Black Voices Matter: Tiffany Spencer
A continuing series in which local African American leaders speak about what’s broken in our nation—and how it might be fixed.
Tiffany Spencer is president of Black Orlando Tech, which promotes minority economic advancement through training in technology-based careers. She is also president and HCBUforce, a salesforce diversity program, in addition to being chief operating officer of Esor Consulting Group.
Tiffany Spencer works to provide training, inspiration and opportunities for fellow minorities. “Our mission [at Black Orlando Tech] is to train and inspire 10,000 minorities in Central Florida to enter into technology by 2025,” says Spencer, who took the helm in 2017. “Multiple studies have shown the African American community is dramatically underrepresented in the tech workforce.” The death of George Floyd has inspired more support of BOT’s cause. “We have experienced a huge increase in local organizations and companies reaching out to us to partner or to contribute to Black Orlando Tech in some manner,” the tech sales professional says. Help has come in the form of donations, volunteers to help train participants and prepare them for getting certifications, and budding partnerships with local businesses to help place trainees. Universal Orlando Resort and New Horizons Computer Learning Centers are among BOT’s newest partners.
“For example, with our tech startup series, a few local entrepreneurs and individuals in the startup world have reached out to assist with that program to help those businesses launch. There’s an overall increased discussion, which I think is good, of our own diversity among several tech organizations,” Spencer says. But discussions about diversity must include representative participants, she says, and more dialogue is necessary. Spencer also would like to see greater support from the business community and government to “create that job pipeline” to help minorities transition to new careers.
BOT (blackorlandotech.org) began offering classes in February to about 50 participants in areas including digital marketing and web development. So far seven trainees have received certifications. “If you’re looking to increase the diversity of organizations, we have people. If you’re looking for more diverse vendors, we have lots of individuals who would like to have the opportunity.”