LGBTQ in Tech List

    In celebration of Pride Month, we are thrilled to spotlight 30 trailblazing LGBTQ+ individuals who are breaking barriers and making remarkable contributions to the tech industry

    From innovative startup founders to influential tech executives, these leaders are not only pushing the boundaries of technology but also championing diversity, equity, and inclusion in a field historically underrepresented by LGBTQ+ voices. The list is presented in alphabetical order, ensuring each individual's achievements are recognized equally.

    Aga Bojko

    Head of UX Research Operations at YouTube

    Aga is an operations leader with a strategic chief-of-staff mindset, who enjoys simplifying, clarifying, organizing, optimizing, and scaling. She started her career as a user researcher, then moved to leading UX teams. Now, her greatest satisfaction comes from helping UX teams operate more efficiently and enabling leaders to run their UX organizations more effectively.

    Annabelle Backman

    Principal Security Engineer at AWS

    Annabelle is a Principal Security Engineer at Amazon. She spent her first six years with the company focusing on consumer identity in Amazon’s retail organization, where she built features for the retail sign in experience and served as the technical lead for the Login with Amazon product. She has since moved to Amazon Web Services (AWS), where she drives architectural development for the AWS customer identity platform, working with products such as AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), AWS Single Sign-On (SSO), and Amazon Cognito. She also participates within working groups in the IETF and OpenID Foundation. 

    Ann Mei Chang

    CEO at Candid

    Ann Mei Chang serves as the CEO of Candid and is the author of *Lean Impact: How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good*. As an expert in social innovation, she has held significant roles at organizations such as USAID, Mercy Corps, and Pete for America, and was the inaugural Executive Director of the US Global Development Lab. Prior to her work in social impact, she spent over two decades in the tech industry, holding executive positions at Google, Apple, and Intuit, where she led mobile engineering at Google. Recognized for her influence, Chang has been listed among Newsweek's "125 Women of Impact" and Business Insider's "23 Most Powerful LGBTQ+ People in Tech."

    Arlan Hamilton

    Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital

    Arlan Hamilton established a venture capital fund from scratch while experiencing homelessness. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a firm committed to reducing funding disparities in the tech industry by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBT. Since its inception in 2015, Backstage has raised over $15 million and funded more than 170 startup companies led by underestimated founders. In 2018, Arlan co-founded Backstage Studio, which launched accelerator programs for underestimated founders in Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and London.

    Caitlin Kalinowski

    Head of AR Glasses Hardware at Meta

    Caitlin Kalinowski leads the AR Hardware team for Reality Labs at Meta. Previously, she oversaw VR Hardware, including the Meta Quest 2, Touch controllers, and Oculus Rift, Go, and Rift S. Before joining Oculus, Caitlin was a technical lead at Apple, working on the Mac Pro, MacBook Air, and the original unibody MacBook Pro teams. Caitlin is dedicated to increasing the representation of women and other underrepresented minorities in technology and design. She believes that diverse backgrounds and experiences are crucial for creating the best products.

    Cj Giovingo

    Systems Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    Cj Giovingo has been a Systems Engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California since 2014. They were a key member of the Mars 2020 Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) Systems team that successfully landed the Perseverance rover on Mars on February 18, 2021. Currently, Cj is involved in the Mars Sample Return, Sample Retrieval Lander project, which aims to bring Martian samples back to Earth by the early 2030s. In July 2019, Cj joined the National Board of Directors for Out for Undergrad, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping high-achieving LGBTQ+ undergraduates achieve their full potential.

    Clare Martorana

    Federal Chief Information Officer at the White House

    Clare Martorana is an industry leader in deploying innovative technology and human-centered design to create products, services, and experiences that improve people’s lives. In March 2021, Clare was appointed by President Biden as the Federal Chief Information Officer. She previously served as Chief Information Officer of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and a member of the U.S. Digital Service team at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, launching the agency’s enterprise-wide digital modernization effort to give Veterans the 21st century digital experience they deserve. Prior to joining government, Clare was a President at Everyday Health, and Senior Vice President and General Manager and editor-at-large at WebMD. 

    Christine Su

    Sr Director, Head of Product for Homepage and Personalization, AI/ML Recommendations at eBay

    Christine Su is a global product executive known for building high-performance, diverse teams that innovate and achieve ambitious goals. Currently, she is Senior Director and Head of Product for Homepage, myeBay, Personalization, and AI/ML Recommendations at eBay, where she leads product strategy and personalization across key buyer experiences. Previously, she led AI/ML recommender systems for eBay’s ads business. Christine has also served as Global Head of Product for Content Regulatory Compliance at Twitter, managing content moderation and compliance efforts.

    Christy O’Gaughan

    Chief Data Officer at GE HeathCare

    Christy O’Gaughan is  Chief Data Officer at GE HealthCare, bringing over 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Known for her transformative leadership, O’Gaughan has held significant roles at McKesson, Roche, and Genentech. At McKesson, she was VP of Data and Digital Innovation, focusing on digital health advancements and rural healthcare. At Roche, she served as VP, Head of Global Insights and Digital Engagements, leveraging data analytics to drive global healthcare solutions. At Genentech, she led a team of Marketing Scientists to utilize big data for marketing strategies.

    Debra Chrapaty

    Chief Technology Officer, Toast; Former Vice President and COO Alexa, Amazon

    Debra Chrapaty is currently the Chief Technology Officer at Toast, where she leads technology and engineering efforts in fintech, POS, commerce, guest, and international product engineering. Previously, she was Vice President and COO at Alexa (Amazon) and CTO at Wells Fargo. She has held executive roles at E*TRADE, Microsoft, Cisco, and the NBA, and scaled Zynga's gaming platform as CIO. An entrepreneur at heart, Chrapaty was CEO of Nirvanix and COO of Declara. She holds an MBA in IT from NYU Stern and a degree in Economics from Temple University. She is also an active investor, advisor, and board member, focusing on customer growth, product development, AI, and cloud management.

    Elaine Montilla

    CTO at Pearson

    Elaine Montilla is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Pearson's US School Assessment division, where she drives digital innovation and product development strategies. With over 20 years of experience, she has provided leadership in higher education IT and executed large-scale strategies. Elaine is a former CIO, a TEDx speaker, and the founder of 5xminority, Inc., advocating for the empowerment of women and underrepresented minorities in tech. Recognized as a Top 100 Outstanding LGBTQ+ Executive Role Model by Yahoo Finance in 2021, one of the Top 100 Women in Tech by Technology Magazine in 2023, and awarded HITEC 100 Hispanic Technology Leaders for 2024, Elaine defies stereotypes and embodies diversity in the tech industry.

    Gina Trapani

    Vice President of Product at Launch by NTT DATA

    Gina Trapani is the Vice President of Product at Launch by NTT DATA, leading a team of product strategists, managers, owners, and agile practitioners. She focuses on creating user-friendly digital products that solve real-world problems and drive business growth. 

    Before joining NTT DATA, Gina was the CEO of Postlight, a digital product studio. She also co-founded ThinkUp, a startup providing insightful social media analytics, and was the founding editor of Lifehacker, a popular blog-turned-book on software and personal productivity.

    Jacqueline Guichelaar

    Customer Experience Officer, Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China at Cisco

    With 30 years of experience in IT roles such as CIO, CTO, and COO, Jacqueline supports Cisco customers in their digitization and transformation journeys.Previously, she was Group CIO at Cisco, leading the Digital Enterprise Solutions organization and developing a Future State Architecture Strategy. She also served as Group CIO at Thomson Reuters, spearheading a technology transformation program. Her career includes roles at Lloyds Bank, Deutsche Bank, National Australia Bank, IBM, and CSC. She is involved in non-profits and is the Global Executive Sponsor of Cisco PRIDE.

    Jam Leomi 

    Founding Security Engineer at

    Jam Leomi is an experienced technology professional with over 20 years of expertise in computer hardware, software, networking, support, and systems administration, both in data center and cloud environments. This includes a decade in Information Security, Risk Assessment, and best security business practices. Their joy is being a collaborative leader who balances managing business security risks while keeping the business running smoothly.

    Jen Wong

    COO at Reddit

    Jen Wong is Reddit’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), bringing over 15 years of executive experience in digital media. Under her leadership, Reddit has seen significant growth in product development, advertising tools, headcount, and revenue. Previously, Jen held key roles at Time, Inc., PopSugar, and AOL, driving digital strategy, operations, and revenue. Jen began her career co-founding a children’s entertainment startup and working at McKinsey & Company.

    Joannie Fu

    Vice President, Intel Network & Edge Group (NEX) Execution Office at Intel

    Joannie Fu leads Intel’s Network & Edge (NEX) Execution Office, where she enhances global cross-functional execution by streamlining management systems, optimizing operations, and fostering a culture of integrity and employee engagement. With over 20 years at Intel, Joannie has held various leadership roles across technical and business domains, providing her with extensive knowledge of the semiconductor industry. Joannie was named to Fast Company’s Top Queer 50 Leader list in 2023, recognized as Working Mother of the Year by Working Mother Magazine, and honored as Intel’s Inclusive Leader of the Year.

    Kara Swisher

    Tech Journalist

    Kara Swisher is a prominent American journalist and activist, known for her extensive coverage of the internet and digital media since 1994. Swisher co-founded Vox Media's Recode and has held senior roles at The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and PopSugar. She hosts the podcasts "On with Kara Swisher" and "Pivot," and has been recognized for her influential work in the tech industry. Swisher worked in the Wall Street Journal’s San Francisco bureau and as a reporter at the Washington Post. She was also a contributor to NBC, CNBC, and MSNBC. Swisher played herself on HBO’s Silicon Valley and Fox’s The Simpsons, and is a regular guest on national broadcast programs. She also hosted HBO’s Succession podcast, which was named Adweek’s 2023 “Podcast of the Year.” 

    Katherine Wetmur

    Managing Director, CIO - Cyber, Data, Risk, Resilience at Morgan Stanley

    Katherine Wetmur is a Managing Director and Chief Information Officer for Cyber, Data, Risk, and Resilience at Morgan Stanley. She oversees the firm's central Technology Risk and Information Security functions, Global Data, Legal & Compliance Technology, and International operations. Katherine collaborates with global business and technology teams to enhance resilience, address evolving threats, and ensure data governance and security. A champion of diversity, she has been involved in Morgan Stanley’s EMEA Diversity Action Council, Pride and Ally Network, and Mental Health Advisory Board. Katherine supports STEM education and encourages young women to pursue technical careers. She was named a Top 100 Women in Finance by Financial News in 2019 and 2020.

    Leanne Pittsford

    CEO and Founder of Lesbians Who Tech

    Leanne Pittsford is the CEO and Founder of Lesbians Who Tech, the world's largest LGBTQ community of technologists. With over 40,000 members and 40+ city chapters worldwide, the organization focuses on visibility, intersectionality, and transforming the tech industry. Before founding Lesbians Who Tech, Leanne led Start Somewhere, a design and technology agency, and founded, acquired by Lean Startup in 2016. She also worked at Equality California, managing data and fundraising for the "No on Prop 8" campaign.

    Leslie Henry

    Manager, Business Project/Program Manager at Deloitte

    Leslie Henry is a Business Project/Program Manager at Deloitte with PMP certification. Her career spans roles in Information Security, IT project management, and process management. Leslie is also a recognized leader in Diversity and Inclusion at Bank of America, where she co-chaired the LGBT Employee network in Chicago and serves on the Global Technology and Operations LGBT Advisory Council and the Global Information Security Diversity and Inclusion Council. Leslie has served on the boards of Girls in the Game and The Victory Fund. 

    Lorraine Bardeen

    Corporate Vice President and CTO, Commercial Solution Areas at Microsoft

    Lorraine Bardeen is the Corporate Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Microsoft's worldwide Commercial Solution Areas group. She leads teams supporting sales in Modern Work, Security, Business Applications, Data & AI, Azure Infrastructure, IoT, and Support. Her team collaborates with sales and engineering to enhance and accelerate innovative customer solutions. Previously, Lorraine was CTO for Microsoft's worldwide Industry Solutions group and General Manager for engineering on Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform. 

    Lynn Conway

    Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Emerita

    Lynn Conway earned her BS and MSEE from Columbia University and began her career at IBM, where she made significant contributions to computer architecture. After being dismissed by IBM during her gender transition in 1968, she restarted her career at Memorex and later joined Xerox PARC in 1973. At Xerox, she developed scalable MOS design rules and co-authored the influential Mead-Conway VLSI design methodology, revolutionizing microelectronics design. She is renowned for her work in computer science, microelectronic design, and human rights advocacy.

    Megan Smith

    Former CTO and Assistant to the President (Obama) White House, CEO and Co-Founder at shift7

    Smith is an award-winning entrepreneur, engineer, and tech evangelist. Currently, Smith is the CEO and founder of shift7, a company that collaborates on addressing systemic social, environmental, and economic issues. From 2014 to 2017, Smith served as the third United States Chief Technology Officer, assisting the President and his teams in leveraging data, innovation, and technology for the nation's benefit. Smith also recruited top tech talent to address critical issues such as data science, AI, open source, inclusive economic growth, and criminal justice reform across the government.

    Nikki Katz

    Managing Director, Head of Digital, Bank of America

    Nikki Katz is the head of digital at Bank of America, overseeing digital services for 54 million users, which account for nine out of 10 billion interactions for the bank. She leads a team of 500 technologists focused on innovating banking experiences. Katz manages digital strategies and delivery for Wealth Management clients, ensuring seamless integration across digital and physical platforms. She also oversees mobile and online banking services for over 65 million Consumer, Small Business, and Wealth clients. Before joining Bank of America in 2018, Katz was Vice President of Technology at Disney’s Parks, Experiences, and Consumer Products segment, leading teams in retail, e-commerce, digital media, and gaming technology. 

    Tali Bray

    EVP, Head of Technology Sustainability & Equity at Wells Fargo

    With a track record of over 25 years, Tali excels in driving innovation, product development, operational efficiency, and revenue growth for both Fortune 50 companies and early-stage startups. Known for leading global transformations, implementing sustainable business practices, and fostering an inclusive culture, this award-winning board member, advisor, and collaborator is adept at building high-impact teams.

    Tammy Perrin

    Head of Engineering at mogul

    Tammy Perrin is a passionate engineer, leader, and mentor. Previously, she led engineering teams across DC, Chicago, and Israel, working full-stack on various products and research efforts at Attunity. She was a Software Engineer at Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories, where she engaged in cross-disciplinary R&D on projects ranging from computer vision to machine learning. A tireless advocate for women in technology, LGBT rights, and human rights, she has been a technical mentor and volunteer for Engineers Without Borders for over 10 years, designing and implementing community development programs in developing nations worldwide.

    Tara Bunch

    Global Head of Operations Airbnb

    Tara Bunch oversees Airbnb’s Community Support, Trust, and Payments teams, responsible for supporting hosts and guests in over 220 countries and regions, and payments in 63 currencies. Before joining Airbnb, Tara spent eight years at Apple, where she was most recently Vice President of AppleCare, overseeing the company's global technical support and repair services. She also managed Apple's Customer Service operations, including the Apple Support website, Support App, and AppleCare extended warranty and insurance plans. Tara resides in Los Angeles with her wife and six children. 

    V Pappas (Vanessa Pappas)

    Former COO at TikTok

    V Pappas is a prominent global technology executive with over 20 years of experience shaping major digital platforms. As the former Chief Operating Officer of TikTok, V played a key role in transforming it from a niche app to a cultural powerhouse, expanding its user base to over 1 billion in 170+ countries. Previously, V spent seven years at YouTube, where they developed the "YouTube Creator Playbook," popularized the term “creator,” and led strategic growth initiatives. Their work at YouTube revolutionized content creation, enabling creators to build and monetize their audiences. V lives with their wife and two children, splitting their time between Los Angeles and New York.

    Vivian Chu

    Co-Founder and CTO at Diligent Robotics

    Vivian is a roboticist with over 10 years of experience specializing in human-robot interaction. Her industry accolades include being named to MIT Technology Review's 35 Innovators Under 35 list, honored as a Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholar, recognized as a Stanford EECS Rising Star, receiving the Best Cognitive Robotics Paper Award at ICRA 2013, and featured on Robohub's 2016 list of 25 Women in Robotics You Need to Know. Vivian created the robots Moxi and Poli and applied her HRI and machine learning expertise to platforms such as PR2, Meka Robot, and Kinova Jaco2. Her professional background includes work at Google[X], Honda Research Institute, and IBM Research in Almaden, focusing on natural language processing and intelligent information integration.

    Vivienne Ming

    Co-founder of Muse and Socos

    Dr. Vivienne Ming is a theoretical neuroscientist, entrepreneur, and author, frequently featured for her research and inventions in prominent publications like The Financial Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Quartz, and The New York Times. She co-founded Socos Labs, her fifth venture, an independent institute dedicated to exploring the future of human potential. Through Socos Labs, Dr. Ming collaborates with other creative experts to address global policy issues within companies and communities. Previously, she was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley's Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, focusing on cognitive neuroprosthetics research.

    In closing, let’s continue the celebration and recognition of LGBTQ+ trailblazers in tech all year round. The remarkable individuals on our list deserve ongoing support, not just during LGBTQ+ Month.  Many LGBTQ+ individuals continue to face bias, outright discrimination, and underrepresentation, particularly in sectors like technology. Join us in championing their dedication, innovation, and leadership by nominating them for the Women in Tech Global Awards.

    If you notice someone missing from our list who deserves recognition, please explore our award categories and nominate them. Let’s keep the momentum going and ensure every trailblazer receives the acknowledgment they deserve.