To date, Arlan Hamilton is the only Black queer woman to have built a venture capital company from the ground up. She is also a writer and educator who offers courses in investing and entrepreneurship. Follow her on Twitter at @ArlanWasHere.
Kortney Ryan Ziegler
Kortney Ryan Ziegler is a Black American trans filmmaker, visual artist, writer, and blogger. He is known for his blog, blac(k)ademic, which, prior to its shutdown, addressed the particular concerns of a Black queer academic. He is also well-regarded for his film, “STILL BLACK,” which spotlights black trans men. He stands as the founder of TRANS*H4ck, a nonprofit that offers community and visibility for trans technologists and entrepreneurs. You can keep up with him on LinkedIn.
The founder and CEO of Lesbians Who Tech, Leanne Pittsford leads the largest LGBTQ community of technologists around the world. The organization includes 40,000 LGBTQ women, non-binary people, and queer women of color across 40 city chapters. Follow her on Twitter at @lepitts.
You don’t have to be a coder to make an impact in the tech world. Kara Swisher is one of the most influential journalists in the tech world. With significant connections up and down the organizational charts of major firms and a reputation for doggedly searching out key scoops in the tech industry, Swisher’s thoughts are read — and respected — across the tech sector. Follow her on Twitter at @karaswisher.
Aliya Rahman builds software for social justice movements. Her main aim is to strengthen the relationship between grassroots movement, community organizers, and tech innovators. As the former field director of Equality Ohio, she has proven her ability to build strong ties between LGBTQ+ rights groups and other social justice movements. Follow her on Twitter at @AliyaRahman.
The third Chief Technology Officer of the United States, Megan Smith is a former vice president at Google and the former CEO of Planet Out. She serves on the MIT board and co-founded the Malala Fund. Today, she serves as the CEO and Founder of shift7. Follow her on Twitter at @smithmegan.
Chris Sinton is the chair emeritus at StartOut, a nonprofit that helps LGBTQ entrepreneurs achieve their aspirations. His resume lists roles as a senior director at Cisco and the co-founder of Network for Good, one of the major platforms dedicated to helping nonprofit organizations — including LGBTQ community groups — fundraise effectively online. Follow Chris on Twitter at @ChrisSinton.
Every great tech company builds its success on a strong foundation of talent. Sara Sperling currently runs her own HR consulting business and launched her career by building HR programs from the ground up at major startups like DoorDash and Snapchat. She also headed the diversity and inclusion program at Facebook. Follow her on LinkedIn!
Ann Mei Chang
After spending years in top technology roles at Apple, Intuit, and Google, Ann Mei Chang moved into global development and the public sector. She was part of the team to launch the Alliance for Affordable Internet and recently served as the Chief Innovation Officer for the Pete Buttigieg presidential campaign. Follow her on Twitter at @annmei.
As the founder and chairwoman of the board of United Therapeutics, Martine Rothblatt is the top-earning CEO of the biopharmaceutical industry. She was also the creator of SiriusXM Satellite Radio and the CEO of GeoStar. She is known for her advocacy of transhumanism and the potential for technological immortality. You can keep up with her on LinkedIn.
Peter Arvai is the executive chairman, co-founder, and CEO of Prezi, an innovative Hungarian presentation company that offers the internet’s largest library of presentations and maintains a base of over 100 million users. Arvai, who has made advancing diversity and inclusion a priority since founding his company in 2009, emphasizes the importance of open involvement in the tech world for LGBTQ innovators. Follow him on Twitter at @peterarvai.
Web developer, tech blogger, and writer Gina Trapani is the founder of the Lifehacker blog. She also led the development of ThinkUp, a social media aggregation and analysis tool, before becoming the director of engineering at Postlight. She has been named one of the most influential women in tech and one of the most influential LGBTQ people in tech. Follow her on Twitter at @ginatrapani.
David Bohnett was an early pioneer in the tech field. He founded GeoCities in 1994, an effort which helped people around the world express themselves for the first time online. Today, Bohnett is an investor through his venture capital firm, Baroda Ventures. He is known for his public advocacy for LGBTQ rights and marriage equality.
A leader on the business side of the tech field, Claudia Brind-Woody is the Vice President and Managing Director of intellectual property at IBM. She was named one of the most influential LGBTQ people of the year in 2012 and was repeatedly named in Financial Times’s OUTStanding list for LGBTQ business professionals. Follow her on Twitter at @BrindWoody.
Beyond being a businesswoman, actress, and transgender rights advocate, Angelica Ross is also a self-taught programmer and coding professional. In 2014, she founded TransTech Social Enterprises, a firm that works to promote transgender inclusion and employ transgender people in the tech industry. As an actress, she had starring roles in Pose and American Horror Story — and earned acclaim for her performances in both. Follow her on Twitter at @angelicaross.
Shamina Singh is the founder and president of the Center for Inclusive Growth and the Executive Vice President of Corporate Sustainability at Mastercard. She is responsible for the credit card giant’s environmental and social governance strategy and plays a role in public service and anti-discrimination advocacy. Follow her on Twitter at @shaminasingh.
The chief revenue officer and co-founder of Credit Karma, Nichole Mustard is the creator of one of the most well-used credit score and information companies in the country. The company was recently sold to Intuit for $7.1 billion. She put herself through college and became a financial planner before dedicating her skills to creating Credit Karma. You can keep up with her on LinkedIn.
As a product executive at Facebook, Jimena Almendares works to develop Facebook app projects. She previously served as CEO and President of Intuit Payments and then as OkCupid’s Chief Product Officer. When she grew up in Mexico, she was a three-time national champion in ice skating. Today, she frequently speaks on topics relating to women, technology, and diversity. You can check out her thoughts on LinkedIn.
LaFawn Davis is the vice president of diversity, inclusion, and belonging at Indeed, one of the foremost job search sites available. She leads Indeed’s efforts to eliminate systemic bias and discrimination in the job-hunting market, focusing specifically on improving the platform’s accessibility and inclusivity. Visit her LinkedIn to check out her ideas and perspectives!
As the head of Oculus’s virtual reality hardware team, Caitlin Kalinowski lives on the cutting edge of the tech industry. She was previously a technical lead at Apple and part of the initial tech team for the unibody MacBook Pro. She currently serves on the strategic board of Lesbians Who Tech and is a board member of Wogrammer. You can keep up with her on LinkedIn.
Jacqueline Guichelaar is the Group Chief information Officer at networking giant Cisco. She previously held a variety of executive positions in major technology and finance companies such as Deutsche Bank, IBM, and Computer Science Corporation. You can keep up with her on LinkedIn.
Vivienne Ming is the founder of Socos Labs, her fifth company. Socos is an independent think tank that aims to use machine learning and neuroscience to advance human potential. She previously served as a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley’s Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience. You can keep up with her on LinkedIn.
Jeff Ragovin is the managing partner at Ragovin Ventures and chief commercial officer at Fyllo, a data, media, and compliance solutions provider. He previously stood as the co-founder of Buddy Media, a company that evolved from a ground-level startup to the leading enterprise social marketing tool in the world. Buddy Media sold to Salesforce for $800 million in 2012. You can keep up with him on LinkedIn.
As the Chief Executive Officer of Apple, Tim Cook is one of the best-known technology leaders in the world. He became the first CEO of a Fortune 500 company to publicly come out as gay in 2014. He serves on a wide array of boards and is renowned internationally for his leading role in the tech field. Follow his Twitter at @tim_cook.