A lifelong advocate for people of color and women, Kapor Klein has championed the fight to make the overwhelmingly white and male Silicon Valley more inclusive by promoting equal access to education, funding companies whose leaders hail from underrepresented communities and conducting training for major tech companies on unconscious bias.
She regularly challenges the popular myth that Silicon Valley is a meritocracy where anyone, regardless of race or creed, has an equal shot at success.
“What we have now is a gap between the promise and the stated values and what actually are the opportunities,” Kapor Klein says.
Her work to close that gap is rooted in her Jewish heritage that embraces “a strong sense of social justice.”
“If anyone is being treated unfairly in your community, your country, your society, your school, your workplace, then all of us are participating in that system,” she says. “All of us need to make sure that the system is fair or else we are participating in a rigged game.”
In 2001 Kapor founded the Level Playing Field Institute, a nonprofit which finds innovative ways to remove barriers to higher education and the workplace and houses the SMASH (Summer Math and Science Honors) Academy for low-income high school students of color. She and her husband, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Mitch Kapor have committed to spending $40 million over the next three years to the cause of tech diversity.