As we live through the 21st century at rocket speeds, new developments in technology, software, artificial intelligence, and web and mobile applications have skyrocketed! Little do some people know, WOC are at the forefront!


Studies show that women of color are among the most educated demographic in the world, and we are clearly putting our intelligence and our innovativeness to great use! Although the tech industry still has a ways to go in terms of diversity, there are foundations, programmers, and app developers that highlight the fact that there is no doubt some black girl magic leading the way.

The following women are making moves in tech and paving the way for others to follow:

Jamila Parham, The Tech Unicorn™️

Jamila Parham, affectionately known as The Tech Unicorn

Her Role & Purpose in Tech:

"From my first tech role to now being a Tech Leader for software development, information security, and smart city technology, I noticed there was rarely anyone that looked like me. The concept of a WOC in Tech yielded mixed reactions, from surprise to disbelief. This led me to create The Tech Unicorn™. WOC in Tech are indeed unicorns, we are excelling in an industry that is not set up for our success but we succeed anyway. I utilize my voice to advocate on behalf of under-represented and under-valued communities in order to address the lack of diversity in STEM."

"We are excelling in an industry that is not set up for our success but we succeed anyway."

"The Tech Unicorn™ is a platform created to empower those who feel as if they are hidden figures and 'unicorns' in STEM and beyond. The mission of of The Tech Unicorn ™ brand is to uplift and provide opportunities to women, minorities, and people of color by educating, breaking down barriers, and providing access to resources through mentorship, personal and professional development workshops, and events."

How Technology is Transforming the Narrative for Women of Color:

"I believe the 'power of narrative' has been delivered to our fingertips. Thanks to social media, representation is everything. Women of color face so many hurdles to achieve excellence. The odds are against us but we hold the power to overcome every single one! This is proven everyday. Adversity becomes your success story, it's magical! Technology and Digital Media has given us our say in how we are represented in the media and beyond. We get to amplify our successes where it is often overlooked."

The Obstacles & Biases That WOC Overcome in the Tech World:

"In society, the color of your skin can instantly put you in a box that automatically 'defines' your potential; now make that box even smaller being a woman of color. I've witnessed and experienced [it in this industry]. Your expertise, ability to lead, and [being the] best 'fit' for this role conveniently come into question when navigating opportunities in the tech space. There is an interesting case study called Howard vs. Heidi. One half of the class was given the study with Heidi, the other half of the class was given the same case with her name changed to Howard. Howard was perceived as a decisive and strong leader, Heidi was viewed as selfish and not likeable. These are the hurdles that we face; they can become real tangible roadblocks to our dreams and aspirations. I've learned that others' perception of you is ultimately not your problem but it can be when you give it power."

"Others' perception of you is ultimately not your problem but it can be when you give it power."

Her Greatest Accomplishments:

"One of the greatest milestone on my journey thus far has been finding my purpose. This happened when two of the things I loved became one; my passion for my community and technology. Today, I'm leading the largest Smart City Technology Program in the entire world, right here in Chicago. This milestone is so special because every decision and opportunity in my career has led me to this point.

"Secondly, I consider it a special milestone and honor to be a voice for my community and serve as a role model on a mission to change the face of technology, and I am grateful to have created something that shifts the negative perception of those raised in the inner city of Chicago and instead provide a positive platform that extends a helping hand and a warm embrace to fuel the dreams of our youth. No one is looking for a hand out; we're all just looking for an opportunity. If anyone is interested in technology and unsure if it's a possibility for them, now they know it is."

Advice for the Next Generation of Young Girls & Women in Tech:

"I would say your dreams and goals are non negotiable despite what society says. You have to bet on yourself because no one else will unless you do. Seek guidance from those that have come before you, offer a helping hand to others that follow in your footsteps, and uplift your peers. We never do this alone. If you ever walk into a room and feel alone, remember you have a whole community behind you cheering you on."

CJ & Mecca, Urban Anna Mae

CJ and Mecca Harris are a dynamic mother/daughter duo who have created their own app.

Their Role & Purpose in Tech:

"We are the co-founders of Urban Anna Mae, a digital media company that combines Japanese anime with urban characteristics to create a host of digital media products and fashion accessories, all steeped in hip-hop culture. Our first product launch is Urban Anna Mae, a diverse emoji app that features seven multicultural characters all with their own unique styles and catchphrases.Our goal is to create a social movement designed to encourage, engage and inspire. We want to make the world a smaller place through culture, creativity, and conversation."

How Technology is Transforming the Narrative for Women of Color:

"Technology is not transforming the way Black women are flourishing in the tech arena. Black women are transforming tech with our Black Girl Magic. The advent of targeted STEM programs designed to include women of color ensure that we don't get left behind while the rest of the world moves forward. We are hitching our wagons to progress and it won't be long before we're the frontrunners in the industry. Why is this important? Because representation matters."

"Black women are transforming tech with our Black Girl Magic."

The Obstacles & Biases That WOC Overcome in the Tech World:

"When we first started out, we were talking to developers online, most of them overseas, and ALL of them men. They would often misgender CJ and use 'he/him' pronouns when chatting with us. They hadn't even entertained the idea that CJ might be a woman. Commanding respect in this male-dominated arena continues to be challenging but we press on, despite the misconceptions."



Their Greatest Accomplishment(s):

"Reaching 20k downloads with our grassroots initiative was a pretty big deal for us!"

Advice for the Next Generation of Young Girls & Women in Tech:

"Go for it! We knew nothing about building an app when we entered into this arena. Diligence and perseverance took us across the finish line. If two non-techies could pull this off, anybody can."

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