With the debut of CNN’s Black in America 4, there’s been an increase in mainstream discussion about the number of Black American entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. While some critics argue that the series overlooked Black Americans’ history of achievement in technology development, there’s certainly a dire lack of minorities holding high leadership positions within the field. Worse than Black men, Black women are painstakingly absent from the limelight of the technology world, as Ursula Burns, the Chairwoman and CEO of Xerox, remains one of our only mainstream figures of hope. But there’s good news, as the 10 women below are building technology startups, brands, and consulting businesses that are changing the present and looking to reshape the future. What better way to support our sisters than to celebrate their achievements? Share this article and uplift the message that Black women in technology are already in the trenches and prepared to take the tech world by storm.
Angela Benton is the founder of Black Web Media, which serves as the publisher of the popular technology and innovation website, Black Web 2.0. After noticing an absence of discourse on the web targeted to Black Americans interested in the technology world, Benton chose to create a space for Black Americans to receive news, resources, and affirmation. More recently, she founded the New Media Entrepreneurship Conference, which aims to diversify the current Internet economy with programs like the NewMEAccelerator. Co-founded by Benton and tech entrepreneur Wayne Sutton, the Accelerator is the feature of CNN’s Black in America 4, as eight Black entrepreneurs, including Benton and Sutton, attempt to get funding and mentorship in Silicon Valley. Benton is the recipient of numerous accolades and awards, including being named as one of FastCompany’s Most Influential Women in Technology for 2010, one of Ebony Magazines’ Power 150, and Woman of Power honoree by the National Urban League. Follow Angela on Twitter @abenton and support her trailblazing endeavors!
Arielle Patrice Scott and Danielle Leslie are two of the co-founders of GenJuice, an emerging content discovery platform for Generation Y. After originally launching GenJuice as a nationwide tour spreading the good news of entrepreneurship to the younger generation, the two along with their third co-founder Virgilia Kaur Singh, quickly gained attention in the technology world. Scott and Leslie are graduates of the University of California Berkley, and featured in numerous esteemed publications for their undeniable talents in new media and technology. GenJuice is currently in beta testing and open for you to give it a try. Discover it at GenJuice.com
Corvida Raven is a technology consultant and advisor to major brands on everything social media. She is the co-founder of Everything Twitter (Search and Social Award Winner), Community Catalyst for TED, and Social Media Advisor to Intel. She pens the blog, SheGeeks.net to inform readers of various social media happenings and mobile technologies. The young twenty-something has worked as a Social Media Specialist for GM’s Chevrolet Volt Unplugged Tour, along with serving as the Community Manager for FastCompany, The Standard, and ReadWriteWeb. Follow Corvida on Twitter @corvida to get the latest news and reviews of technology innovation.
Deanna “DeDe” Sutton is a technology entrepreneur in her own right, focusing on the content demands of young women of color across the globe. If you enjoy reading Clutch or CoCo & Crème, Sutton is the founder of these two publications, which have grown to become forces on the Internet through breaking news and social commentary. With a background in marketing, Sutton understood the value of building a digital content platform for years, before bigger editorial brands hopped on the bandwagon. Now, she’s sought as an expert in the field of Black new media, securing major online advertising deals, and leading other publications to the light.