About the Author

Photo of Karen wearing a Better Allies vest on the Golden Gate Bridge

Karen Catlin is an acclaimed author and speaker on inclusive workplaces. After spending 25 years building software products and serving as a vice president of engineering at Macromedia and Adobe, she witnessed a sharp decline in the number of women working in tech. Frustrated but galvanized, she knew it was time to switch gears.

In 2014, Karen started the Twitter handle @betterallies to share simple, actionable steps that anyone could take to make their workplaces more inclusive. That handle became the inspiration for her three books, Better Allies: Everyday Actions to Create Inclusive, Engaging Workplaces (2019), The Better Allies™ Approach to Hiring (2020), and Belonging in Healthcare (2022). She also emails a roundup of 5 Ally Actions to her newsletter subscribers every Friday.

In addition to speaking about her books, Karen coaches women to be stronger leaders and men to be better allies for members of all underrepresented groups. Her client roster includes Airbnb, DoorDash, Google, eBay, and Intuit. Her writing on leadership has appeared in Inc., the Daily BeastFast Company, and the Muse, and she’s consulted on articles for the Wall Street JournalForbes, and the New York Times.

Karen is a graduate and active alum of Brown University. She’s also a member of the board of directors of Digital NEST and on the advisory boards for the Women’s CLUB of Silicon Valley and WEST (Women Entering & Staying in Technology). In 2015, the California State Assembly honored Karen with the Wonder Women Tech Innovator Award for outstanding achievements in business and technology and for being a role model for women.


A self-professed public speaking geek, Karen is a highly sought-after, engaging presenter who has delivered talks at hundreds conferences and corporate events. She speaks on a variety of topics including Better Allies and women in leadership. Her TEDx talk, Women in Tech: The Missing Force, explores the decline in gender diversity in tech, why it’s a problem, and what can be done about it.

In addition to speaking herself, Karen is determined to change the ratio for who is on stage, giving keynotes and other presentations. To support her goal of bringing more diversity to speaker lineups at tech industry events, she coauthored Present! A Techie’s Guide to Public Speaking with Poornima Vijayashanker.

To find out more about Karen, including her talks and workshops on Better Allies, visit her website at karencatlin.com.

For speaking engagements and all other inquiries, contact us at info@betterallies.com.

Karen’s speaker reel
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