Pride Month has made a stylish return this year, and we are once again reminded of how diverse the Tech world is becoming. The LGBTQ+ community has been a major player in society’s evolution, pushing for rights in the workplace and innovating Tech as we know it. Huge developments in the arena and society’s evolution wouldn’t have been possible without these 7 leaders, but there are also hundreds of other LGBTQ+ individuals paving the way for a more inclusive future.
Just when you forget that Mark Zuckerberg didn’t create the booming social networking site on his own, you also learn that one of the giants who helped is in fact in the LGBTQ+ community. Chris Hughes was one of four co-founders of Facebook.
Hughes is now co-chair of the financial stability initiative Economic Security Project that he built to create “new, bold ways to make our economy work again for all Americans”. Thank God for Chris.
He is also married to Sean Eldridge, the former political director of same-sex marriage advocacy group Freedom to Marry. Eldridge has done commendable work founding Stand Up America, a grassroots resistance campaign started following Trump’s election. These two are quite the power couple.
Peter Thiel co-founded PayPal, Palantir, and Founders Fund. Thiel was also the first outside investor of Facebook.
Isn’t it interesting that the real big guns in Tech are not the usual heternormative men in suits that social media portrays? Only snag is that Thiel was a vocal Trump supporter, which is ironic because Trump was anti-everything and a modern day fascist. We love
Thiel’s work, just not the Trump fandom.
We have another fun and surprising fact. David Bohnett here was a pioneer in social networking before Facebook and MySpace even existed. Bohnett founded GeoCities in 1994, then sold it to Internet gold mine Yahoo in 1999.
He continued making bold moves, making radical changes with the David Bohnett Foundation, a non-profit that supports social justice and social activism. The foundation has donated more than $20 million to LGBTQ+ organizations and established the CyberCenter community to give LGBTQ+ users easier access to the internet. Long live David Bohnett!
If you didn’t know before, you do now – Angelica Ross is a badass in the game. A giant in tech and an actress, she is a real inspiration for anyone who has multiple dreams and will bend the rules to make serious social change.
Ross is the founder and CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises, an organisation that specialises in helping trans and non-binary people find jobs and prepare for their careers. She came out in 2000, after leaving the military and returning home to start her transition. You will also recognise the fabulous Ross from Netflix smash hit Pose.
Quiet but hugely important, Tolu Osinubi is another one to watch and learn from. Osinubi is the Senior Manager in Consulting at Deloitte and sits on the leadership team of GLOBE, Deloitte’s diversity network. GLOBE drives initiatives and business strategy for intersectionality. It is the reason Deloitte is a leading Tech company and a trusted partner that many want to join forces with. Osinubi is a real game changer!
You may have heard of Claudia Brind-Woody from The Guardian’s 100 most influential LGBT people of the year in 2012, or perhaps the Financial Times Top 50 OUTstanding list 2013-2015. Brind-Woody also reappeared in the FT’s hall of fame in 2016. Oh, and don’t forget the Out & Equal Trailblazer Award she received in 2011. The point is, Claudia Brind-Woody has some well-deserved accolades under her belt as the world has seen her move mountains time and again.
Brind-Woody is also the VP at IBM AND the co-chair of IBM’s LGBT+ executive task force that advocates for diversity in the workplace. So, if you think you can’t do something, just think of this powerhouse achieving her dreams. Brind-Woody continues to represent inclusivity for a better work environment, and we don’t know where we’d be without her.
Kimberlé Crenshaw is a Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and a pioneer in the framework of Intersectional Feminism. Crenshaw created the discourse to include all types of narratives and account for the many different experiences of bias and prejudice.
Crenshaw has really made her mark in the tech world and social studies as her Intersectionality theory opens up a conversation that can be had academically and in the workplace; one that now involves the LGBTQ+ community. Thanks Crenshaw!