YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki helps honor U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith at the #glaadgala

At the GLAAD Gala San Francisco on November 7, Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube, presented the current Chief Technology Officer of the United States, Megan Smith, with the Rick Weiland Award. This Award is meant to honor someone in the technology field who is accelerating acceptance, and Smith is doing just that. In her introduction, Wojcicki listed some fond memories of Smith, including her reaching out to Malala Yousafzai just after her attack, before Yousafzai was ever an author or Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Before her current position, Smith worked at Google and started when it was still a new company. As Wojcicki mentioned, one of her big projects was Google Books which, 10 years after its inception, now has over 25 million books digitized. Yet, it is not just Smith's achievements that were highlighted; Smith herself spoke about the technology industry as a whole, and its power to accelerate acceptance and unite members of the LGBT community. She cited the early days of chat rooms as an example.

After looking back at the technology industry's past, she brought the conversation to today and to the future: "The broad diversity of everyone is the most powerful way to be in the world," said Smith. "And we have a lot of challenges ahead to get there but innovation and inclusion, and inclusion and innovation are the same thing. And so, it's so exciting to watch tech wake up to this."

The GLAAD Gala San Francisco honors innovators in the Bay Area who advance LGBT acceptance through tech and new media and also funds GLAAD's national advocacy work to rewrite the script to accelerate acceptance.