wnol.info January 21 2018

Serena Williams accepts a new challenge

January 21 2018, 12:16 | Perry Erickson

Serena Williams accepts a new challenge

FILE- In this Jan. 28 2017 file

Tennis star Serena Williams has 39 Grand Slam titles, four Olympic medals, major endorsement deals and her own line of clothing and accessories.

"I feel like diversity is something I speak to", Williams said.

Ms Williams, who is due to marry Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, said she is disappointed that high-paid tech jobs are filled by white and Asian men.

At online polling service SurveyMonkey only 27% of technology jobs are filled by women and just 14% of those on its payroll are African Americans.

Williams and Smith replace Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Bill Veghte, executive chairman of Turbonomic, who both stepped down from the board but will remain as advisors to the company.

Williams' "voice on the board sends a strong message to our company, investors, and the industry", said SurveyMonkey's current CEO Zander Lurie.

Williams, 35, will get her chance as she joins a Silicon Valley boardroom for the first time. A dedicated philanthropist, Serena also continues to work with the Serena Williams Fund, Williams Sister Fund, UNICEF and Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation.

"I've actively used SurveyMonkey products and have been inspired with the caliber of leadership that has guided this incredible company through the years", Smith wrote in a blog post.

According to Fortune, Lurie and Williams started talking about the possibility of working together after they attended a dinner party at Sheryl Sandberg's house last fall. As the AP notes, Sandberg's late husband Dave Goldberg was the CEO of SurveyMonkey when he died unexpectedly in 2015. "Brad Smith is one of the most respected CEOs in Silicon Valley", she wrote. I believe in the power of a question and the impact of data. "We also share a fierce commitment to letting all voices be heard". "This is why SurveyMonkey is the right fit for me".

Lurie said Williams "obviously has totally different skills sets. we are well represented with Silicon Valley experience, but to know Serena is to know what greatness looks like".

'Now, I am jumping into the deep end of the pool.

But now she is embarking on a new mission: to help tech companies diversify their workforces and solve one of the industry's most vexing problems. "When I do something, I go all out".

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