After years of working in Silicon Valley, engineer, animator and computer programmer Annie Harper was used to the men in her industry making assumptions about her abilities because she was a woman. “I remember sitting in an audience while our co-founder Brennan was presenting on our startup Equal Reality,” Harper explains. “During the presentation, Brennan pointed me out in the crowd as his co-founder while talking about my virtual reality graphic animation. Straight after the presentation, a man came bounding up and shook the hand of the man next me – congratulating him on his work and wanting to learn more. It hadn’t occurred to him that the 5’5″ blonde girl to his right was the animator.”
It was experiencing this type of unconscious bias over and over again in Silicon Valley that inspired Harper to start Equal Reality with Brennan Hatton and Rick Martin. The idea? To harness the power of Virtual Reality so people can experience what it’s like to walk through the world as a different gender, race, age or ability-level in the workplace.
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