How Has Technology Changed Our Perceptions of Gender?

Program Information

Our social and legal perspectives about gender have changed a lot in the last 50 years.

  • Does Gender still matter?
  • Can we achieve Diversity without Discrimination?
  • Is this a zero sum game, or does eliminating gender bias help everyone?
  • Is Gender Bias inherent, or is it simply institutional, and we just need to work harder at it?
  • Who decides someone’s gender, and what limits are there on a change of gender?

These issues are not merely academic. They are problems and opportunities for businesses, both with respect to their own human resources and also with respect to market opportunities.

What are innovative companies doing about it? Are there business opportunities if gender that is not binary, and not even spectral? Where is the Central Coast in the national debate?

The MIT Enterprise Forum of the Central Coast has assembled a panel of local experts from academia and industry to discuss their perspectives on these important issues.

Join us on Wednesday, November 20 to learn and discuss more.

This program will be moderated by Central Coast MIT Enterprise Forum Vice Chair, Steven Sereboff.


  • Mary Kennett, Deckers Brands
  • Tristan Bridges, UCSB
  • Cate Taylor, UCSB
  • Valerie Jackson, Procore Technologies

About the Speakers

MARY KENNETT, Head of People & Experience at Deckers Brands

Mary Kennett serves as the Head of People & Experience of Deckers Outdoor Corporation.  She is forward-thinking and results-driven human resources executive with a proven track record of operationalizing organizational vision into relevant and progressive people practices. At Deckers, she focuses on the people experience to accelerate development, ignite talent, and support success.

Prior to joining Deckers, Kennett’s background in human resources extends from large organizations such as UC Santa Barbara, Curvature, Kaplan International, and Amgen. She earned her Master’s degree from Victoria University of Wellington in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

TRISTAN BRIDGES, PhD, Assistant Professor, Sociology, UC Santa Barbara

Tristan’s research examines this dynamic by examining shifts in the meanings and practices associated with masculinity.  He is particularly interested in the relationship between gender, sexuality and power with a focus on “hybrid” configurations of masculinity that operate in ways that challenge and reproduce systems of inequality.

His work on “hybrid masculinities” is concerned with the revival and retheorization of a theoretical discussion that began among scholars studying shifts in masculinity at the end of the 20th century.  Building on interdisciplinary research and theory concerning the gender projects of young, straight, white men, “hybrid masculinities” is a theoretical framework that provides new tools for making sense of contemporary gender and sexual inequality and unites findings from scholarship across the field–concerning questions of identity, inequality, and how we can interpret the meanings and consequences associated with shifts in masculinity.

Presently, Tristan is working on a book that attempts to reconsider how we theorize about men’s relationship with gender identity and inequality in the 21st century, tentatively entitled: Othering Other Men: Transformations in Gender and Inequality among Men. Tristan earned his PhD from the University of Virginia.

CATE TAYLOR, PhD, Assistant Professor, Sociology, UC Santa Barbara

Cate Taylor is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at The University of California at Santa Barbara. Her main research and teaching areas are gender, work and occupations, social psychology, health, and methods. Before joining the faculty at UCSB, Professor Taylor earned her PhD in Sociology at Cornell University, was a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar at Columbia University, and was a faculty member at Indiana University. Her work has been published in leading sociological and interdisciplinary journals including American Journal of Sociology, Social Science & Medicine, and Gender & Society. She also delivers training and talks to help organizations increase their diversity in hiring and retention.

VALERIE JACKSON, Senior Director, Global Inclusion and Diversity, Procore Technologies

Valerie Jackson currently serves as Senior Director of Global Inclusion and Diversity at Procore Technologies, where she helps all Procorians to build a more inclusive culture and a stronger, better business. A passionate developer of people and opportunities, Valerie has focused on building and leading inclusion initiatives in global companies for nearly 15 years, primarily in the legal industry. Earlier in her career, Valerie also practiced finance law and was an international policy advisor and negotiator for the U.S. public accounting regulator. She earned her A.B., cum laude, from Harvard University and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.



STEVEN SEREBOFF, Vice Chair, MIT Enterprise Forum, and Partner, SoCal IP Law Group

Steven C. Sereboff is a partner of SoCal IP Law Group. He has specialized in intellectual property law since 1991. Strategic IP counseling – where business, technology and IP law intersect – has become the hallmark of his practice. His practice includes patents (including patent prosecution), trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights, licensing and contracts. He regularly works with clients to develop and implement corporate IP programs which emphasize quality, economy and risk management. His technical expertise includes many aspects of computers (both software and hardware), networks and myriad electronic and electrical devices, their operation and manufacture.

Mr. Sereboff’s clients have included multibillion-dollar multinationals, medium-sized public and private companies and growth-oriented start-ups.

Mr. Sereboff holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland and had seven years of experience in the computer software business before earning his law degree from Boston University. While at Boston University, Mr. Sereboff founded Boston University’s Technology, Science and Law Association, and was employed by MIT to negotiate and manage software licenses. He founded and is President of the Conejo Valley Bar Association.

Mr. Sereboff is a member of the California bar and is registered to practice before the United States Patent & Trademark Office.


Event & Ticket Information

Event Date:  Wednesday, November 20, 2019, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Where: 670 Mission Canyon Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93105


  • Student: $15.00
  • General-Early-Bird (online only): $30.00
    Sign up now & save $10 off general walk-in rate. Offer ends Tuesday, November 19 at 8 p.m.
  • General-Walk-in: $40.00
  • Parking: FREE


  • 5:00 – 6:00 Networking Hour, Online Check-in & Registration for Walk-ins
  • 6:00 – 7:30 Presentation/Panelist Discussion
  • 7:30 – 8:00 Q&A

Tickets include appetizers and refreshments for both online and walk-in registrants. (Beer or wine separate– cash, pre-paid online or at door.)

If you miss the Online Early-Bird Offer, we welcome guests on the day of the event at the Walk-in rate. (Online rate not applicable.) 

Online event registration is for Gender Revolution powered by Eventbrite
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