February 15, 2024

10 Outstanding Black Women In Tech

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February 15, 2024

Black History Month, observed annually in February, stands for the rich African American heritage, resilience, and accomplishments. It is a time to commemorate the struggles, triumphs, and contributions of Black individuals throughout history. Within this broader narrative, it is imperative to focus on the often overlooked but significant role of Black women in shaping various domains, including the technology industry.

First instituted by historian Carter G. Woodson as Negro History Week in 1926, Black History Month expanded nationally in the United States in 1976, urging individuals to understand the complexities of Black history beyond the confines of a single week. Today, it represents a global celebration, fostering education, reflection, and dialogue on the enduring legacies of Black pioneers and their invaluable contributions to humanity's progress.

Amidst the broader spectrum of Black achievement, the tech industry stands as a dynamic arena where innovation, creativity, and ingenuity converge. However, historical narratives often sideline the instrumental role that Black women have played in shaping the technological landscape. Despite facing systemic barriers and institutional biases, Black women have continually challenged norms, shattered glass ceilings, and catalyzed transformative change within the tech sphere.

Recognizing the contributions of Black women in the tech industry is not merely an act of acknowledgment but a crucial step towards rectifying historical injustices and fostering inclusive environments that nurture diverse talent. The importance of this recognition transcends symbolic gestures; it embodies a fundamental commitment to equity, representation, and social justice within the technology sector.

Black women constitute 7% of the U.S. population and only 2.2% of the total technical workforce in the U.S., according to a PEW Research study, indicating the glaring disparities in representation. Companies that have a formal process of holding senior leaders accountable for DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) goals have 2X Black tech new hires, reflecting the positive impact of proactive diversity initiatives.

According to a report by, promotion rates of Black women in technology increased from 12.3% in 2021 to 16.8% in 2022, signaling a gradual shift toward greater inclusivity and recognition of Black women's contributions. Although, on average, companies promoted fewer technologists in 2022, Black, Latinx, Native American, and Pacific Islander (BLNP) women technologists saw significant increases in promotion rates, with Black women experiencing the largest increase.

Black women showed the largest increase (16%) in the percentage of tech new hires from 2021 to 2022, highlighting the growing recognition of their talent and potential in the tech sector. These statistics underscore the importance of fostering inclusive environments that empower Black women to thrive and succeed in the tech industry.

Moreover, the importance of recognizing Black women in tech extends beyond individual achievements to broader societal implications. Representation matters profoundly, especially in fields where diversity remains a persistent challenge. By amplifying the voices and stories of Black women in tech, we not only inspire future generations but also challenge prevailing stereotypes, dismantle barriers to entry, and cultivate inclusive spaces where talent flourishes, irrespective of race or gender.

10 Outstanding Black Women In Tech

The pioneering spirit, innovation, and leadership of Black Women in Tech have reshaped the industry and inspired generations. Here are the ten outstanding Black women who have made an indelible mark in the tech sector:

Aisha Bowe, Founder & CEO of STEMBoard

Aisha Bowe stands for innovation and empowerment in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). As a former NASA rocket scientist turned serial entrepreneur, she has not only shattered glass ceilings but also paved the way for aspiring technologists to follow in her footsteps. Aisha's journey is known for her perseverance, passion, and purpose-driven leadership.

At STEMBoard, Aisha Bowe has cultivated a culture of innovation and excellence, propelling the company to the ranks of the Inc. 5000 as one of America's fastest-growing companies. Her vision extends far beyond business success; it is rooted in a deep-seated commitment to empowering students and underrepresented communities to pursue careers in STEM fields, thereby bridging the gap between aspiration and opportunity. 

Aisha's entrepreneurial acumen is exemplified by her groundbreaking venture, LINGO, a self-paced coding kit designed to democratize technical education and empower individuals to learn coding concepts from the comfort of their homes. By securing nearly $2 million in venture capital funding in 2022, she demonstrated her ability to leverage financial resources to drive meaningful impact and scale innovative solutions that address systemic challenges in STEM education.

Beyond her entrepreneurial endeavors, Aisha Bowe has emerged as a staunch advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the tech industry. In her role as Head of Global Education Programs at Amazon Web Services, she spearheads initiatives aimed at promoting diversity and expanding access to STEM opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds. Her commitment to fostering inclusive environments underscores her belief in the transformative power of diversity as a driver of innovation and progress.

Through education, evaluation, and support, Aisha is dedicated to unlocking the full potential of individuals and organizations, catalyzing a paradigm shift in how we approach STEM education and workforce development.

Annie Jean-Baptiste, Co-founder, Director of Product Inclusion & Equity at Google

Annie Jean-Baptiste stands at the forefront of a transformative movement aimed at fostering inclusion and equity within one of the world's leading technology companies - Google. As the Co-founder and Director of Product Inclusion & Equity at Google, she has dedicated her career to championing diversity, empowering underrepresented voices, and driving meaningful change within the tech industry.

At Google, Annie Jean-Baptiste occupies a pivotal role, serving as the architect of inclusion strategies that permeate every aspect of the company's product development process. From consultation and communication to scaling research initiatives, she has pioneered a holistic approach to product inclusion, ensuring that users from underrepresented backgrounds are not only heard but actively engaged in the design and development of Google's products and services.

Annie's passion for inclusive design stems from her unwavering commitment to creating products that resonate with and serve the needs of diverse communities. Through her visionary leadership, she has cultivated a culture of empathy, collaboration, and innovation within Google, where inclusivity is not merely a buzzword but a guiding principle that informs every decision and action.

One of Annie's most significant contributions lies in her role as a catalyst for change within the tech industry. By advocating for inclusive design practices and driving conversations around diversity and representation, she has helped pave the way for a more equitable and inclusive future in technology. Her efforts extend beyond the confines of Google, inspiring other companies and organizations to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values.

Annie joined the Black Angel Group in January 2023 as a Member and is working closely with other angel investors to support several early-stage start-ups.

Camille Hearst, Head of Fan Monetization, Spotify

Camille Hearst stands as a dynamic force at the intersection of technology, innovation, and creative empowerment, wielding her expertise to shape the future of the music industry. As the Head of Fan Monetization, she occupies an important role in empowering musicians and creators to monetize their audience and navigate the evolving landscape of digital music distribution. 

With a distinguished career that spans some of the world's most influential tech companies, Camille Hearst brings a wealth of experience and insight to her role at Spotify. Before her current role, she served as the Head of Product at Patreon, where she played a central role in building a platform that enables creators to monetize their work and engage directly with their fans.

Camille's entrepreneurial spirit is evident in her role as the Co-founder and CEO of Kit, a social shopping platform that empowers influencers and tastemakers to curate and recommend products to their followers. Her leadership at Kit underscores her commitment to leveraging technology to democratize commerce and empower individuals to monetize their influence in the digital age.

Before her entrepreneurial ventures, Camille held key leadership positions at tech giants such as Hailo, Google/YouTube, and Apple, where she honed her expertise in product management, marketing, and innovation. Her diverse background and multifaceted skill set have equipped her with a unique perspective on the intersection of technology, creativity, and commerce.

Camille's academic credentials further underscore her commitment to excellence and innovation. She holds a Master's degree from Stanford University's prestigious Management Science & Engineering program, where she specializes in leveraging data and technology to drive business outcomes and enhance user experiences.

As the Head of Fan Monetization, Camille Hearst is pioneering initiatives that empower musicians and creators to navigate the complexities of the music industry, build meaningful connections with their audience, and unlock new opportunities for growth and success. Her visionary leadership and unwavering dedication to empowering creators exemplify her commitment to driving positive change and fostering a more inclusive and vibrant creative ecosystem.

D'Lovely Gibson, SVP, Equifax

D'Lovely Gibson epitomizes excellence in operations, leadership, and service delivery, boasting an illustrious career spanning over 20 years in the technology and financial services sectors. As the Senior Vice President at Equifax, she brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her role, spearheading transformative initiatives that drive growth, innovation, and operational excellence.

Throughout her career, D'Lovely has distinguished herself as a true "business and technology diplomat," adept at navigating complex organizational landscapes and fostering collaboration across diverse teams and stakeholders.

One of D'Lovely's hallmark achievements lies in her ability to drive cultural transformation and employee engagement within her teams. Within a short period, she has orchestrated remarkable turnarounds, catapulting her teams from the bottom to the top in employee satisfaction surveys. Her leadership style, characterized by empathy, inclusivity, and a relentless pursuit of excellence, has earned her widespread acclaim and admiration among colleagues and peers.

D'Lovely's track record of success extends beyond Equifax, having made significant contributions to renowned companies such as AIG, IHG, and Delta Air Lines. Her ability to bridge people together and foster collaborative environments has been instrumental in driving exceptional outcomes and delivering tangible results.

As a senior executive in the technology and financial services sectors, D'Lovely Gibson embodies the values of integrity, innovation, and strategic foresight. Her leadership philosophy is rooted in a deep commitment to empowering individuals, nurturing talent, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement and excellence.

In her current role at Equifax, D'Lovely continues to drive innovation and operational excellence, leveraging her extensive experience and expertise to navigate the complexities of the ever-evolving financial services industry. Her strategic vision and hands-on approach position Equifax for sustained growth and success in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Edwige A. Robinson, SVP, T-Mobile

Edwige A. Robinson stands as a trailblazer and a visionary in technology, carving a path of innovation and excellence that spans over 25 years. With a wealth of experience and a profound understanding of the intricacies of the tech industry, Edwige has championed transformative initiatives, steering Fortune 500 companies towards unprecedented levels of operational efficiency and technological prowess.

At the intersection of innovation, finance, and modern technology, Edwige has distinguished herself as a dynamic leader, adept at navigating complex technological landscapes and driving impactful change. Her tenure has been characterized by a relentless pursuit of excellence, marked by a keen focus on operational excellence, personnel management, cost optimization, and income expansion.

As Senior Vice President at T-Mobile, Edwige Robinson exemplifies the epitome of leadership, blending strategic foresight with hands-on expertise to spearhead groundbreaking transformations within the organization. Her role as Senior Vice President of Network Engineering, Operations, and Transformation underscores her commitment to driving innovation and enhancing customer experiences in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

One of Edwige's defining qualities is her ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with diverse stakeholders, fostering a culture of collaboration and collective problem-solving. Her fearless approach to tackling business challenges has earned her widespread acclaim and recognition within the technology industry, positioning her as a trusted advisor and a catalyst for organizational growth.

Edwige's passion for continuous development and her unwavering dedication to pushing the boundaries of innovation have become hallmarks of her illustrious career. Whether pioneering new technologies, optimizing operational processes, or championing digital transformation initiatives, she remains steadfast in her pursuit of excellence, inspiring those around her to strive for greatness.

Edwige Robinson continues to shape the future of technology as part of the Forbes Technology Council Member, driving forward-thinking strategies that redefine industry standards and elevate the customer experience. Her leadership is an inspiration for aspiring technologists and proof of the invaluable contributions of Black women in shaping the technological landscape of tomorrow.

Joy Fitzgerald, SVP, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer at UnitedHealth Group

Joy Fitzgerald is a symbol of transformation and empowerment in human resources and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). With over two decades of distinguished experience, she has emerged as a visionary leader dedicated to fostering inclusive workplaces and driving meaningful change within organizations and communities.

As the Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer at UnitedHealth Group, Joy Fitzgerald occupies a pivotal role in shaping the company's culture, policies, and practices to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion are embedded in every aspect of its operations. Her leadership extends beyond traditional HR functions, encompassing a wide range of strategic initiatives, including leadership development, talent management, succession planning, and learning and development.

Joy's expertise and influence extend far beyond the boardroom; she is a sought-after lecturer and global authority on talent management, diversity, and inclusion. Her commitment to improving the lives of individuals, one person at a time, underscores her dedication to driving positive change and creating inclusive environments where everyone can thrive.

Before her role at UnitedHealth Group, Joy served as the Chief DE&I Officer at Eli Lilly, where she spearheaded initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion both within the organization and in the broader community. Her tenure at Eli Lilly was characterized by innovative strategies and transformative leadership, earning her recognition as a "transformational leader" and an inspiring champion for creating significant change in diverse communities.

Before her time at Eli Lilly, Joy held leadership roles at Rockwell Collins, where she served as Chief Diversity Officer while also overseeing learning and organizational development initiatives. Her multifaceted background and diverse skill set have given her a unique perspective on the intersection of talent management, diversity, and organizational effectiveness.

Joy Fitzgerald's contributions to the field of human resources and diversity, equity, and inclusion are proof of the transformative power of leadership and advocacy. Through her visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to creating inclusive workplaces, she continues to inspire individuals and organizations to embrace diversity as a driver of innovation, growth, and sustainable success.

Kimberly Bryant, Founder Black Girls CODE

Kimberly Bryant stands as a beacon of empowerment and transformation in the world of technology, spearheading a movement to redefine the landscape of the industry through education, innovation, and inclusion. As the founder of Black Girls CODE, Kimberly has dedicated her life to bridging the digital divide and empowering girls of color with the tools, knowledge, and opportunities to thrive in the tech sector.

With a career spanning over 25 years in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, Kimberly Bryant brings a wealth of expertise and leadership to her role as a trailblazer in the tech community. Her journey, which includes holding technical leadership positions at renowned companies such as Genentech, Merck, and Pfizer, has equipped her with invaluable insights into the challenges and opportunities facing underrepresented communities in STEM fields.

Since its inception in 2011, Black Girls CODE has emerged as a global movement, transcending geographical boundaries to impact the lives of thousands of young women worldwide. Through its innovative programs and initiatives, the organization provides girls of color, aged 7-17, with access to computer science and tech education while fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Kimberly's visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion have been instrumental in elevating Black Girls CODE from a local Bay Area organization to a global force for change. Today, the organization operates in seven countries, reaching over 3000 students and empowering them to chart their paths in the tech industry.

Kimberly Bryant has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Black Innovation Lab since June 2023. As an accomplished electrical engineer and advocate for women of color in tech, Kimberly Bryant embodies the spirit of resilience, determination, and empowerment. Her pioneering efforts are not only breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes but also inspiring a new generation of technologists, innovators, and leaders to pursue their passions and make a meaningful impact on the world.

Lakecia Gunter, Chief Technology Officer, Global Partner Solutions, Microsoft

Lakecia Gunter stands as a paragon of leadership and innovation in the tech industry, leveraging her expertise and visionary insight to drive transformative change and accelerate market growth. As the Chief Technology Officer of global Partner Solutions at Microsoft Corporation, Lakecia N. Gunter plays a pivotal role in expanding Microsoft's global footprint, driving revenue growth, fostering technical adoption, and propelling markets forward.

With a distinguished career spanning over 15 years, Lakecia has consistently demonstrated her ability to lead high-performing teams and deliver tangible results. Before her tenure at Microsoft, she held key leadership positions at Intel Corporation, where she served as Vice President and Chief of Staff & Technical Assistant to the CEO. Throughout her tenure at Intel, Lakecia spearheaded numerous initiatives aimed at driving innovation and advancing strategic objectives, earning acclaim for her strategic vision and operational excellence.

A proud alumna of the University of South Florida, Lakecia Gunter earned her Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering before furthering her academic pursuits with a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from the prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology. Her educational background, coupled with her extensive leadership experience, has equipped her with a deep understanding of technology development, business strategy, and leadership development.

In her current role at Microsoft, Lakecia Gunter serves as a transformational leader, guiding teams toward achieving strategic objectives and unlocking new opportunities for growth and innovation. Her ability to navigate the intersection of leading-edge technology and business development has positioned her as a trusted advisor and a driving force behind Microsoft's continued success in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

Lakecia's leadership style is characterized by a commitment to excellence, a dedication to fostering diversity and inclusion, and a relentless pursuit of innovation. She is known for her ability to inspire and empower others, cultivating a culture of collaboration, creativity, and continuous improvement within her teams.

Lisa M. Coleman, Senior Vice President, Global Inclusion and Strategic Innovation at New York University

Dr. Lisa M. Coleman, a trailblazer in diversity, equity, and inclusion, serves as the Senior Vice President for Global Inclusion and Strategic Innovation and Chief Diversity Officer at New York University (NYU). With a distinguished career spanning academia and corporate leadership, Dr. Coleman has dedicated her life to advancing inclusivity, belonging, and innovation across all of NYU's global campuses.

Before assuming her current role at NYU, Dr. Coleman made history as Harvard University's pioneering first-ever Chief Diversity Officer, where she spearheaded initiatives to promote diversity and foster a culture of inclusion within one of the world's most prestigious academic institutions. Her tenure at Harvard from 2010 to 2017 laid the groundwork for transformative change, setting a precedent for inclusive excellence that continues to resonate across campuses nationwide.

Dr. Coleman's mission, both at Harvard and NYU, remains steadfast: to create an environment where every individual feels accepted and valued, regardless of their background or identity. Her visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to equity and justice have earned her widespread acclaim and recognition as a trailblazer in the field of diversity and inclusion.

A remarkable scholar, Dr. Coleman holds a Doctorate in Social and Cultural Analysis, American Studies from NYU and three Master's degrees from Ohio State University in African & African American Studies, Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and Communication Studies, respectively. Her interdisciplinary background, coupled with her undergraduate majors in Sociology/Anthropology and Computer Science, reflects her commitment to addressing complex social issues through a multifaceted lens.

Beyond her academic achievements, Dr. Coleman is a passionate advocate for social change and innovation. Her leadership at NYU encompasses a wide range of strategic initiatives aimed at fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion across all facets of university life, from curriculum development and faculty recruitment to student engagement and community outreach. 

Tyrona Heath, Director, Market Engagement, The B2B Institute at LinkedIn

Tyrona Heath stands as a luminary in B2B marketing, behavioral science, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), leveraging her expertise and passion for driving transformative change and innovation within the industry. As the Director of Market Engagement for The B2B Institute at LinkedIn, she occupies a pivotal role in shaping the discourse around emerging trends in B2B marketing and decision-making.

With a career marked by innovation and thought leadership, Tyrona Heath has emerged as a sought-after keynote speaker and advocate for diversity and inclusion in the technology sector. Her ability to artfully intertwine topics of behavioral science, DEI, and transformation underscores her commitment to driving meaningful change and inspiring others to embrace diversity as a driver of innovation and growth. 

At The B2B Institute at LinkedIn, Tyrona Heath leads efforts to uncover insights and trends that shape the future of B2B marketing, drawing upon her extensive experience and expertise to inform strategy and decision-making. The institute, funded by LinkedIn, serves as an unparalleled think tank, offering valuable insights and perspectives on the evolving landscape of B2B marketing and sales.

In addition to her role at The B2B Institute, Tyrona Heath is the co-founder of TransformHer, a groundbreaking conference dedicated to professional women of color in technology. Through TransformHer, she seeks to promote growth, ignite development, and amplify the voices of underrepresented communities in the tech industry. Her commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion extends beyond the boardroom, as she actively engages with industry leaders and organizations such as Cannes Lions, ANA, and IPA to drive research and insights that advance the cause of diversity and inclusion in marketing and beyond.

As a thought leader and change agent, Tyrona Heath has made significant contributions to the field of marketing effectiveness and DEI, earning recognition and accolades for her innovative approach and commitment to excellence. Her ability to engage with diverse audiences and drive meaningful conversations around complex issues sets her apart as a transformative leader in the industry.

Summing up

The benefits of diversity and inclusion in technology companies are profound and far-reaching. Companies with diverse teams are more innovative, creative, and adaptable, leveraging a variety of perspectives and experiences to drive impactful solutions. Research shows that diverse teams outperform homogenous ones, leading to better decision-making, increased profitability, and enhanced problem-solving capabilities. To promote diversity and inclusion in tech, organizations must adopt proactive strategies that prioritize equity, representation, and belonging. This includes implementing inclusive hiring practices, fostering inclusive cultures, providing equitable opportunities for advancement, and investing in diversity and inclusion training and education. By dismantling systemic barriers and creating pathways for underrepresented groups to thrive, companies can unlock the full potential of their workforce and drive sustainable growth and innovation.

From pioneering research to transformative leadership roles, Black women have played a pivotal role in shaping the technological landscape and driving progress in the digital age. Recognizing the contributions of Black women in tech is not merely an act of acknowledgment; it is a fundamental recognition of their talent, perseverance, and impact. As we celebrate Black History Month, we honor the trailblazers and change-makers who have paved the way for future generations of Black women in tech. Looking ahead, we must continue to champion diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. By amplifying the voices and stories of Black women, advocating for equitable opportunities, and challenging systemic biases, we can create a more inclusive and equitable future for all. As we honor the past and look towards the future, let us commit to creating a world where every individual has the opportunity to thrive and succeed, regardless of race, gender, or background.

Cogent Infotech helps organizations build an inclusive and future-ready workforce. Click here to know more. Check the other insightful blogs from Cogent here.


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