerely discussing topics typically reserved for close friends... I would recommend Terra as a facilitator for companies that would like to see measurable positive results and true learning occur versus simply buying a canned speech to check off some corporate legal compliance task."
-Don Nasca, Business Development Manager, Delta Electronics Corp.

Highlighted Events

Change Agent Series with the TechTown Diversity Pledge. Three series of workshops helped change agents:

  • identify the reasons diverse talent leave tech
  • develop strategies to create inclusive culture
  • get buy-in
  • create change and
  • develop strategies to sustain it.

Highlighted Events

Change Agent Series with the TechTown Diversity Pledge. Three series of workshops helped change agents:

  • identify the reasons diverse talent leave tech
  • develop strategies to create inclusive culture
  • get buy-in
  • create change and
  • develop strategies to sustain it.

Select Past Events

Panel Discussions

May 19th - moderator. Techfluence panel discussion hosted by 24Seven and eROI on getting closer to gender neutral hiring and pay equity.


April 23 - moderator. ACT-W panel discussion with Portland's diversity leaders on what it takes to create a rich, diverse and thriving community for women and minorities in tech.



Hack the Gender Debate Unconference-Style

April 16th, 2016 - co-facilitator and co-organizer. We brought together a diverse audience representing start-ups to Fortune 500 companies with entry-level employees to C-level executives. The event was designed to help participants have more meaningful diversity conversations and our takeaways are captured on this Cardsmith board. Participants said:


"Great conversation and a lot of wonderful take aways."
"It was a deeper and more emotional experience than I expected, glad I could make it."



Diversity Change Agent Training

March 30th, 2016 - co-facilitator with Janice Levenhagen of ChickTech. The first Change Agent training with the Portland Development Commission's TechTown Diversity Pledge drew representatives from all major local tech companies to take action to create more inclusive culture. Participant feedback:


Thanks for hosting the first #TechTown Change Agents Series. Great ideas about #diversity #pdxtech.

Great conversations re: #inclusion & #diversity this morning at @pdxdevelopment. Big thanks, @jlevenha @Soma_Terra!


“I’ve never been at a tech event so inclusive and engaging.”
– VP of Customer Success, tech company

May 10th, 2016 - co-facilitator. Implementing Change with the TechTown Diversity Pledge. Helping change agents take action to create more inclusive culture.


June 22, 2016 - facilitator. Sustaining Change with the TechTown Diversity Pledge. Helping change agents develop strategies for long-term, sustainable change that creates more inclusive culture.



Women + Tech + Holiday Party

December 10th, 2015 - co-organizer. Partnered with other women in tech organizations including ChickTech, Women Who Code, PDX WIT and Lesbians Who Code to create the largest women in tech holiday party Portland has ever experience. The event created networking, support and skill-building for women at local tech companies.



Gender Dynamics

September 17th, 2015 - co-organizer and co-facilitator with Zachary Feder. We explored some of the dynamics that drive the lack of gender balance in tech. Participant impact:


“I came out of the event with a new perspective that helped me understand how to bridge the gap between the representation of men and women in tech. It was an enlightening conversation for everyone.”
- Sara Stowe, Talent Acquisition Manager, Smarsh



Conference for Advancing the Careers of Technical Women

April 11-12, 2015 Portland, Oregon and May 16th, 2015 Seattle, Washington - presenter. We practiced 8 mind-body tools to give minorities a stronger voice in the industry. Participant experience:


"Best session of the conference. Thank you for the practical, actionable tools and original content."



Oregon Bio Women Conference

December 4th, 2014, Genentech - breakout group facilitator. We developed stronger communication and presentation skills, stronger leadership presence, strategies for navigating big egos, and tools to get messages across effectively.


Select Past Events

Panel Discussions

May 19th - moderator. Techfluence panel discussion hosted by 24Seven and eROI on getting closer to gender neutral hiring and pay equity.


April 23 - moderator. ACT-W panel discussion with Portland's diversity leaders on what it takes to create a rich, diverse and thriving community for women and minorities in tech.



Hack the Gender Debate Unconference-Style

April 16th, 2016 - co-facilitator and co-organizer. We brought together a diverse audience representing start-ups to Fortune 500 companies with entry-level employees to C-level executives. The event was designed to help participants have more meaningful diversity conversations and our takeaways are captured on this Cardsmith board. Participants said:


"Great conversation and a lot of wonderful take aways."
"It was a deeper and more emotional experience than I expected, glad I could make it."



Diversity Change Agent Training

March 30th, 2016 - co-facilitator with Janice Levenhagen of ChickTech. The first Change Agent training with the Portland Development Commission's TechTown Diversity Pledge drew representatives from all major local tech companies to take action to create more inclusive culture. Participant feedback:


Thanks for hosting the first #TechTown Change Agents Series. Great ideas about #diversity #pdxtech.

Great conversations re: #inclusion & #diversity this morning at @pdxdevelopment. Big thanks, @jlevenha @Soma_Terra!


“I’ve never been at a tech event so inclusive and engaging.”
– VP of Customer Success, tech company

May 10th, 2016 - co-facilitator. Implementing Change with the TechTown Diversity Pledge. Helping change agents take action to create more inclusive culture.


June 22, 2016 - facilitator. Sustaining Change with the TechTown Diversity Pledge. Helping change agents develop strategies for long-term, sustainable change that creates more inclusive culture.



Women + Tech + Holiday Party

December 10th, 2015 - co-organizer. Partnered with other women in tech organizations including ChickTech, Women Who Code, PDX WIT and Lesbians Who Code to create the largest women in tech holiday party Portland has ever experience. The event created networking, support and skill-building for women at local tech companies.



Gender Dynamics

September 17th, 2015 - co-organizer and co-facilitator with Zachary Feder. We explored some of the dynamics that drive the lack of gender balance in tech. Participant impact:


“I came out of the event with a new perspective that helped me understand how to bridge the gap between the representation of men and women in tech. It was an enlightening conversation for everyone.”
- Sara Stowe, Talent Acquisition Manager, Smarsh



Conference for Advancing the Careers of Technical Women

April 11-12, 2015 Portland, Oregon and May 16th, 2015 Seattle, Washington - presenter. We practiced 8 mind-body tools to give minorities a stronger voice in the industry. Participant experience:


"Best session of the conference. Thank you for the practical, actionable tools and original content."



Oregon Bio Women Conference

December 4th, 2014, Genentech - breakout group facilitator. We developed stronger communication and presentation skills, stronger leadership presence, strategies for navigating big egos, and tools to get messages across effectively.


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