Any Given Sunday – Part 1
June 2, 2024
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Any Given Sunday – Part 2
June 10, 2024
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The tech industry thrives on innovation, and a key driver of innovation is diversity. LGBTQ+ women are a powerful force for change, bringing unique perspectives and experiences to the table. Yet, our contributions are often overlooked. 

This piece sheds light on the remarkable achievements of five LGBTQ+ women who are shaping the future of technology. It also explores valuable resources, such as scholarships and mentorship programs, that can help young LGBTQ+ women pursue careers in technology. 


5 Amazing LGBTQ+ Women in Tech

  1. Leanne Pittsford
    Raised in San Diego, Pittsford‘s path began with social justice advocacy at Equality California, fighting for LGBTQ+ rights during Proposition 8. This ignited a passion for creating opportunities, leading her to co-found the Lesbian Entrepreneur Mentoring Program and establish Start Somewhere, a digital agency empowering nonprofits. In 2012, recognizing the need for lesbian visibility in the field, Pittsford founded Lesbians Who Tech (LWT). From a small gathering in San Francisco, LWT has grown into the world’s largest LGBTQ+ tech community, with over 40,000 members and chapters in 40+ cities.
  2. Megan Smith
    Megan Smith earned her bachelors and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, where she contributed to pioneering solar car projects. Her career includes pivotal roles at Apple Japan and General Magic. She also served as CEO of the now defunct PlanetOut, an early online LGBTQ+ community. There is no doubt that she has significantly influenced the tech industry and public service. In 2014, President Obama appointed her as the United States’ third Chief Technology Officer, making Smith the first woman to hold this position.
  3. Angelica Ross
    Angelica Ross, popularly known for her roles in “Pose” and “American Horror Story,” has another passion: transforming the tech world. In 2001, with no prior coding experience, Ross saw an opportunity to empower the transgender community. Dissatisfied with social services that offered limited support, she envisioned a direct path to tech jobs. In 2014, Ross founded TransTech Social Enterprises, a non-profit that equips LGBTQ+ individuals with tech skills through workshops and programs. Today, TransTech boasts of partnerships with major corporations like Google and The Linux Foundation.

  4. Lynn Conway
    Lynn Conway is a pioneering computer scientist, electrical engineer, and transgender activist. Conway’s early career began at IBM in the 1960s, where she invented generalised dynamic instruction handling, a key advance in modern computer processors. Despite her significant contributions, IBM fired Conway in 1968 upon learning of her intention to transition. Undeterred, Conway reinvented herself and continued to excel in the tech industry. At Xerox PARC in the 1970s, she co-authored the seminal textbook Introduction to VLSI Systems with Carver Mead, revolutionizing microchip design. Her work led to the development of the Metal Oxide Semiconductor Implementation Service (MOSIS), facilitating rapid prototyping and production of chips. Conway’s contributions to technology and her courage in the face of adversity have earned her numerous accolades, including induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
  5. Vivienne Ming
    Dr. Vivienne Ming is a theoretical neuroscientist and AI expert. Overcoming significant personal challenges, including depression and homelessness, she returned to academia to earn a Bachelor degree in cognitive neuroscience from UC San Diego and a PhD in psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. Ming’s research focuses on the impact of non-cognitive skills, like creativity and curiosity, on life outcomes. As the co-founder and CEO of Socos Labs, she explores complex problems ranging from disabilities to global economic inclusion. Dr. Ming was recognized by the BBC as a “Top 100 Women 2017” and is considered an LGBTQ+ leader.


Resources for Tech-Minded Readers

For Tagg readers who may want to follow in the footsteps of these amazing women, there are many resources available to help you break into tech. If you’re looking to pursue, or are in the process of pursuing, higher education, there are two scholarships that can help offset the cost of earning a degree.

  1. Anita Borg Scholarships support women and non-binary individuals pursuing degrees in computer science and related fields.
  2. Point Foundation Scholarships provide financial support to LGBTQ+ students pursuing a variety of degrees, including those in tech fields.

For those who are already in the workforce and looking to break into tech or grow in the field, mentorship can be key. Luckily, there are a number of organizations that help you connect with others in the field. 

  1. Out in Tech connects LGBTQ+ professionals with mentors in the tech industry.
  2. National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) offers an Aspire IT Program that provides mentorship and networking opportunities for women in tech, including LGBTQ+ women.
  3. Lesbians Who Tech & Allies provides career development resources, mentorship programs, and a supportive community for LGBTQ+ women in tech. 
  4. TransTech Social Enterprises aids transgender individuals seeking to enter the tech industry with education, support, and job training.


The five women included here are just a few of the remarkable LGBTQ+ women shaping the tech world. Their achievements serve as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring queer technologists. With the scholarship and mentorship opportunities available, there are opportunities for even more of us to follow in their footsteps moving forward. We have the power to create a future where more diverse voices and perspectives continue to fuel progress. 




Kehinde Adepetun
Kehinde Adepetun
Kehinde Grace Adepetun is a freelance writer with a passion for delivering engaging narratives. She has contributed insightful articles across various publications, showcasing her ability to delve into diverse topics.