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7 Inspiring Black Women Leaders Transforming Technology

Liz Alton
February 22, 2021

3 minute read

In celebration of Black History Month, we’re highlighting some of the leading Black innovators shaping the technology world and taking us in bold new directions. Join us in celebrating the tremendous contributions today’s Black women leaders are making to technology, engineering, and beyond.

Dr. Aprille Ericsson, NASA

Aerospace engineer and NASA executive Dr. Aprille Ericsson serves as the new business lead for the Instrument Systems and Technology Division at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. In this role, she helps small businesses collaborate with universities to solve some of the most pressing Research and Development (R&D) challenges the US government is facing today. She’s also a member of the Board for Higher Education and Workforce at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. Over a 30-plus year career, Dr. Ericsson has played a crucial role in advancing space science and new technology development in the aerospace field and beyond. Learn more about her work at NASA or follow her here.

Kimberly Bryant, Founder of Black Girls CODE

Kimberly Bryant is the founder and CEO of Black Girls CODE, a non-profit dedicated to changing the face of technology. Kimberly’s work builds on her experience as a successful engineer and focuses on introducing girls of color (ages 7-17) to the field of technology and computer science. Participants learn both coding skills and entrepreneurial concepts. The organization has a bold goal to train one million young women by 2040. Learn more about her work at Black Girls CODE or follow her here.

Kathryn Finney, Founder of digitalundivided and The Doonie Fund

Kathryn Finny has been named one of the most influential women in tech by Inc. Magazine. She’s the founder of digitalundivided, a non-profit that merges data and heart to develop innovative programs and initiatives that catalyze economic growth in Black and Latinx communities. After stepping down as CEO of the organization in 2020 to become the first Black business author at Portfolio/Penguin books, she started The Doonie Fund. The Doonie Fund makes micro investments in Black women entrepreneurs. Learn more about her work at her website, TheDoonie.Fund, or follow her here.

Arlan Hamilton, Founder of Backstage Capital

Arlan Hamilton is creating innovative funding vehicles to help bring equality to venture capital. Arlan is the founder of Backstage Capital, an organization that invests in companies led by underrepresented founders, including women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals. She’s the author of the recent bestselling book, “It’s About Damn Time: How to Turn Being Underestimated into Your Greatest Advantage.” Learn more about her work at Backstage Capital or follow her here.

Jessica O. Matthews, Founder & CEO of Uncharted Power

Jessica O. Matthews is an energy inventor and the founder and CEO of Uncharted Power. Jessica invented the Sockket, an energy-generating soccer ball, at age 19. She went on to found Uncharted Power, a sustainable infrastructure company that transforms the ground beneath us into an industrial IoT platform that streamlines the deployment and management of infrastructures, such as power lines and broadband. Her inspiring work has been recognized across the technology and business industries with multiple awards, including the Harvard Foundation Scientist of the Year Award. Learn more about her work at Uncharted Power or follow her here.

Stacy Brown-Philpot, founding member of SB Opportunity Fund

Stacy Brown-Philpot is one of the leading voices in technology leadership. She’s a founding member of SB Opportunity Fund, a $100 million venture fund dedicated to supporting and building a community of outstanding Black, Latinx, and Native American founders. Previously, Stacy was the CEO of TaskRabbit and widely credited with the company’s explosive growth. Learn more about her work and latest project supporting diverse technology founders at The Opportunity Fund or follow her here.

Mari Galloway, cybersecurity expert and CEO of the Women’s Society of Cyberjitsu

Mari Galloway is the CEO and founding member of the Women’s Society of Cyberjitsu, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of cybersecurity opportunities and raising the profile of women in the security field. She has held senior roles for Palo Alto Networks, the US government, and other top organizations. She’s also a board member of Wicked6, a cutting-edge collegiate eSports initiative. Learn more about her work at the Women’s Society of Cyberjitsu or follow her here.

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Liz Alton
Liz Alton
Liz Alton is a writer and content strategist specializing in B2B technology, digital marketing, and the customer experience. Her clients include creative agencies, Fortune 500 brands, and venture-backed startups.
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