We’re always hearing about the lack of diversity in the technology industry, especially when it comes to black women. While their numbers may be small, black women are doing big things in the tech world.
From leading research and engineering at Google to directing robotics and autonomous vehicle programs at top-tier universities, a black woman’s work is at the helm.
In honor of Women’s History Month, The Root collaborated with Google’s CS Education in Media team to speak with 10 black women in computer science and engineering who have been spearheading teams at notable technology companies for the last several years. It’s time they got their moment in the spotlight.
1. Tsion Behailu
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Title: Software engineer at Google
Inside her work: Tsion Behailu works on the Android partner engineering team at Google. Prior to joining Google, she was an intern at Groupon, where she automated the collection of page-performance metrics for the SEO team, wrote clients for various external APIs (application programming interfaces) and pulled data for application deployment. She earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley.
2. Khalia Braswell
Title: Founder of INTech Foundation Inc.; user-experience engineer at Apple
Inside her work: Khalia Braswell is a user-experience engineer at Apple and also the founder of INTech Camp for Girls in North Carolina, whose mission is to inform and inspire girls to innovate in the technology industry. After earning her bachelor’s in computer science from North Carolina State University, she went on to a master’s program in human-computer interaction from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Follow her on Twitter.
3. Bernadette A. Carter
Title: Senior software engineer at Google
Inside her work: Bernadette A. Carter works as a technical lead and manager at Google Plus and holds more than 25 patents. In addition to innovation, she has a passion for encouraging others to pursue STEM-related (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. To that end, she serves as a TV-script adviser as part of Google’s CS in Media initiative, which aims to end damaging stereotypes associated with computer science. She is also an active member of /dev/color and enjoys mentoring the next generation of software engineers.
4. Clennita Justice
Title: Senior engineering program manager, user research infrastructure, at Google
Inside her work: Clennita Justice is a veteran at Google; she has been there for over a decade. She was hired by the tech giant to launch Google e-books (now Google Play Books). Now she focuses on research and product excellence to make the right product for the right user. Justice earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s in computer science at Howard University.
5. Audrei Drummond
Title: Application engineer at Slack
Inside her work: Audrei Drummond currently works as a backend engineer at Slack on the Enterprise Grid (Slack for very large customers) team. Prior to joining Slack, she was a full stack engineer at Redfin, building tools and features to help real estate agents and sellers get through the selling process more easily. She earned her undergraduate degree in electrical and computer engineering and computer science from Duke University, and her master’s in computer science and engineering from the University of Washington.
6. Christina Morillo
Title: Co-founder of Women of Color in Tech Chat
Inside her work: Christina Morillo is widely known as the co-founder of the Women of Color in Tech Chat on Twitter and creator of the open-source #WOCinTech stock photos seen all over the web. Beyond her social media recognition, Morillo has over 15 years of experience in information security, identity and access management, privacy and insider-threat management. Her résumé includes the position of vice president of technology and information risk at Morgan Stanley. She earned an Associate of Science in computer network administration from Keiser University and a Bachelor of Science in information technology from American Intercontinental University. Follow her on Twitter.
7. Victoria Nneji
Title: Robotics research scientist at Duke University
Inside her work: Victoria Nneji spearheads a new Ph.D. program at Duke University that focuses on robotics, autonomous transportation and the importance of human influence in design. The Nigerian native has a passion for education, advocating for girls to pursue engineering and mathematics in college and career. The Anita Borg scholar earned her bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics from Columbia University and her master’s degree in engineering management from Duke. Explore a day in the life of Nnegi’s career by downloading her Careers With Code Expedition.
8. Jamila Parham
Title: Information technology project manager at Chicago Transit Authority
Inside her work: Jamila Parham leads both application development and operational improvement efforts for the Program Management and Technology division at the Chicago Transit Authority. Prior to joining the CTA, Parham was a project manager for a BMC Software Premier Partnering consulting firm. Parham received a Bachelor of Science in computer graphics and motion design from DePaul University and a Master of Information Systems in project management from Keller Graduate School of Management. In 2016 she was featured as one of Verizon’s 10 brilliant men and women breaking stereotypes in their professions. Follow her on Twitter.
9. Kristen Ransom
Title: Founder of IncluDe Software
Inside her work: Kristen Ransom holds many titles as a wife, mother and CEO. She founded her software development company, IncluDe, with the goal of providing graphically stunning digital design and development services to minority- and women-owned businesses. Prior to starting IncluDe, Ransom used her love for user-centered design at a variety of companies to develop both hardware and software products fit for an increasingly diverse world. At Harley-Davidson, for instance, she worked on foot peg, handlebar and seat design for bikes geared toward smaller female riders. She earned a Bachelor of Science in human-factors engineering from Tufts University. Follow her on Twitter.
10. Bria Sullivan
Title: Software engineer at Google
Inside her work: Bria Sullivan is a software engineer at Google in the Venice Beach, Calif., office. She got into engineering almost by happenstance. Having not been exposed to engineering growing up, and as the first in her family to attend college, Sullivan picked her major at random while applying for colleges and found a passion for programming at California Polytechnic State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree. Prior to joining Google, she landed two software-engineering internships at Microsoft. Follow her on Twitter.