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Inspirational LGBTQIA+ Leaders in Tech

May 31, 2023
Inspirational LGBTQIA+ Leaders in Tech

Pride month looks to honour the 1969 Stonewall riots and has (nearly) become a global celebration. From organisations running elaborate pride campaigns to awareness being spread and coming out stories shared, pride month looks to shed valuable light on all members of the community.

The world of tech isn’t diverse by nature, and many organisations work tirelessly to improve their diversity to become a more inclusive workplace. Although it can be difficult to measure who is part of the LGBTQIA+ community at work, it’s important to uplift and showcase those who are open about their sexuality in the workplace. Representation matters.    

Many organisations take pride in celebrating pride (pardon the pun!) and we do too. However, we also acknowledge that supporting LGBTQIA+ folks must go beyond a one-month celebration each year. It has to consist of continuous support and guidance as well as educating ourselves on how we can improve our culture and create a workforce that is as inclusive as possible. 

To see how far we have come since the 1969 Stonewall riots is incredible, but it’s also important to acknowledge that there is still prejudice all over the world - which unfortunately creates visible (and invisible) barriers to LGBTQIA+ folks in their professional careers.      

We wanted to celebrate 5 inspirational LGBTQIA+ leaders in Tech who all have had a significant impact on the tech world and diversity within the space overall.

#1 Ana Arriola, partner and product designer at Microsoft

Formerly with Microsoft, Ana was the Product Design & Research Director & Studios GM for Microsoft's Dynamics365 Frontline (previously Physical Operations Cloud (PhysOps)). Frontline Studios empowers organizations to manage their physical operations across diverse industries through Mixed Reality Apps, Vision Apps, and Frontline Apps. Her team unified Microsoft's vision around existing products and incubations to reach the next billion frontline workers & transform processes in the physical world - establishing Microsoft's Industrial Metaverse.”

#2 Leanne Pittsford, founder and CEO of Lesbians Who Tech

Leanne is the CEO and Founder of Lesbians Who Tech, the largest LGBTQ community of technologists in the world — committed to visibility, intersectionality, and changing the face of technology, with 40,000 non-binary, LGBTQ women, queer women of color (and our allies) in tech and more than 40+ city chapters worldwide”

#3 Peter Theil, cofounder of PayPal, Palantir, and Founders Fund

“Peter Thiel is an entrepreneur and investor. He cofounded PayPal, led it as CEO, and took it public; he made the first outside investment in Facebook, where he serves as a director; and he cofounded Palantir Technologies, where he serves as chairman. He has provided early funding for LinkedIn, Yelp, and dozens of startups, many run by former colleagues who have been dubbed the “PayPal Mafia.” He is a partner at Founders Fund, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm that has funded companies including SpaceX and Airbnb.”

#4 Peter Arvai, cofounder and CEO of Prezi

Peter Arvai is the Executive Chair and Cofounder of Prezi. Before Prezi, Peter founded omvard.se, a Swedish company that aggregates data on treatment outcomes for hospital patients.”

#5 Claudia Brind-Woody, VP at IBM

“Claudia Brind-Woody is currently IBM Managing Director for the IBM/Kyndryl Partnership in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Previously, she was the Managing Director for the Walgreens Boots Alliance Integrated Account where she led the IBM team in both Europe and North America. Prior to this role, she was Vice President and Managing Director for IBM Global Intellectual Property Licensing delivering billions in profit to IBM through IP Partnerships, and leading two large divestitures of IBM Software in 2019.

Before joining IBM in 1996, Claudia worked for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, as an executive for CenturyLink, and as the Assistant Dean of the College & Graduate School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. She also served as the Assistant Athletics Director at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Tennessee. Claudia was also an Assistant Basketball Coach under Pat Summitt at the University of Tennessee.”

We have put together a downloadable guide on how you can support LGBTQIA+ employees in the workplace. Click here to access it!

A FREE guide breaking down actionable ways to be inclusive.

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