Where are the faces of black female founders, investors and journalists in tech?

Deborah Okenla
Jul 13, 2017 · 5 min read
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Disclaimer: Firstly, I want to point out this is not a post about how we need to encourage more black women into tech or venture capital. There are already some amazing organisations working towards this, such as Diversity VC, PocTech, Hustle Crew, YSYS and Black Girls Tech. Instead, this post is directed towards organisers of “Female Founders in Tech” events and curators of “Top Women To Watch in VC” lists.

#Wherearethefaces?

The other day I had a conversation with a friend of mine, who commented that female founders events these days seem to be a reflection of solely the status quo — middle class white women. We sat down and prowled through panels of speakers and “Ones to Watch” lists, to find no one who looked like us

— black women.

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“Where art thou?”

If these events or curated lists claim to be championing diversity and supporting women in tech, surely they should be more representative of all women regardless of their sexuality, religion, gender, race and class. The focus on middle class white women, when it comes to diversity has omitted the voices of women who are affected by intersectionality, and as a result limited us as a movement from effectively campaigning for diversity.

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“We are more than our gender”

In attempt to boost diversity in the UK startup ecosystem, female-focused initiatives have contributed further to their marginalisation and exclusion. For example, by failing to have a Black Female Founder on the panel or a Muslim VC on a “Ones To Watch” list, sends out the wrong message and shows we are still divided as as a community.

I believe we will only be able to transform the male-dominated startup ecosystem once internal changes are made within female-focused initiatives, that presents a more reflective representation of the social positions of all women.

So how can we change this …

Below is a list of some of the amazing female founders, investors, marketing gurus, coders and journalists I know in the UK tech industry.

I’ve started off with black women…

Please feel free to mention other women who do not fit the “status quo” in the comment box below. The aim is to curate a list of women from diverse backgrounds , which can be a go-to for event organisers and journalists — so there is no longer an excuse that they just can’t find these women!

Investment

Startups

Journalists

Marketers, Initiatives and Agencies

Coders and Techies

Share your thoughts, hashtag a friend and join the conversation on twitter #Wherearethefaces

If you would like to discuss the above further with me, please email at deborahokenla@gmail.com

Thanks to Andy Ayim, Nafisa Bakkar, Adabesi Osunsade, Sam Wood, Adaobi Adibe , Ebi Ajayi , Alex Leon, Orsola De Marco, Patrice John-Baptiste , Ajay Powar and Therese Karger-lerchl for helping me put this together.

*last updated on 17.6.18

YSYS

YSYS is a thriving startup community for founders…

Deborah Okenla

Written by

A collection of thoughts, notes and articles

YSYS

YSYS

YSYS is a thriving startup community for founders, developers, creatives and investors on a mission to make a difference.

Deborah Okenla

Written by

A collection of thoughts, notes and articles

YSYS

YSYS

YSYS is a thriving startup community for founders, developers, creatives and investors on a mission to make a difference.

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