Over the past two decades, the hiring rate for female software engineers has risen by just 2%, and hire rates among Black female computer programmers are growing at an even slower pace. According to the same report, 37% of women of color working in the tech space believe that racial bias serves as a barrier to entry.
Despite facing greater challenges than their counterparts, women of color have made a tremendous impact on the tech industry. In fact, women of color have always played an integral role in STEM, paving the way for future generations of Black female coders.
While the contributions of all of these women are worthy of recognition, here are nine impactful Black female software engineers.
1. Taylor Poindexter: Co-Founder of Black Code Collective.
Taylor Poindexter is a senior backend engineer that has since transitioned into a role as an engineering manager. She is also the co-founder of Black Code Collective, an organization dedicated to creating a safe space for Black software engineers. The community is nearly 2,000 members strong, and its numbers are growing.
Poindexter has spent time working at a wide range of organizations, perhaps most notably as an engineering manager at Spotify, and despite having accomplished so much, Poindexter remains incredibly active in the coding community.
2. Sophia Ongele: Developer & Activist
Sophia Ongele is one of the youngest Black female computer programmers on our list. She’s a creative, passionate developer that has worked on numerous independent projects and partnered with organizations across a variety of industries.
In addition to being a talented coder, Ongele is a dedicated activist. She devotes her life and skills to tackling some of the greatest injustices and social challenges facing our society, including inequity and race-related issues, assisting with campaign planning and activism at the local, state, and national levels.
Some of Ongele’s most notable achievements involve standing with educators amidst calls to end equity initiatives as well as campaigning against gun violence.
3. Stephanie Eldridge: CEO of Code Differently
Stephanie Eldridge has dedicated her life and skills to solving the forms of inequality that have long plagued the tech sector. She launched Code Differently, a learning center focused on providing computer science education to underserved minority communities. Based out of Delaware, the program has already made an impact on hundreds of students.
Eldridge is committed to growing Code Differently, looking to expand the program into additional cities so that she can serve more students. She believes that adding more Black female coders to the tech community will give aspiring minority coders the confidence to chase their dreams.
4. Angie Jones: Inventory and Blockchain Global VP
Angie Jones is the Global VP of Developer Relations at TBD, Blockchain Global’s decentralized finance division. She holds 26 different patents, which include collaboration software, software development processes, social networking tools, and metaverse-related tech.
Jones is an innovative thinker, award-winning teacher, international keynote speaker, and passionate Black female software engineer, and even beyond that, she is a shining example of perseverance, dedication, ingenuity, and confidence. She has made her presence known in the coding industry in a way that is too big to ignore, and she continues to build out her exceptional resume by tackling blockchain’s pain points.
5. Bria Sullivan: CEO of Tech Stack’d & Honey B Games
Bria Sullivan is not just one of the top Black female software engineers, she’s maybe one of the best Black coders, period. She has worked on monumental products, including Google Ads, Google Docs, and several reporting roles for the online search giant.
Sullivan is also a successful entrepreneur, managing multiple independent projects throughout her illustrious career. She developed a permanent 3D interactive installation for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. as well as numerous iOS and Android apps that have over 300,000 combined total users.
She’s also the CEO of Tech Stack’d, an organization that aims to bridge the gap between the software engineers in the Black community and companies looking for top talent.
6. Rediet Abebe: Founder of Black in AI
Rediet Abebe is an internationally recognized Ethiopian coder and computer scientist specializing in artificial intelligence (AI) and sophisticated algorithms. Along with her partner, Timmnit Gebru, Abebe founded Black in AI, a worldwide community that promotes the inclusion of minorities in the field of AI technologies.
Additionally, Black in AI researches social inequalities and other topics related to the inclusion and accessibility of opportunities in the AI space. The organization provides its members and supporters with chances to break into the AI ecosystem via collaborations with numerous technology companies around the globe. As such, it is one of the most impactful Black tech social organizations around today.
7. Kesha Williams: AWS Machine Learning Hero
Kesha Williams has over two decades of experience in the software engineering industry. Currently, she specializes in machine learning and AI, searching as a senior principal for AWS Cloud Residency. She’s also recognized as an AWS Machine Learning Hero, one of the organization’s most prestigious titles.
Williams is active in the community, helping others join the machine learning space. She has authored courses for numerous learning platforms including LinkedIn Learning and Cloud Academy, and she remains a dedicated advocate for building bias-free machine learning models.
8. Marian Croak: Vice President of Site Reliability Engineering at Google
Marian Croak is undoubtedly one of the most experienced Black female coders on our list, being an active member in the field for more than 35 years. Croak currently works at Google, serving as the Vice President of Site Reliability Engineering. As part of this role, she works to ensure site reliability at YouTube and across the Google Ads platform.
Before becoming a senior member of Google’s reliability division, she left her mark on the tech industry in other ways, perhaps most notably when she and several of her colleagues invented Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in the early 1990s.
9. Tyna Williams: App Academy Alumna!
Tyna Williams is an all-star App Academy Alumna. She’s dedicated to promoting equity in the industry by performing at an exceptional level, and she also aims to encourage other aspiring Black female computer programmers to start their own journeys into coding by sharing her story.
Learn more about Tyna’s work: Five Things I Learned as a Black Woman in Tech
At App Academy, Diversity is Important to Us
At App Academy, we understand that fostering a diverse, equitable workforce benefits everyone, which is why we’re dedicated to comprehensive diversity and inclusion initiatives. If you’re interested in following in the footsteps of our notable alumni like Tyna Williams, we’re here to help you start your journey.
Our programs are cultivated to provide all of our students from diverse backgrounds with the skills they need to succeed as software engineers. We also proudly offer a variety of scholarships to help make computer science education more accessible across the board. Start by exploring our curriculum or one of our programs today.
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