A common theme links Code2040, a nonprofit that nurtures black and Latinx tech talent, and the eponymous beauty company that Walker launched in 2013. Both engage with the premise that people of color will be the majority in the U.S. in about 20 years (the “2040” in Code2040) and that businesses will miss huge opportunities if they fail to connect with that majority.
Walker, a Stanford B-school grad whose career includes stints on Wall Street and at Twitter, has made that case resonate in very disparate industries. Code2040 now places more than 100 “fellows” each year at Silicon Valley giants like LinkedIn and Airbnb. And in retail, Walker & Co. broke through by persuading Target and Sephora to carry its shaving products and shampoos and display them prominently, rather than in an “ethnic beauty” niche. In December, Procter & Gamble bought the company in another affirmation of Walker’s vision.