Beating the odds

Beating the odds

A great deal has been written about the small percentage of women in technology. Currently the rate stands at about 20-23%….give or take a few points. We also hear about the efforts that are underway to attract more young women into the field and how to keep them involved. But what we hear less about is the even smaller percentage of African-American women in technology…only about 3% of the tech field.

But what a group of successful black females they are! How successful?

Check this list out-
Wanda M. Austin- President and CEO The Aerospace Corp.
Ursula Burns – Chairman and CEO Xerox
Susan E. Chapman- Senior Vice President Global Real Estate and Work Place Enablement American Express
Linda Clement-Holmes- Senior Vice President Chief Diversity Officer The Procter & Gamble Co.
Laverne Council- Corporate Vice President and CIO Johnson & Johnson
Aprille Ericsson-Jackson- Aerospace Engineer NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)
Emma Garrison-Alexander- Chief Information Officer Transportation Security Administration
Linda Gooden- Executive Vice President Information Systems & Global Solutions Lockheed Martin Corp.
Kim Goodman- President Merchant Services Americas American Express
Vicki Hamilton- Senior Vice President Enterprise Performance Turner Broadcasting System
Sharon Haynie- Principal Investigator DuPont Central Research
Wyllstyne D. Hill- Vice President of IT and CIO Missile Systems Raytheon
Deborah Jackson- Program Director Engineering Research Centers National Science Foundation
Shirley Ann Jackson- President Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Sandra K. Johnson- Senior Technical Staff Member CTO, Global Small and Medium Business IBM Corp.
Melodie Mayberry-Stewart- New York State CIO Director, New York State Office for Technology
Joan Robinson-Berry- Director, Small/Diverse Business & Strategic Alliances Boeing
Suzanne F. Shank- President and CEO Siebert Brandford Shank & Co.
Window Snyder- Security and Privacy Product Manager Apple Inc.
Tracey T. Travis- Chief Financial Officer Polo Ralph Lauren Corp.
Dickey (2014) writes that “…there are tons of African-Americans throughout the country doing amazing things in the field of technology, but a lot of people just haven’t heard about them”
Now you have!
If you are looking for someone to model yourself after and to seek inspiration from, you need look no further. This group of successful women have proven that if you set your sights high enough, work hard and find ways around barriers that block your success, you can indeed rise to the top.

Please follow us on Twitter!

Dickey, M. (2013). The 25 Most Influential African-Americans In Technology. Retrieved from the Internet on 3/18/2015 at
Sanders, B. (2011). Top Black Women Techies. Retrieved from the Internet on 3/18/2015 at