Frances West

Founder of FrancesWestCo

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Author, speaker, strategist, and tech innovator – Frances West is a force to be reckoned with.

As the founder of FrancesWestCo, she works with organizations to bring digital inclusion to the forefront of their businesses. 

Frances is renowned for her hands-on management style as well as her unique approach to digital transformation initiatives, creating more inclusive workplaces for all. 

As an Asian immigrant who didn’t initially speak much English, Frances was no stranger to gender and race barriers throughout her career, which is why aligning business purpose with principles and profit is what she’s most passionate about today. 

When she’s not working on accessibility projects, she is leading inspirational talks centered on managing adversity challenges and dealing with the unknown. TEDx, CES, SXSW, and the World Congress of Information Technology have been just a few of her speaking platforms.

Other noteworthy speaking engagements include keynotes at policy forums for the World Bank and International Labor Organization at the United Nations, as well as the US Senate during the passing of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities treaty.

Her book, Authentic Inclusion™ Drives Disruptive Innovation, draws on her business and technology experience and has been featured at both CES and SXSW due to its relevance to inclusion challenges being faced today.

It’s also why her work has been cited in recognized publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Big Think, and Forbes, to name but a few.

About Her Career

Prior to the inception of FrancesWestCo, Frances was a systems engineer at IBM before becoming their first Chief Accessibility Officer. 

Over and above this, she also held several high-level executive positions in sales, marketing, strategy, and business development and research. She is even the holder of a number of US patents for inclusive technologies.

During the course of her career, Frances has been the recipient of numerous awards. Some of the most notable include:

• Leadership Award from the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ICT)

• Finalist for the Mobile World Congress Shanghai Women4Tech Award

• John D Kemp Individual Leadership Award from the US Business Leadership Network (aka Disability: IN).  

As for her qualifications, she began her education at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Washington & Lee University in Virginia, and graduated with a marketing degree from the University of Kentucky.

Frances also holds an honorary doctorate of science degree from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, has received advanced executive education at both Wharton and Harvard Business Schools, and is an instructor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. 

The World Institute on Disability, G3ict, Knowbility, and the Massachusetts chapter of International Women’s Forum are just some of the nonprofit boards that Frances currently serves on. 

About FrancesWestCo

FrancesWestCo’s core focus is on scaling inclusion initiatives to create a sustainable impact. The team is dedicated to working with organizations that want to innovate and operationalize digital inclusion in the most authentic way possible.

Key services offered by FrancesWestCo include:

•  Strategic Advice. Using the Authentic Inclusion™ blueprint, organizations can take a human-first approach to innovation, while scaling and maintaining digital inclusion. 

•  C-Suite Roundtables & Action Workshops. During these sessions, leaders are inspired and challenged to think differently, making inclusion initiatives more scalable while continuously driving innovation. Each roundtable and workshop is customized to each organization. 

Embracing and Promoting Global Accessibility Trends

Along with working with organizations on their inclusivity initiatives weekly, Frances is also an international representative at G3ict, the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies.

Using her in-depth understanding of global accessibility trends, Frances is able to share valuable guidance and insights to develop stronger long-term strategies that promote and integrate accessibility across a number of sectors. 

G3ict is a pioneer in the accessibility space, making Frances a valuable addition to their advisory and research committee. 

“G3ict looks forward to working on new thinking and strategies so that we can help government and companies accelerate accessibility related actions, solutions and innovation.  This is important because with the aging demographic sweeping the world, accessibility needs are now an economic and societal issue in addition to a human rights and individual issue.”

Overall, Frances is committed to doing her part to create a more inclusive society for all by helping businesses better understand why inclusivity is essential to innovation in a way that’s relevant to what they do.