The coronavirus pandemic has brought our world to its knees. The future is uncertain and we’re feeling vulnerable in new ways. So many of us are looking for sources of encouragement, something to give us strength.
In my work in tech PR, I find daily inspiration from the women of color who are blazing paths in the tech world. They have overcome adversity at every turn, and that’s profoundly encouraging to me as a woman of color. I’m also honored to connect tech brands with other women of color, who otherwise might be left behind as the tech industry moves forward.
These women represent just four percent of the tech workforce. And they get less than one percent of all venture investment. They’ve had to smash gender and racial barriers as they fight they want to the top, every single day.
Their grit and glory are particularly worth honoring during Women’s History Month–so I’ve put together a shortlist. Collectively, these women give me renewed faith because they represent a more inclusive future.
But I hope they also serve as a reminder of who makes up the fabric of this nation. They are part of what makes us so resilient as a society and stronger than ever. I hope you find this uplifting during these heavy days. And most importantly, I hope you stay positive, productive, safe!
Bari Williams, technology business attorney, is a Facebook and Stubhub alumni. She has a passion for putting women in leadership roles and advocating for diversity initiatives.
Katherine Johnson, mathematician and former engineer at NASA, played a key role in numerous NASA missions during the Space Race and was most notable for calculating the trajectory needed to get the Apollo 11 mission to the moon and back. She opened doors for black women!
Lybra Clemons, Head of Diversity at PayPal, is responsible for overseeing all global diversity initiatives for the company — including strategy for diversity talent analytics, engagement, and recruitment. I’ve seen her speak and she is phenomenal!
Rediet Abebe, Co-founder of Black in AI is working to make iAI products and technology more inclusive. Particularly, she’s aiming to solve AI’s failure to recognize black and brown faces.
Anne-Marie Imafidon, CEO and co-founder of STEMettes is a computing, mathematics and language child prodigy. She co-founded Stemettes, a social enterprise focused on promoting women in STEM careers.
Annie Jean-Baptiste, Head of Product Inclusion, Research, and Activation of Google, is responsible for making sure everything Google puts on the market is inclusive of the people using it.