Rane Stempson: Helping Central Oregon Startups and More Create Diverse, Inclusive Workplaces

By Rane Stempson When it comes to diversity in the workplace, both Teri Hockett, with the Technology Association of Oregon, and myself have heard several commonly asked questions, including: What does inclusion really mean? Why do we need to pursue diversity when Central Oregon isn’t really that diverse? Are we forcing the matter in a region that doesn’t need it? What does this equal pay law mean for a small business? What is really considered sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace today? Does that stuff really happen in Central Oregon companies? And “Oh my, I had a woman come to me about what she was experiencing at work I and I had no idea what to say or how to advise her. What should I do?”

So Teri approached me and asked if I would help develop a equity, diversity and leadership workshop series targeted at startups and small businesses that would offer practical knowledge on these topics at an affordable price? As the former principal research director for Microsoft, I focused on diversity and specifically bring more underrepresented groups into computing, so this was in my wheelhouse. I opened the Ranemaker Institute and began developing the TAO workshop series, researching, and working with the City of Bend and the Bend Chamber on how we could better support our City’s equity needs.

Bend Outdoor Worx Taking Applications for BreakOut, the Only Funding Event Specifically for the Outdoor Industry

Do you have an outdoor industry related startup? Are you looking for investment? Our friends at Bend Outdoor Worx are now taking applications for the 2018 BreakOut (which was previously known as Venture Out). The event features early and growth stage outdoor startups pitching their ideas and companies for the opportunity to win various awards and investments.

Death by Coffee Meetings? Keeping Our Startup Community Generous Even as it Grows

One of the best things – perhaps maybe the best thing – about Bend’s startup culture is how willing people are to donate their time, advice, contacts, resources and more. When my husband and I first moved here, we noticed this right away—you would email someone to ask a question, and they’d happily meet for coffee, give you their time, and connect you with another helpful person.

Have You Heard About One Tech Meetup to Rule Them All? It’s Gonna Be BIG … Scheduled for 5/7

Sometimes someone gets a crazy idea and then that crazy idea becomes the coolest thing ever. That’s the case with the upcoming One Tech Meetup to Rule Them All, presented by the Technology Association of Oregon and hosted by BendTECH. The idea came out of a discussion about how to connect all of the growing tech meetups, find their overlaps and share some resources. The result is a BIG meetup scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. May 7th.

PubTalk is Chock Full of Bend Startups: Hear from Red Duck, Hyperdrive, KidRunner AND Oregon Sports Angels

The EDCO PubTalk this Thursday features three startup founders who all happen to be BendTECH coworking members, and an angel funding group focused on sports products and services. If you’re not going you should. I’ll be there in the front row, possibly ringing a cowbell (I WON’T, BUT I’LL BE RINGING ONE IN MY HEART) because I’m such a fan of these founders. So who are they? Here’s the lineup, courtesy of the EDCO news release: