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Bari A. Williams has transformed from corporate lawyer to leading Silicon Valley diversity advocate

Williams is No. 61 on the Recode 100.

Shirin Ghaffary is a senior Vox correspondent covering the social media industry. Previously, Ghaffary worked at BuzzFeed News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and TechCrunch.

Bari A. Williams has become one of the leading voices advocating for greater diversity in tech, and one with an untraditional path.

Today she’s a writer and advocate who published a series of influential op-eds in the likes of the New York Times, Wired and Fortune. But prior to that she worked her way up the legal ladder to a senior counsel position at Facebook, and this year she headed up North American business operations for StubHub.

Williams’s writing blends legal history with straightforward advice to tech leaders about how to diversify their workforce — and how to keep that workforce diverse with retention strategies. She can also point to practical experience she’s had herself: At Facebook, she launched a supplier diversity program to make sure the social media giant’s goods and services — everything from catering to third-party software — were being purchased from vendors with varied backgrounds.

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