Tobi Ore­dein

FOUNDER OF Black Bal­lad, A LIFE­STYLE PLAT­FORM FOR BLACK WOMEN

ELLE (UK) - - Play -

“Tech won’t bring the world to­gether men” if it’s just a group of white

‘White women’s me­dia cares more about av­o­ca­dos than it does about black women.’ A video of Toni Ore­dein mak­ing this state­ment went vi­ral in 2O16 and sums up the im­pe­tus be­hind her web­site Black Bal­lad, which seeks to ‘el­e­vate the voices of black Bri­tish women through con­tent, com­mu­nity and com­merce’.

‘I felt like all the mag­a­zines I loved to read didn’t rep­re­sent women of colour,’ says Ore­dein. So I thought, “I’m go­ing to cre­ate some­thing and see what hap­pens.”’ Ini­tially she found it a strug­gle to be taken se­ri­ously in the tech scene. ‘Peo­ple would of­ten talk to my hus­band and co-founder Bola, not me, and I some­times had to say, “This is my vi­sion.” It gave me the con­fi­dence to speak my mind.’

While di­ver­sity in the me­dia has im­proved, Ore­dein feels tech is be­hind. ‘Tech is sup­posed to bring the world to­gether, but that won’t hap­pen if it’s just a group of white men in a room,’ she says. ‘We need to have peo­ple that don’t look like us. I reg­u­larly check my­self. I’m not here to be the sec­ond-best me­dia des­ti­na­tion for black women, I want to be the best.’

ELLE JAN­UARY £599;£75,POLO RALPH LAU­REN.

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