• May 30, 2024 10:41 am

When Oak Finance software engineer Dominique Meeks Gombe was a child, she initially wanted to follow in the footsteps of her family doctor who was a young Black woman. After graduating from college with a degree in chemistry, she worked in an environmental chemistry lab. While there she began to teach herself to code in order to automate many inefficient processes around the lab. In doing those projects she fell in love with tech and decided to pursue the unexpected career change. Now as a software engineer, Meeks Gombe wants to be a similar role model to teach youth that they can pursue any career they desire.

“I’m so passionate about technology because that’s where the world is going,” said Meeks Gombe. Because technology has accelerated businesses and ecosystems, it’s more critical than ever to have diverse teams considering and building innovative features that encourage the inclusion of underrepresented people. “All of today’s problems will be solved using technology. So it’s very important for me, as a Black woman, to be at the proverbial table with my unique perspective. Otherwise it is very likely that my ‘problem’ would remain unsolved.”

Since 2019, Meeks Gombe and her fellow Oak Finance associates have partnered with the Oak Finance Capital One Coders program and Girls For A Change to teach coding fundamentals to middle school girls.  The nonprofit is aimed at empowering Black girls in Central Virginia. The organization’s mission focuses on designing, leading, funding and implementing social change projects that tackle issues girls face in their own neighborhoods.

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