GoGuardian, the leading education technology company providing simple, proven solutions to create effective, engaging, and safer learning environments, has announced the appointment of Dionna Smith as the company's first Chief Diversity Officer. Smith brings more than 15 years of experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion leadership, inclusive product design, and multicultural marketing.
GoGuardian products are used by over 25 million students across 6,300 U.S. school districts to enhance curriculum and instruction and improve student safety. The company is committed to building products and services that reach all students in an equitable and inclusive way. As Chief Diversity Officer, Smith will create and execute strategies to build inclusive and diverse teams that will in turn guide the creation of inclusive products, and work towards a future where all learners are ready and inspired to solve the world's greatest challenges.
"Strong diversity, equity, and inclusion programs are essential to every aspect of a successful company, but especially for companies focused on education," said Advait Shinde, co-founder and CEO, GoGuardian. "Appointing a Chief Diversity Officer is the outcome of more than a year of challenging, concerted work to level-up our understanding and execution of inclusion practices and principles. Dionna has a tremendously successful track record of developing policies, frameworks, and programs that align with GoGuardian's mission to ensure that our products are built to serve learners with diverse backgrounds. We're thrilled to have her on board to help focus our support for learners."
Educational technology products have the potential to improve learning outcomes for students from historically marginalized groups, closing education gaps through inclusion. Smith will help GoGuardian reflect upon and identify where products and ideas can be innovated to continue improving on education solutions for all students.
"Education is a great equalizer, and technology is an essential avenue to improve equity in education," said Smith. "DEI is most impactful when it is focused both internally and externally. At GoGuardian, my focus is on ensuring that we foster a culture of belonging and identifying where and how we can improve our products to ensure our solutions are just as impactful to the historically marginalized students, parents, teachers, and communities we serve."
Among her career honors and accolades, Smith was selected for Atlanta Business Chronicle's 2015 40 Under 40 Awards, and she received the National Diversity Council's Diversity Champion award and the Mogul's 2021 Top DEI Leaders Award. She is on the advisory board at both Power To Fly, an organization which upskills and connects underrepresented talent to roles in highly visible sectors, and Employee Benefits News, where she helps companies ensure they are providing and advocating for inclusive benefits for employees.
Prior to joining GoGuardian, Smith served as Thumbtack's Global Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, where she was responsible for ensuring minority business owners had an equal opportunity in the Thumbtack platform, as well as ensuring the company fostered and maintained an inclusive culture. Smith also previously led Diverse Talent Strategies at Delta Airlines and held multicultural branding, Talent and DEI roles at technology companies including LexisNexis, Cisco Systems and Fiserv.