Karla Morales

#InspireInclusion Spotlight - Karla Morales

In the realm of technology and community advocacy, one name shines brightly: Karla Bernal Morales. As the Vice President for the Arizona Technology Council, Karla is not only a leader but also a beacon of inspiration for women in STEM and beyond. With over 25 years of experience spanning education, non-profit work, and government relations, she brings a wealth of knowledge and a profound commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to her role.

Prior to the Arizona Tech Council, Karla spearheaded the expansion of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives at the University of Arizona. Her impactful efforts not only bolstered financial support for marginalized communities but also led to the establishment of the Religious Community Council encompassing 14 diverse denominations. By prioritizing intersectionality, Karla successfully united individuals from varied backgrounds and groups, fostering a more inclusive and interconnected community.

Karla attributes much of her professional development to the influential women she has crossed paths with, including her mother and a diverse array of mentors and collaborators. She highlights the invaluable lessons learned from women like Carol Stewart, Cecilia Mata, and Mayor Regina Romero - and many more - underscoring the significance of mentorship and authentic relationships in fostering growth and resilience.

When asked about advice for aspiring young women in leadership roles, Karla emphasized the importance of self-advocacy, embracing challenges, and supporting other women. Her words echoed a sentiment of empowerment, encouraging women to lead authentically, celebrate their achievements, and lift each other up along the way.

Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself and your ideas. Speak up in meetings, share your perspective, and assert yourself in a respectful manner. Take pride in your accomplishments and celebrate your successes along the way. Recognize the progress you've made and use it as fuel to keep moving forward.

In discussing the imperative of equity and inclusion, Karla emphasized the importance of starting with access. She spoke passionately about the transformative potential of providing equitable opportunities across various domains, from education to employment, sports, and social engagements. Karla articulated a vision of a more inclusive world built upon the foundational principles of accessibility, intentionality, and accountability.

As a prominent figure in the field of STEM, Karla shared insights into the advancements and ongoing challenges in promoting gender balance. While acknowledging progress, she highlighted the persistent barriers and biases hindering full participation. She underscored the crucial role of organizations like the Arizona Technology Council in advocating for gender equality, addressing unconscious bias, creating allies, and fostering inclusive work environments.

Karla’s enthusiasm for her role at the Arizona Technology Council was palpable as she spoke about the vibrant community of innovators and changemakers driving Arizona’s tech industry forward. She emphasized the pivotal role of people in shaping the future of technology, underscoring the council’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

In her role at the Arizona Technology Council, she has been instrumental in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. From geographical accessibility to diversified hiring practices, Karla has championed efforts to create a more inclusive tech ecosystem. Under her leadership, the council has implemented tangible measures, including a DEI statement and diversified hiring practices, to foster a culture of equity and belonging.

Karla Morales’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of authentic leadership and inclusive practices. As she continues to pave the way for future generations of leaders, her commitment to advocacy, authenticity, and empowerment serves as a guiding light in the quest for a more equitable and inclusive world. 

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