The Spring '17 Salesforce release, the Oscars, or Black History Month may have sparked your interest (I hope!) in the diversity of the tech world around us. Whatever your background, now (and every day!) is a great time to learn about amazing tech leaders you may not have learned about in school that have shaped how we use computers, how we get around, and yes, how we get to space. What follows are just a few tech leaders - please send me your favorites and suggest more so we can keep the list growing, and be sure to click on the links to learn more about everyone!
1. Raye Montague: She is the first person to design a U.S. Navy ship using a computer.
2. Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code.
3. The leaders of Boldforce at Salesforce, who put together this awesome post with 10 Black Innovators in STEM.
4. Tierra Guinn, a 22 year old NASA engineer.
5. Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughn, the three women featured in the real-life events portrayed in the movie Hidden Figures, and their modern day NASA counterparts. There's even an amazing curriculum for students built around these leaders called Modern Figures!
And of course, you can take action by taking a colleague, friend, or group of young people to see Hidden Figures or I Am Not Your Negro in the theater! If you need more inspiration or information, here's a great review of Hidden Figures by a technologist, Dana Roth and a link to the trailer and 98% Rotten Tomatoes score and reviews of I Am Not Your Negro featuring the work and words of James Baldwin. If you want to involve young people, check out the leadership of Salesforce community leader Krystal D. Carter, who created Tech Me to the Movies - read more about how she brought dozens of young women to see Hidden Figures and learn about careers in tech here.
Special thanks to Toya Gatewood and Shonnah Hughes, co-leaders of the Salesforce User Group, Women in Tech Diversity, who are outstanding leaders! Be sure to join WIT Diversity today!
Missy (@missylongshore on Twitter and Periscope) writes this blog just for you!