Supporting Equitable Pathways into Tech with Black Girl Ventures: Interview with Simeon Watson

The panel judges sitting in couches on the pitch competition set

At Medallia, Women’s History Month is a continuous journey. It’s a month when we continue to share the diverse experiences of Medallian women everywhere, recognize those who break down barriers and biases at work, and promote organizations that promote equity within the technology industry. 

This year we partnered with Black Girl Ventures (BGV) to sponsor a pitch competition that provides access to financial and social capital for Black and Brown female-identifying tech trailblazers. As a company that values every experience, we’re honored to be strengthening our partnership with BGV to help create more equitable experiences and pathways into technology.

Our partnership with BGV has been a fantastic evolution. First they were a Medallia Crowdicity customer, then a grantee of our Juneteenth donation (chosen by our Black-at-Medallia ERG), and now a joint-sponsorship for their first ever technology-focused pitch competition. This pitch competition featured seven incredible Black and Brown women founders, each who have created tech companies in a wide range of industries from healthcare to marketing. 

Our very own Simeon Watson (Director of Commercial Sales Academy at Medallia) was one of the judges. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Simeon to learn more about his experience as a guest judge. 

What inspired you to volunteer with Black Girl Ventures?

I wanted to pay it forward for my 7-year-old daughter. I want to make sure that no one puts roadblocks in front of her. She should have no ceiling, and I want to do anything I can to ensure she can fulfill her true potential and creativity. 

I volunteered with Black Girl Ventures because they’re promoting women who identify as people of color in entrepreneurship to economic access. It’s a noble cause, and I hope it’s putting out good karma in the world as I volunteer for them — and my daughter can reap the benefits of it. I want to one day show her the pitch competition so she can see that her dad did everything he can to support those who look like her.

Why is it important that there are organizations like BGV who focus on Black and Brown women founders?

Because women are working to break economic barriers and any organization that promotes that effort helps us all. 

I believe my desire to help stems from church, when I’ve worked with organizations that support women in economics and business. Through these experiences, I’ve been driven and inspired by organizations that help ensure that women don’t have to battle the same obstacles that my wife and mother had to. And I want to continue helping organizations that help pave the way for my daughter to have the same access to opportunities as my son will have.

What did you learn from your experience with BGV?

I learned that BGV attracts very talented founders, champions, and sponsors who understand the mission of creating equitable pathways into technology. It’s fantastic to see this partnership flourish, as it aligns so well with Medallia’s core values: encouraging everyone to bring your whole self to work, and to value every experience.

It’s also put fuel into my desire to continue looking for talent that would fit in with BGV — candidates who are people of color, women of color, have an entrepreneurial spirit, etc. I’m grateful we’re continuously pushing ourselves at Medallia to diversify our employee base as much as we can, and working with BGV was a great reminder of that.

What advice do you have for early-stage BIPOC entrepreneurs?

From my personal experience building the Sales Academy from the ground up at Medallia, it’s to trust yourself and trust your gut

Your idea is formed from your unique life experience and creative process — but the hardest part sometimes can be taking the first step. Trust your gut in taking these steps, and trust in your learnings as you continue to build relationships, partnership, and teams around you.


To support BGV and its mission, including its incredible tech founders and their products, and to cheer on Simeon as a guest judge, be sure to watch the Black Girl Ventures x Medallia Pitch Competition on YouTube.

Medallia is growing and dedicated to “hiring the whole person.” Head over to our careers page and apply today!