Posted March 29, 2018 by Editorial Staff in Business

26 Women of Color Diversifying Entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley, Media and Beyond

woomen of color
woomen of color

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Pictures Above: Lisa Skeete Tatum, co-founder and C.E.O., Landit. Heather Hiles, founder and former C.E.O., Pathbrite (sold company to Cengage Learning in 2015). Marla Blow, founder and C.E.O., FS Card. Helen Adeosun, co-founder and C.E.O., Care Academy. Morgan DeBaun, founder and C.E.O., Blavity. Jean Brownhill, founder and C.E.O., Sweeten. Marah Lidey, co-founder and co-C.E.O., Shine. Kristina Jones, co-founder, CourtBuddy. Sherisse Hawkins, co-founder and C.E.O., Pagedip. Etosha Cave, founder, Opus 12. Tanisha Robinson, founder, Print Syndicate. Catherine Mahugu, founder, Soko. Alicia Thomas, co-founder and C.E.O., Dibs. Kellee James, founder and C.E.O., Mercaris. Viola Llewellyn, co-founder and president, Ovamba. Reham Fagiri, co-founder and C.E.O., AptDeco. Camille Hearst, co-founder and C.E.O., Kit. Alexandra Bernadotte, founder and C.E.O., Beyond 12. K. J. Miller, co-founder, Mented Cosmetics. Nicole Neal, co-founder and C.E.O., Noodle Markets. Amanda E. Johnson, co-founder, Mented Cosmetics. Cheryl Contee, co-founder and strategic adviser, Asmau Ahmed, founder, Plum Perfect. Star Cunningham, founder and C.E.O., 4D Healthware. Jewel Burks, co-founder and C.E.O., Partpic (sold company to Amazon in 2016). Jessica O. Matthews, founder and C.E.O., Uncharted Power.
Photograph by Mark Seliger.

The business world has long been a boys’ club. Women C.E.O.s and founders of color make up a small portion of entrepreneurs who have reached the top. Each one of the women in this group tableau has raised $1 million or more in outside capital, breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings along the way.

As I was growing up, these were the women I wanted to be: triumphant at the highest levels of commerce, assailing stereotypes of what a successful businessperson looked like, with smarts and vision and the will to outwork everyone in sight. Being a “one or only” in the room where it happens, I knew, was part of the bargain, the number of black or female fellow travelers diminishing with each level scaled, like oxygen at the planet’s highest peaks. As a black woman who spent years working in finance and technology, I’m both giddy to know that it’s possible to fill a room with black female entrepreneurs who have raised $1 million or more in outside capital, and acutely aware of the reasons that it’s still only one room.

Read the complete story in Vanity Fair>