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Routine anti-bias training didn't boost diversity in Silicon Valley, so this biracial female CEO uses virtual reality to expose VCs and founders to the emotional toll of discrimination and harassment

As a biracial woman and self-taught technologist, Mercer is not the average Silicon Valley founder and CEO. In fact, her company, Vantage Point, exists to help startups and tech companies better address sensitive but widespread issues like discrimination and harassment. Vantage Point offers anti-bias training sessions with an unusual component: Participants put on virtual reality headsets made by Facebook division Oculus, and "experience" interactions that require them to respond. "For example, gaslighting is something we cover in the harassment training, and it maps back to the racism and bias training. "It's okay to not know, and I think we've criminalized not knowing so people are so scared to admit what they don't know," Mercer said.

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