When I graduated from college, I was set on becoming a CMO of a Fortune 100 company. I believed the private sector had the opportunity to create positive change in the world and that was where I wanted to invest my professional time. When I started working at Motorola, my determination strengthened. I could see how wireless had the potential to connect billions of unconnected people and create opportunities around the world.
It wasn’t until I met two visionaries, Bono and Bobby Shriver, and joined (RED) that I understood that even greater power could come from the private and public sectors converging on behalf of the most vulnerable in our society. It was my experience at (RED) that pushed me to question my goals, seek a path with greater social impact and led me to Thorn.
I’ve had the incredible pleasure of leading Thorn for nearly five years, helping to build a team of people that have given birth to products and programs that have helped give hundreds of children a chance at a life free of abuse.
Beyond our day to day work, what has been the most inspiring part of this job is working with hundreds of people across diverse sectors, all of whom are passionate about ending child sexual exploitation. While at Thorn we have a small team of eight people, our true team numbers are in the hundreds. We call upon this army of Digital Defenders to help us create new approaches to stop abuse and give children a chance to reach their full potential. Our work is successful because of the creative and often unexpected solutions that arise when we bring diverse people with disparate backgrounds to the table.
Women in tech play a big role among Digital Defenders
For the past five years the majority of our Digital Defenders have worked quietly, without recognition or highlight. This year, you will see us highlight individuals who make up this army of Digital Defenders. This month, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, we want to highlight a few of the women who have committed themselves and their talent to Thorn and to the children on behalf of who we work.
Our guest bloggers this month include Einat Clarke, Senior Counsel at Google, President of the Technology Coalition, Inc. and member of the Thorn Tech Task Force; Rebecca Portnoff, a PHD Candidate at Berkeley who is interning at the Thorn Innovation Lab; and Del Harvey, the Vice President of Trust & Safety at Twitter. Each woman is successful in their own right, was introduced to the issue we work on in different ways and each brings incredible value to our work that makes us and this field stronger. Their paths demonstrate different ways that the private and public sectors are converging and elevating our response to children’s safety across all dividing lines.