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Black women in tech

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7 Black Women In Tech You Need To Know

Nowadays, people are more aware that STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) are not simply the future. Arguably, both are the most important sectors driving economic growth and academic tracks today. From an professional standpoint, both STEM and STEAM are natural segues into the technology industry. With concerns around digital divides and achievement gaps, it is understandable that leaders in the Black community are pushing even harder to ensure that youth and adults, making career pivots have access to opportunity. More importantly, pointing to representation in the tech field gives prospective employees and students choosing academic paths a relatable and attainable goal. Which happens to be the perfect pivot into; currently, women make up 35% of the current tech workforce. This is such a significant improvement from the early 2000’s when women made up approximately 9%. In 2023, women held only...

This Tech Employee Quit Her Job After Allegedly Learning She Had The Lowest Promotion Of Her Co-Workers, She Claims

Transparency in salary is key to understanding your potential compensation and knowing when to advocate for yourself.

Samantha Dorisca

Mar 10, 2023

Black Women In Tech: Robotics Engineer Comes Up With A Way To Allow Her Acrylic Nails To Make Payments

Black women in tech are the future. View this post on Instagram A post shared by AfroTech (@afro.tech)

Ngozi Nwanji

Oct 28, 2022

PayPal EVP Of Sales, Peggy Alford, Says Black Women Talk Tech's Roadmap To Billions Conference Was 'A Long Time Coming'

When Black Women Talk Tech announced that Peggy Alford — the EVP of sales at PayPal — would be hosting a fireside chat at the Roadmap to Billions conference, attendees couldn’t have been more excited. But, perhaps, no one was more excited than Alford herself. “You know, I have to say this was a long time coming,” she told AfroTech. “It’s nice to see that, more and more, Black women are taking charge of their own careers, especially in the tech sector, and to see them come together in such a way to let everyone know that they’re here? I couldn’t be happier.” Photo Credit: Road Map To Billions The Roadmap to Billions is a conference built from the perspective of Black women that Black Women Talk Tech organizes. The organization empowers Black women who are driving innovation worldwide within untapped markets that can unlock billion-dollar opportunities. Roadmap to Billions is the only tech conference created by Black female founders for Black female founders and supporters of the...

For Black Girls CODE Founder Kimberly Bryant, Making History Means Teaching 1M Girls How to Code by 2040

Black Girls CODE founder Kimberly Bryant started her ambitious organization as a basement experiment and quickly transformed it into a global movement to usher more Black women into the tech space. According to Capitol Technology University, Bryant garnered an interest in math and science as a young girl — fields that are known to be dominated by Asian and white men. Her organization’s website also shared that she often felt culturally isolated as she sometimes found herself to be the only Black woman or Black person among her college classmates. Despite this, she maintained her interests and followed a career path that would merge her passion with a grand mission to change the face of tech. NBC News reported that throughout her biotech engineering career and journey climbing the ranks at companies like DuPont, Phillip Morris and Genentech, Bryant longed to see a more inclusive world for her daughter Kai. “My daughter was about to go to middle school and was interested in tech and...

Njera Perkins

Mar 18, 2021

31 Black Women in the Tech Sector Who Deserve Their Flowers

In honor of International Women’s Day, we here at AfroTech thought it was only fitting to recognize the work of 31 Black women in tech. Too often, Black women’s accomplishments, especially in the technology field, are overlooked or overshadowed. We encourage you not only to check out these women’s profiles and businesses but also to help shine a light on other Black women in tech this month and throughout the rest of the year.   Check out the list of 31 Black women in the tech sector below: Asmau Ahmed, CEO of Plum Perfect, an app that helps women find beauty products in line with their skin tone Sheena Allen, Founder and CEO of CapWay, which works to service the underbanked Shellye Archambeau, Current Board member of numerous tech companies, former President of Blockbuster.com, and CEO of MetricStream Angela Benton, Founder and CEO of Streamlytics, which helps make transparent what users are consuming on streaming services Jean Brownhill, Founder and CEO of Sweeten, which helps to...

AfroTech

Mar 8, 2021

Amazon Scientist Nashlie Sephus is Building a $25M Tech Hub in Her Mississippi Hometown

Techpreneur and Amazon worker Nashlie Sephus is accomplishing a groundbreaking goal to build a tech hub downtown in her Jackson, Mississippi hometown to help train the next generation of tech geniuses. According to Face2Face Africa, Sephus is turning downtown Jackson — which isn’t well-known for its technology prowess — into a $25 million tech district made up of 12 acres of vacant lots and seven buildings — roughly 500,000 square feet of workspace — to put her community on the map in the tech world. “My goal is to turn this space into a self-sustaining village where people can live, work, play, and eat,” Sephus told Inc. The idea to build up this tech community came to Sephus back in 2018 when she was looking for an office space for her own startup Bean Path — an incubator and technology consulting nonprofit — which has assisted over 400 local businesses and individuals with their technology needs. Her search landed her in the downtown Jackson area, which was once considered a...

Njera Perkins

Mar 4, 2021

How Serial Entrepreneur Courtne Smith Evolved Prize Giveaways Into Snapchat-Backed Social Polling App NewNew

Most people probably want to ask Courtne Smith about her time spent as Drake’s personal assistant and member of his management team. Working closely with one of the biggest pop stars and successful businessmen as his friend and right hand probably yields some inspiring, lifelong knowledge (and we get to that). But the more interesting thing about Courtne Smith, the co-founder and CEO of the polling app NewNew, is her ability to evolve her businesses and fearlessly meet new challenges along the way. It should be noted, this isn’t Smith’s first rodeo in business or tech. A serial entrepreneur, Smith previously launched the prize giveaway app Suprize in 2018. Users were given chances to win cool items, including concert tickets, Kylie cosmetics, and Nike sneakers. Then, Smith and her business partner Filip Diarra decided brands wouldn’t give away free goods forever, so they evolved Suprize into NewNew, which allows users to personalize polls around various topics using videos, popular...

Niki McGloster

Jan 14, 2021

Fareedah Shaheed Teaches Non-Tech Savvy Parents the Ins & Outs of Cyber Security

For many making attempts to teach their older loved one’s anything technical, the response is typically rooted in the fact that it is too hard or can’t be figured out. But, Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient, Fareedah Shaheed is not taking that for an answer. Her response was to create, Sekuva –a tech company that facilitates helping parents keep their children safe navigating virtual spaces. According to USA Today , “The increase in reports tracks in the United States and abroad during the pandemic, experts said. Tips to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the clearinghouse for such information in the United States, nearly doubled from 6.3 million in the first half of 2019 to 12 million through June of this year. Reports of online enticement similarly spiked during that timeframe, from 6,863 to 13,268.” Shaheed created Sekuva with an understanding of the influx of cyber bullying having been a recipient of being bullied as a Black American girl growing up in Saudi...

Imani Bashir

Dec 30, 2020

South Africa's First Woman-Led Animation Studio Gears Up For First Release

Black women are continuing to create solutions to problems that have nearly been ingrained into society. One of the latest to do so is Thandiwe MIauli, founder and CEO of Studio Yezi, a South African development and animation studio on a mission to challenge Hollywood’s models of animation. According to their website, the name is inspired by the isiZulu word “inkanyezi” which means “Star.” Thus the company aims to be a “symbol of hope and light [and] serve the world with our storytelling.” She tells IOL News she feels the current landscape of the South African animation world does not accurately represent its audience. As a teenager, she fell in love with Japanese animation and “wanted something to connect her to [the characters].” “Black people have been fans of fantasy, superhero, comic-book inspired stories,” she said. “And yet writers seem to forget us when they create.” MIauli decided to create a whimsical fantasy adventure animation titled “SOLA” starring a brown-skinned, afro...

Abriana Walton

Aug 20, 2020

Information Systems Professor Receives $190K Grant to Improve Self-Driving Cars

Trailblazing information systems professor, Siobahn Day Grady, Ph.D., is a Black tech unicorn you should know about. Not only is she the first woman to receive a doctorate degree in the field of computer science — according to North Carolina Central University — from North Carolina A&T State University in 2018, but she also recently received a $190,000 grant to conduct research to improve self-driving cars. Grady received the grant from the National Science Foundation’s Historically Black Colleges and Excellence in Research program and plans to use the funds to research and identify issues with self-driving cars. “This research is very timely and relevant; it’s the future,” Grady said, according to North Carolina Central University . “I’m excited to contribute to the field as well as provide research opportunities to students.” North Carolina Central University reports that Grady’s research will center around analyzing fault-detection capabilities of self-driving vehicles including...

Devin Crudup

Jul 9, 2020

Angie Jones Becomes the First-Ever Black Female Java Champion

Angie Jones, a veteran of the tech industry and an avid creator of online coding courses, has made history as she was named as a new Java Champion. OMGGGG! Wow, this is a dream come true!!! Thank you so much 😭 Wait, I gotta go tell my Java college professor. He's gonna be over the moon! 😂🙏🏾 https://t.co/P5HtHs4gls — Angie Jones (@techgirl1908) July 2, 2020 Oracle defines Java Champions as “an exclusive group of passionate Java technology and community leaders who are community-nominated and selected under a project sponsored by Oracle. Java Champions get the opportunity to provide feedback, ideas, and direction that will help Oracle grow the Java Platform. ” In fact, the group is so exclusive that there are only 299 members globally, period. Jones was the first Black woman ever to be selected for the honor. To many in the Java world, Angie is no stranger . For almost two decades, Jones has been in the industry, is active on social media, and teaches several courses on Test Automation...

Colleen Williams

Jul 7, 2020

Here’s Why These Black Celebs are Learning to Code

Computer science often seems like a field open only to people who are fully dedicated to computing and mathematics. However, this could not be further from the truth. High-profile celebrities around the world have told their fans that they know how to code and that they also value learning to code . It’s not difficult to understand why these celebrities are interested in programming. After all, coding not only unlocks job opportunities—according to the non-profit Code.org , there are nearly 500,000 “[o]pen computing jobs” in the U.S. alone—but knowing how to code can help you solve problems more effectively. Here’s why these Black celebrities — that you may not have known were into coding — are learning the skill. Serena Williams Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Apartment List Serena Williams is a professional tennis player who has won 23 major singles titles throughout her career—the most won by any woman or man. Williams holds more Grand Slam titles than any other active player in...

Career Karma

Feb 28, 2020

Letitia Wright Leverages Her Role in ‘Black Panther’ to Empower Black Girls in STEM

We know her as Shuri, the tech savvy Wakanda princess and little sister to T’Challa. However, off screen Letitia Wright shares the same passion for technology as her “Black Panther” character who has inspired young Black girls with her innovative vibranium powered tech inventions. Wright was inspired to learn more about tech after her role in the film and discovering how much of an impact Shuri made in regards to representation in a field that lacks diversity and inclusion. “You have to see something in order for you to understand that you can do it,” she said in a NowThis News interview . After the historic release of “Black Panther,” Wright was flooded with appreciation for portraying Black women and girls in tech. “And a floodgate just opened up for so many women saying, you know, thank you for representing us and stuff like that,” she told Anne-Marie Imafidon, co-founder of Stemettes. Wright visited with four young women who were competing in the Shell Eco-Marathon to discuss...

Devin Crudup

Feb 25, 2020

Starting a Business? Here's a City You Should Consider

For decades, Silicon Valley has held a monopoly on the tech startup industry. Some of the most successful companies of recent decades have come out of the Valley, and more startups spring from the area than anywhere else in the world. However, launching a startup in the Valley has always had severe limitations, especially for Black and brown founders. The most obvious limitation is the prohibitive cost of living in Silicon Valley. With an average house price near $1 million and the average rent inching closer and closer to $3000 , merely surviving has been a significant stress factor for most young entrepreneurs in the city. Silicon Valley’s enduring legacy of racial and gender discrimination has made everyday life particularly uncomfortable for many non-male, non-white startup founders. Over the past few years, the tech industry in cities like Seattle, Austin, and, more recently, Atlanta, have exploded. Yet, the industry seems to have overlooked one city with enormous potential:...

Colleen Williams

Dec 31, 2019