Frances W.

TED Speaker, Author, Founder, Advisor at FrancesWestco

Information Technology and Services

Education: University of Kentucky - University of Massachusetts, Boston, Honorary Doctor of Science
Boston, MA, USA


Frances West is an internationally recognized author, thought leader, speaker, strategy advisor, and women-in-technology trailblazer known for her book Authentic Inclusion Drives Disruptive Innovation and her work in innovation, technology, and business transformation. She is the founder of FrancesWestCo, a global strategy advisory company focused on operationalizing inclusion as a business and technology imperative through her unique Authentic Inclusion™ blueprint. Her insightful and impactful approach comes from her experience as a global executive in sales, marketing, business development, and research, as well as her groundbreaking work in accessibility as IBM’s first Chief Accessibility Officer. She holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Massachusetts in Boston in recognition of her work in accessibility, research, and digital inclusion.


Digital Inclusion, Women in Technology, Women Leadership, Inclusive Technology Solutions, Workplace Accessibility Technology Innovation, Startup advising and coaching, Cross Cultural Mentoring

Featured Video

I am willing to travel

More than 100 miles

When it comes to payments

I generally get paid for speaking but make exceptions


accessibility startup inclusive technology digital inclusion diversity technology women in technology disability inclusion diversity and inclusion innovation women in tech womens leadership future of work artificial intelligence inspiration transformational leadership transformational innovation digital transformation nonprofits public policy china diversity hiring diversity in the workplace design thinking inclusion by design aging women empowerment executive coaching remote working healthcare research and development business strategy authentic leadership compliance technology cognitive technology reskilling upskilling asian american

Best Story

Frances leverages her broad base technology business knowledge and first hand diversity experience to help young startup CEOs to achieve growth in their business and winning international recognition by focusing on inclusion based innovation solutions.

Origin Story

Frances West is a first-generation Chinese immigrant and female frontier in digital inclusion, technology, and innovation. She grew up in Taiwan and was educated in Hong Kong. She came to the US as a sophomore exchange student.

Despite the language barrier, Frances’ determination to work for an international company led her to land a job with IBM promptly after graduating from college. Over the next three decades, Frances gained wide experience across many IBM divisions, excelling in different positions in sales, marketing, services and research innovation.

While every executive position added to her expertise and leadership in the industry, it was Frances’ last role at IBM that laid the foundation for her most impactful work.

As the Director of the IBM Accessibility Center in IBM Research, and later became IBM’s first Chief Accessibility Officer, Frances recognized the immense value that aging and people with disabilities could add with their unique perspective in the workplace and marketplace. This insight inspired Frances to formulate an inclusive business strategy for orgnizations to follow that would enable their continued success alongside the rapidly changing business environment.

After a long and successful career at IBM, Frances continues her focus on leveraging technology to make the workplace and society more inclusive by founding FrancesWestCo. She also wrote a book "Authentic Inclusion Drives Disruptive Innovation" to tell the story and share the lessons learned from her personal and professional journey. Her goal is to change C-suite mindset about inclusion, especially technology inclusion and promote the idea that human diversity can be the driver of innovation for our future.

Her inspiring personal story , unique international background and professional technology experience make her a great speaker and story teller in this complex and challenging time.

Example talks

Technology Made Human: A Way to Achieve Authentic Inclusion

Human diversity is at the core of disruptive innovation. True engagement of diversity calls for holistic actions across an institution to respect an individual's ability to make a difference despite being different.

Today’s technology is there to serve humans, and as we invent, develop, and deploy human-impact technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), it is crucial that all human differences are considered proactively and are designed in. In other words, we have to think, “human first.”

Target Audience: C-Suites in private, public, academia and nonprofit sectors, Senior Technology Leaders: Chief Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Accessibility Officer, Senior HR Leaders: Chief People Officer, Chief Diversity Officer, Senior Marketing Leaders: Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Branding Officer, etc

Customer, Employee, Partner Conferences in all industries. Extra relevant to Technology, Financial Services, Healthcare, and Retail Industries

Authentic Inclusion Drives Disruptive Innovation

There is no shortage of discussion around inclusion in both business and society. Frances West calls for a new way of thinking where diversity is at the core of disruptive innovation. She shares her concept of Authentic Inclusion™ through her personal story as a first-generation immigrant and woman in tech executive and why her “human-first” thinking is critical for individuals, businesses and society now.