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55 Minute Read

101 LGBTQIA+ in Tech, Business & Storytelling

BAM's Lessons from Dandapani: Unveiling the Power of Purpose

“Never allow yourself to be made a victim or bullied into silence. Define yourself without using or accepting others' definitions. I speak my name.” – Mike Fountain, Associate VP of Operations at BAM

BAM celebrates Pride Month by appreciating 101 LGBTQIA+ leaders in technology, business & storytelling. Often tech and storytelling are separated, but many of us have learned to tell our greatest stories using technology. Telling stories is an intrinsic part of tech — however, not all stories are getting told. These LGBTQIA+ leaders are not listed in order of importance because they are all pioneers of progress. This list represents BAM's DEI commitment to stand in solidarity with and celebrate diverse communities. Our goal is to hear, share, and celebrate stories less told. 

Don't see your favorite LGBTQIA+ leaders? Please contact us and share your thoughts.

Please enjoy the BAM Pride Month Playlist as you scroll through the list.


Leanne Pittsford

1. Leanne Pittsford is an entrepreneur & investor. She is the CEO and Founder of Lesbians Who Tech & Allies, the largest LGBTQ+ tech community in the world. Hosting 60,000+ members in 40+ cities. In 2020 they teamed with Fast Company to produce the first-ever list of LGBTQ womxn and nonbinary innovators in business and tech. The organization has helped individuals access 600,000+ job opportunities. 

Chris Hughes

2. Chris Hughes is the co-founder of Facebook turned philanthropist and equity advocate. His book, Fair Shot, makes the case that one percenters like him should pay their fortune forward in a radically simple way: a guaranteed income for working people. 

Tim Cook

3. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple is an executive and successor of the late Steve Jobs. He took over Apple in 2011 and has created both social and operational innovation within the company, doubling the company’s revenue in the process. In 2020 Apple became the first US company to reach a market value of $2 Trillion. Tim Cook also balances time on the Board of Directors at Nike and as an active philanthropist.

Sonya Renee Taylor4. Sonya Renee Taylor is an author, poet, spoken word artist, speaker, humanitarian and social justice activist, and educator. Taylor founded  The Body is Not An Apology, a movement that quickly grew into a digital media enterprise reaching nearly 1 million people. It promotes radical self-love and body empowerment as the foundational tool for social justice and global transformation.

Arlan Hamilton5. Arlan Hamilton is the founder and managing partner of Backstage Capital, a fund that is dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBT. Remarkably, she started her company while homeless. Today, it has raised more than $7 million and invested in more than 130 startup companies led by underestimated founders. She is also the author of “It’s About Damn Time”, a narrative about her journey into entrepreneurship and venture capital.

Stephanie Tan6. Stephanie Tan is Vice President, Head of Cybersecurity and Technology Risk at OnDeck. OnDeck is the leader in online small business lending and has deployed over $5 billion to more than 50,000 customers in 700 different industries across the United States, Canada, and Australia. Stephanie is responsible for leading OnDeck’s Cybersecurity and Technology Risk teams.

Sam Altman7.At only 36, Sam Altman is the CEO of Open AI, a for-profit research company he founded with Elon Musk whose goal is to advance digital intelligence in a way that benefits humanity as a whole rather than cause harm. In 2019, OpenAI received a $1 billion investment from Microsoft. Altman is the former president of Y Combinator, an American seed money startup accelerator. Y Combinator is responsible for launching over 2,000 companies, including Airbnb, DoorDash, Instacart, Dropbox, and Reddit.

Alex Halliday8. Alex Halliday is the CEO of Bungalow, a residential real estate platform geared towards early career professionals to aid in home and roommate search. Bungalow has raised a total of $96M in funding over three rounds, with their latest funding raised in November 2019 from a Series B round. Halliday believes being a member of the LGBTQ community has benefitted his out-of-the-box thinking in the tech space.

Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler9. Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler is an American entrepreneur, filmmaker, visual artist, blogger, writer, and scholar based in Oakland, California. In 2013, Ziegler launched Trans*H4ck, an organizational hub for trans people to create technological advances to better the trans community. He also co-founded BSMdotCo, an educational technology startup company, and Appolition, a donation-based site supporting incarcerated African Americans in bail fundraising. Ziegler is the first person to hold the Ph.D. in African American Studies from Northwestern University and is the writer and director of the groundbreaking feature-length documentary STILL BLACK: A Portrait of a Black Transmen.

Kara Swisher10. Kara Swisher is the Co-Founder of Recode and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. She is an advocate for cybersecurity, challenging the tech industry to stand up to its moral obligation of social honesty. Currently, Kara produces and co-hosts the Pivot podcast with NYU Professor Scott Galloway. Annually Kara co-produces the Code conference with Walt Mossberg, covering tech and media titans such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and many other thought tech leaders.

Michael Belkin11. Michael Belkin is a Software Engineer at Facebook and Founder of Distinc.tt, a social network for LGBTQ youth, and StartX, a community for founders who don't need to give up equity. Michael graced Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2016.

Angelica Ross12. Angelica Ross is the founder and CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises, but you may recognize her as the ballroom queen on Fx’s Pose and American Horror Story. She is a self-taught computer programmer who accredits technology for keeping her from living in the margins. Angelica started TransTech to give tech apprenticeships to members of the trans community.

Marsha P. Johnson

13. Marsha P. Johnson was an activist, a self-identified drag queen, performer, and survivor who had a strong presence in the Stonewall revolution of 1969. She was an advocate for housing for trans kids. In honor of her 75 birthday, Marsha P. Johnson State Park became the first state park in New York to honor LGBTQ people and transgender womxn of color. 

Aliya Rahman14. Aliya Rahman builds software for the social justice movement, trains new coder activists of color, and works to build and strengthen results-heavy relationships between techies and community organizers. Rahman has a background in legislative, electoral, and community organizing for racial and criminal justice campaigns. She is grateful to be part of an active ecosystem of women and people of color who believe tech plays a pivotal role in creating social change.

Juergen Maier15. Juergen Maier is a British-Austrian businessman and the former Chief Executive of Siemens UK, where he worked for 33 years. He is a passionate advocate for a new post-covid politics and economics, which should provide stronger leadership for innovation and technology-led ‘frontier industries’ and industrial tech start-ups. In 2019, Insider Magazine named Maier as the most influential business person in North West England. Juergen Maier was ranked number 5 in Glassdoor’s Top CEOs for 2019.

Megan Smith16. Megan Smith is the former chief technology officer of the United States, having been appointed in 2014 by President Obama as the first-ever female. Prior, she was a VP at Google, where she helped launch the company's Solve For X and Women Techmakers initiatives. She's also previously served as CEO of LGBTQ+ online media company Planet Out. Smith is also the founder and CEO of shift7. Shift7 is a collective focused on bringing together figures in tech and public service.

Monique Woodard

17. Monique Woodard is the co-founder of Black Founders. Black founders is an organization creating an ecosystem that stimulates tech entrepreneurship and economic growth. Its mission is to increase the number of successful Black entrepreneurs in technology. Monique is a venture capital investor - with successful investments in Blavity and Court Buddy, which is now  LawChamps. You can also find Monique on our 101 Black Titans in Tech list for 2020 & 2021.

Megan Rose Dickey18. Megan Rose Dickey is a reporter at TechCrunch focused on diversity and inclusion in tech and the intersecting worlds of tech and social justice activism. She has extensive experience in print, radio, and television journalism, covering wide-ranging topics such as technology and startups, city government, education, community activism, non-profit organizations, recreational activities, the judicial system, and business.

Peter Thiel19. Peter Thiel is the co-founder and CEO of PayPal, the first outside investor of Facebook — where he now serves as a director, and co-founder of Palantir Technologies, where he serves as a chairman. Thiel was an early investor in LinkedIn, Yelp, and dozens of other startups. He started the Thiel Fellowship, which funds young entrepreneurs, and he leads the Thiel Foundation, which works to advance technological progress and long-term thinking. He is also the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future.

sallysusman-color-2x1-298479120. Sally Susman is the Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Pfizer, one of the world's premier biopharmaceutical companies. Recently Pfizer became a household name as they developed and distributed the Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19. Sally is an advocate for the LGBTQ community and believes that working alongside underrepresented groups is ideal for social progression. Previously Sally worked at Estée Lauder and the American Express

Claudia Brind-Woody

21. Claudia Brind-Woody, the Vice President & Managing Director for Global Intellectual Property Licensing at IBM, co-chairs her company’s LGBTQ task force. She was recently named among Business Insider's 23 most powerful LGBTQ+ people in tech.

Chris Sinton22. Chris Sinton currently serves on StartOut's Board of Directors, a nonprofit which fosters LGBT entrepreneurs. Previously, Sinton trail-blazed the development of the largest e-commerce site of the ‘90s with Cisco.com and the largest nonprofit site of the ‘00s called NetAid. Chris was a founding board member of the ePhilanthropy Foundation, founded Cisco’s ePhilanthropy office, and was Co-Founder and CEO of Network for Good, raising $1B for nonprofits.

Jeff_Ragovin123. Jeff Ragovin is Chief Commercial Officer at Fyllo, a marketing technology company focused on the cannabis industry. Ragovin was previously the co-founder of Buddy Media — a social marketing platform that was acquired by Salesforce for $745 million in 2012. He also co-founded Social Native, a marketplace technology company that enables its users to create customized branded content. In 2020, Ragovin launched Alchemy Podcast where he explores the intersection of cannabis, compliance and, creativity with the most prominent industry leaders.


24. Ana Arriola is a Latinx woman of trans and non-binary experience. She is currently the Director of Product Design, AI & Insights, Cloud + AI at Microsoft. Previously, she led teams at Microsoft, Apple, Playstation, Samsung, and Adobe. Ana focuses on human-centered product design and product management, with every experience crafted as it should be - Human. Simple. Authentic.

Jacqueline Guichelaar

25. Jacqueline Guichelaar is the Group Chief Information Officer at Cisco and is responsible for all Technology Infrastructure and Application Development. Previously, she was the Group Chief Information Officer at Thomson Reuter’s where she built and led a Technology Transformation program. Jacqui was born in Uruguay, South America, and has worked in many countries across the globe, fueling her passion for exploring new cultures and fostering diversity of thought. She is actively involved in many non-profit organizations and is currently a Board member of the Center for Anti-Violence Education.

keith-920px (1)26. Keith Rabois is the General Partner at Founders Fund and previously worked at Khosla Ventures. He is an executive and investor known for roles at PayPal and Linkedin. Keith focuses on early-stage investments and provided seed capital for Airbnb, Lyft, YouTube, Wish, DoorDash, and many more.

Ann Mei Chang27. Ann Mei Chang is the Former Chief Innovation Officer at Pete for America, USAID, and MercyCorps. She is a leading expert on social innovation who brings together unique insights from her extensive work across the tech industry, nonprofits, and the US government. She has been recognized as one of the “Women In the World: 125 Women of Impact” by Newsweek/The Daily Beast in 2013, "23 most powerful LGBTQ+ people in tech" by Business Insider in 2019, and "20 Top LGBTQ+ Entrepreneurs, Executives and Thought Leaders" by Global Shakers in 2019. In 2018, Chang published her first book, Lean Impact: How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good, which takes an engineering-like approach to the challenge of achieving positive social impact.

Sara Sperling28. Sara Sperling runs Oxegen Consulting, an HR consulting business for fast-moving companies in the high-tech sector. She specializes in facilitation, learning & development, building out an HR function, and executive coaching. Sarah was previously the Head of HR at Snapchat and Doordash. She also pioneered the Diversity & Inclusion program for Facebook, which was instrumental in building a culture of inclusiveness. Sarah is recognized in BusinessInsider’s13 Secret Rock Stars of Silicon Valley” and “The 31 Most Important LGBT People in Tech”.

Jon "Maddog" Hall29. Jon "Maddog" Hall, chairman of Linux Professional Institute. Since 1994 Jon “Maddog” Hall has been seasoned in Linux. He is Chairman of the Board for the Linux Professional Institute, and since the late 60s, he’s maintained a career as a programmer, educator, and product manager. Hall is currently the CEO of OptDyn, a decentralized multi-cloud infrastructure.

Vivienne Ming30. Vivienne Ming is the co-founder and executive chair of Socos Labs, an incubator centered around human potential. She is an advocate for creating inclusiveness in AI. In 2017 she was named one of the BBC 100 Women. Ming is a Neuroscientist and entrepreneur who invented AI systems to help her diabetic son with treatment.

Lorenzo Thione31. Lorenzo Thione is an entrepreneur and an investor. He is the Managing Director at Gaingels, a global network of LGBT/Ally investors. Previously Thione was the co-founder of Powerset before it was acquired by Microsoft for $100 million. He is also the Co-founder of StartOut, a non-profit which centers LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship.

Martine Rothblatt32. In 2020, Forbes ranked Martine Rothblatt #65 on America's Self-made Women Net Worth, at $330 million. She is the founder of Sirius XM and United Therapeutics. Rothblatt is an advocate for transgender rights in society and the workplace. Rothblatt is also an author of numerous books, including her latest, "Virtually Human: The Promise--And The Peril--of Digital Immortality.

Hayley Sudbury33. Hayley Sudbury is the CEO and Founder of WERKIN, a platform that uses behavioral science to help master inclusive leadership behaviors. She was named to Yahoo Finance’s OUTstanding Top 100 Role Model LGBT+ Executives in 2020.

Peter Sisson34. Peter Sisson, CEO & Co-Founder at Yaza, the #1 real estate app for recording and sharing virtual home tours. He is an entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in telecommunications. Peter is also the founder of Line2, a wifi support app that reached #3 on the App Store.

David Blumberg35. David Blumberg is the Managing Partner & Founder of Blumberg Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm. They have invested $600 million into tech companies and championed forward-thinking entrepreneurs in the tech industry. He went to Harvard College, where he received his AB in Government, cum laude.

Lynn Conway36. Lynn Conway is an 83-year-old computer engineer who was recently given a Lifetime Achievement Award by IBM Corporation. Her inventions were revolutionary towards the development of the tech industry. In 1968 she was fired from IBM because of her gender transition, and in 2020 IBM publicly apologized for the firing. Conway is currently the Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Emerita, at the University of Michigan.

David Bohnett37. David Bohnett serves as the Chair of the David Bohnett Foundation, a global private foundation that gives grants to LGBTQ+ rights organizations. He is known for founding GeoCities in the ‘90s - which was acquired by Yahoo. Another one of Bohneet’s companies is Baroda Ventures, a venture capital fund that invests in technology companies.

Gina Trapani 38. Gina Trapani is the Managing Partner at Postlight, a digital transformation platform. She is an engineer, web developer, and tech writer. Prior to Postlight, she founded Lifehacker - which was acquired by Univision in 2016. Gina was named to Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Technology in 2010 and Business Insiders’ 2019, 23 Most Powerful LGBTQ+ people in tech.

1_T-X7tFSsfymcenyZ4R4IRA39. Jimena Almendares is a Product Executive at Facebook. Previously, she was the Vice President of Global Expansion at Intuit. Once upon a time, she was the Chief Product Officer at OkCupid, and she was part of the c-suite that lead them through IPO.

Caitlin Kalinowski40. Caitlin Kalinowski is the Head of VR Hardware for Facebook’s AR/VR division. She designed the newest Oculus, a Virtual Reality Headset. In 2018 she was named to Business Insiders’ 39 most powerful female engineers of 2018. Previously she worked at Apple and co-produced the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. Caitlin is on the board of Lesbians Who Tech, the largest LGBTQ tech event in the world.

Peter Arvai41. Peter Arvai, a Hungarian/Swedish entrepreneur, is the Executive Chair and Co-Founder of Prezi, a video and visual communications software company with 100 million users worldwide. He is at the forefront of molding technology with storytelling. Arvai is also the Chair of the Association at Bridge Budapest, a platform that shares the stories of Hungarian entrepreneurs.

LaFawn Davis42. LaFawn Davis is the Group Vice President of Environmental, Social & Governance at Indeed, the world’s #1 job website. She has 15 years of experience in strategic leadership and previously used her experience with Twilio and PayPal’s inclusion department. LaFawn has a deep understanding of HR and worked in People’s Operations at Yahoo and Google.

Maya Angelou43. Maya Angelou was a poet, screenwriter, and award-winning author, who passed away in 2014. She is well known for her notable 1969 memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. It is the first nonfiction bestseller by an African American woman. Maya is a monumental American author and storyteller who has authored several memoirs and poetry books. She also has 3 Grammy’s and is a Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize nominee.

James Baldwin44. James Baldwin was an African American novelist and voice of the Civil Rights Movement. His first book, Notes of a Native Son, got him recognition, but 1963’s The Fire Next Time put him on the map. The book consisted of two essays, one of which is a letter to his 14-year-old nephew and landed him on the cover of Time Magazine.

Ru Paul45. Ru Paul is the most successful drag queen in America and a seasoned storyteller. He is the host of Ru Paul’s Drag Race and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2017. In January of 2020, he graced the cover of Vanity Fair and most recently began hosting a Masterclass teaching Self-Expression and Authenticity

Brad Lande-Shannon46. Brad Lande-Shannon is the Chief Marketing Officer at Madison Reed. He is a seasoned executive, leadership coach, brand and marketing consultant, creative strategist, and community building champion and architect Brad is formerly an SVP Global Brand & Marketing at Culture Amp, an employee culture management system.

Ellen Degeneres47. Ellen Degeneres is a television host, writer, and producer. After 19 seasons of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, she is finally signing off. This is after receiving 30 Emmys and a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016. She was first recognized as a stand-up comedian which gained her the opportunity to star in her own TV sitcom Ellen. She was one of the first U.S. main characters to come out as Gay in television history.

rachel-maddow48. Rachel Maddow hosts The Rachel Maddow Show, a television show on MSNBC. She is a radio and television personality and an author. Her book Blowout is a New York Times Bestseller, and the audiobook scooped up the 2021 GRAMMY winner for Best Spoken Word Album.

Audre Lorde49. Audre Lorde was a great American Feminist author, poet, and storyteller. She describes herself as “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet.” In the early 90’s she was New York State’s Poet Laureate. Audre published 12 books in her lifetime. In 2020 Oprah Daily put out a list of the 5 best Audre Lorde books to read.

140225123034-anderson-cooper-profile-full-16950. Anderson Cooper is a news anchor for CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360° and 60 Minutes on CBS News. He gained esteem with his on-the-ground coverage-style journalism. In 2016, he co-moderated the Donald Trump and Hillary Debate Presidential debate, becoming the first openly Gay man to moderate a presidential debate.

Tara Bunch51.Tara Bunch is the Global Head of Operations of Airbnb. She is a DEI leader and works closely with Out & Equal, a nonprofit that promotes equality in the workplace for people that identify as LGBTQ. Before working for Airbnb she worked for Hewlett-Packard and Apple.

Kylar Broadus52. Kylar Broadus is the founder of Trans People of Color Coalition. He is a Black Trans attorney, public speaker, author, and professor. Kylar has been a lawyer for almost 30 years, representing the majority of LGBTQ+ people. Kyle tells stories through diversity, equity, and inclusion training and speaking at college campuses.

c9ccf69fc76a115b82a6c8a6524883c0c3876ab653.Alan Joyce is the Chief Executive and Managing Director of Qantas Airways Limited, Australia's largest airline. Along with Qantas, Alan champions social justice campaigning, and he has personally donated $1 million to support same-sex marriage in Australia. Prior to Qantas, Alan worked as the Chief Executive Officer of Jetstar.

201029-lena-waithe-jm-1024-342398654. Lena Waithe is the CEO of Hillman Grad Productions, a media company. She is an actress, screenwriter, and producer. Waithe was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2018. In 2017 she made history as the first black woman to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for her work on the comedy series Master of None.


55. Brandon Anderson is the founder of Raheem, an independent service for reporting police in the United States. He started Raheem after losing his life partner to police violence. Anderson is a 2019 TED Fellow, and Smithsonian Ingenuity Award Nominee.

1200x900-lauren-esposito-collections56. Lauren Esposito is an archeologist and the co-founder of 500 Queer Scientists. She is the Assistant Curator and Schlinger Chair of Arachnology at the California Academy of Sciences. Her research focuses on arachnid biodiversity and understanding the patterns and processes that lead to the diversity on Earth today

57872de31a00001a00dd149057. Moj Mahdara is the CEO of Beautycon Media, a global community focused on fashion and cosmetics. She helped scale Beautycon to global proportions with her experience in marketing, branding, and e-commerce. Moj is a digital medalist, an investor, and a storyteller. In 2016 she was named to Fast Company’s Most Creative People list. In 2020 she became a 2020 Henry Crown Fellowship.

JOEL-14-1200x80058. Joel Simkhai is the founder of Grindr, the largest social networking app for Gay, Bi, Trans, and Queer people. In 2018 he sold Grindr for more than $150 Million. In 2019 he was named to Fast Company’s list of The 23 most powerful LGBTQ+ people in tech. After Grindr, he founded Blendr, a dating community with over 500 million users.

Koa Beck59. Koa Beck is the author of "White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influencers and Who They Leave Behind," a book about dismantling white feminism. She is the former editor-in-chief of Jezebel and has spoken at Harvard, Columbia Journalism School, The New York Times, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the BAM Book Jam. Previously she wrote for Vogue and MarieClaire.com.

tim-gill-the-quiet-crusader-lgbtq-ca131641-540b-403b-a165-9135df869cf6 (2)60. Tim Gill founded the Gill Foundation, one of the nation’s leading funders of LGBT people. He is a software engineer who was one of the first openly gay people in the Forbes 400. He is an LGBTQ activist and has invested more than $370 million with his foundation. Tim holds the record for the largest personal donation to LGBTQ rights - totaling $500 million. 

Liz Jenkins (1)61. Liz Jenkins is the COO of Hello Sunshine, a media company owned by Reese Witherspoon. Hello Sunshine centers the stories of women and young girls, amplifying their narrative. She is on the board at Glaad and previously worked for Sony, General Electric, and Credit Suisse.

Lauren Ruffin62. Lauren Ruffin is a thought leader, CEO, Founder, and Board member focused on sustainable, anti-racist systems, and organizations. Lauren is a co-founder of Crux, a storytelling studio that collaborates with Black artists in the virtual reality and augmented reality (XR) space, and serves as Co-CEO and Chief External Relations Officer for Fractured Atlas, the largest association of independent artists in the United States. Lauren is a board member of Black Girls CODE, Main Street Phoenix Cooperative, and on the advisory boards of ArtUp and Black Girl Ventures.

Kelly Bush Novak63. Kelly Bush Novak is the CEO & Founder at ID, the largest independently owned, a full-service communications agency in entertainment. She is traditionally a PR strategist who has expanded her skills to become the founder and producer at VIE Entertainment, where she manages Elliot Page and a host of other celebrities.

Diedra Nelson64. Diedra Nelson is the Chief Financial Officer at Emerson Collective and the former CFO of The Wing. Before the pandemic, Diedra led The Wing to open 11 locations while raising nearly $118 million. Previously, Nelson worked for Glamsquad and SoulCycle.

Shantell Martin65. Shantell Martin is a British muralist who tells her and others stories through line art. She has worked in collaboration with Kendrick Lemar, Puma, Tiffany & Co., Vespa, and 1800 Tequila. Martin’s latest release, Lines Art Book, showcases over a decade of her artwork around the world. She has had commissions in New York City Ballet, Young & Rubicam, BAM, and many more. Martin is the author of “Lines Art Book”, her first monograph which showcases over a decade of her artwork around the world.

Andrea Barrica 66. Andrea Barrica is the CEO and co-founder of O.school, a platform for pleasure education. She is a Forbes contributing writer and an advocate for bringing humanity to the tech industry. Previously, Andrea co-founded inDinero.com, a fintech platform for startups. She also worked as a partner at 500 Startups. Andrea is the author of “Sextech Revolution: the Future of Sexual Wellness“ a book covering the future of sex wellness. She is currently a Forbes contributing writer on sexual wellness.

Lydia Polgreen67. Lydia Polgreen runs Spotify’s Gimlet Media, an award-winning narrative podcast network. Previously she was the editor-in-chief at Huffington Post. Prior to both positions, she was editorial director at New York Times Global for 15 years.

 Ocean Vuong68. Ocean Vuong is a poet and a novelist. He is the author of “On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous”, a New York Times bestselling novel. Voung’s work has been featured in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. Currently, he is an Associate Professor in the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at UMass-Amherst.

Meredith Talusan69. Meredith Talusan is the author of “Fairest”, a memoir about her life growing up as a Filipino boy who transitions into an immigrant woman in America. She is an award-winning journalist who has written for The Guardian, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Nation, WIRED, SELF, MIC, Buzzfeed, and Condé Nast Traveler, among many other publications. She is also a contributing editor of them - Condé Nast’s LGBTQ+ digital platform.

Garrard Conley70. Garrard Conley is the author of the New York Times Best Selling memoir "Boy Erased" (Penguin 2016), now a major motion picture. Boy Erased was nominated for a Lamdba Literary Award and was featured as a top 2016 nonfiction book by O Magazine, Buzzfeed Books, and Shelf Awareness, among others. It has now been translated into over a dozen languages. Conley is also a producer and creator of the podcast UnErased, which explores the history of conversion therapy in America through interviews, historical documents, and archive materials provided by the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C.

201104004423-sarah-mcbride-exlarge-16971. Sarah McBride has been involved in progressive and community advocacy for most of her life, including working for former Governor Jack Markell, Attorney General Beau Biden, and in the Obama White House. She currently serves as a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization. In 2016, she made history when she spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. And this past year, Sarah taught public policy to students at the University of Delaware’s Biden Institute.

Martin Duberman72. Martin B. Duberman is the Historian, founder of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the City University of New York, an award-winning scholar and writer, and Professor of History Emeritus at the Graduate School of the City University of New York and Lehman College. Founder and keynote speaker of the Gay Academic Union (1973).

Glennon Doyle73. Glennon Doyle is an American author and activist known for her #1 New York Times bestsellers "Untamed, Love Warrior" and bestseller "Carry On, Warrior." Doyle is also the creator of the online community Momastery and is the founder and president of Together Rising, an all-women-led nonprofit organization supporting women, families, and children in crisis.

Jacob Tobia74. Jacob Tobia (they/them) is an actor, writer, producer, and author of the national bestselling memoir "Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story." From running across the Brooklyn Bridge in high heels to giving Trevor Noah an on-air makeover on The Daily Show, Jacob helps others embrace the full complexity of their gender, even (and especially) when it’s messy as hell. In addition to adapting their book Sissy into a forthcoming TV series for Showtime, Jacob recently made their acting debut as the nonbinary character Double Trouble” on Netflix’s She-Ra and The Princesses of Power. Originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, Jacob currently lives in Los Angeles.

Samantha Irby75. Samantha Irby is an American comedian, author, and blogger. She runs the blog bitches gotta eat, where she writes posts about her personal life and events. Her books "We Are Never Meeting in Real Life" and "Wow, No Thank You" were both New York Times best-sellers. She is a recipient of the 2021 Lambda Literary Award for bisexual nonfiction.


Adrienne Maree Brown76. Adrienne Maree Brown is an author and a doula. She is best known for her debut book “Emergent Strategy” and her 2019 release “Pleasure Activism The Politics of Feeling Good." Her work and storytelling are highly influenced by author Octavia Butler, the mother of Afrofuturism. Brown celebrates Butler in a podcast she co-hosts called Octavia’s Parables. Brown is also the co-host of How to Survive the End of the World.amb-700x385

Jennifer Finney Boylan77. Jennifer Finney Boylan is the first transgender American to have a bestselling book with her 2003 memoir “She’s Not There: a Life in Two Genders”. She is a novelist, author, and Contributing Opinion Writer for the New York Times. Boylan’s newest memoir and most recent book “Good Boy: My Life in 7 Dogs”, goes through her 7 personal stages before transitioning.

Dustin Lance Black78. Dustin Lance Black is an Oscar award-winning screenplay writer and filmmaker for his work in 2008’s MILK, the biopic of activist Harvey Milk starring Sean Penn. He is a board member of the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), which helped put an end to Proposition 8 in California. Black’s memoir “Mama’s Boy”.

Rose Marcario79. Rose Marcario is a Board Member and Advisor to two private companies: Meati, which makes plant-based meat substitutes, and Rivian, which makes electric cars. Rose is the former CEO of Patagonia, a clothing company known for being unconventional. Under Rose’s tenure, Patagonia saw its profits triple from 2008 to 2021; she became known as a well-regarded leader and influencer. Her ethos blends a mix of political activism, idealism, and business chops. Other accomplishments include: building her reputation in the private equity and tech sectors, serving on the board of Naropa University (rooted in Buddhist thinking), and meditating alone in India for several weeks as a practicing Buddist.

Beth Ford80. Beth Ford is the CEO of Land O’Lakes and the first openly gay woman CEO of an American Fortune 500 company. When she was appointed CEO, she was 1 of only 25 women leading Fortune 500 companies. Ford is known for investing heavily in the Land O’Lakes implementation of new technologies in agriculture and rural communities. She believes the key to preserving American agriculture relies on innovation, technology, and political stability. Ford is an advocate for American farmers and is vocal about the challenges they face, including policy uncertainty, climate change, and a lack of broadband access. She has called on the government to close the divide and on major companies to join the American Connection Project: an effort started by Land O’Lakes to advocate for federal funding for broadband infrastructure, improved broadband connectivity mapping, and better coordination of state and federal government to deploy funding. In the past, Ford brought her talents to Exxon Mobil, Pepsi, Scholastic, and other companies. She was named to Fortune’s Most Powerful Women List three times and Fast Company’s Queer 50 list for her influence and accomplishments

deirdre-obrien81. Deirdre O’Brien is the SVP of Retail and People at Apple Inc. On the retail side, she focuses on the connection between customers and the company via retail experiences that inspire and educate. On the people operations side, Deirdre works to help Apple connect, develop, and care for its employees. Deirdre oversees more than 130k employees via her quest for an inclusive workplace. She has been named on Fortune’s most powerful women in business and Fast Company’s Queer 50.

Stephenie Landry82. Stephenie Landry is the Worldwide Vice President of Amazon Prime Now, Amazon Fresh, and Amazon Restaurants.Stephenie has been with Amazon.com for over 13 years, and during that time, she has been a founding team member of Amazon Fresh. She led the conception and launch of several initiatives, including Amazon Student, Amazon Mom, and Prime Pantry. Landry has been active in promoting the queer community at her company. She is the executive officer of Amazon’s gay, lesbian, trans, and ally affinity group — internally dubbed “Glamazons” — which counts more than 5,000 members and has 100 chapters worldwide. The group helps members connect and help organize gatherings at Pride festivals throughout the world. The group has also changed company culture, researching and writing policies around coming out as transgender in the workplace. She also led the team that created Prime Now, bringing the idea to market in 111 days total.

Nichole Mustard83. Nichole Mustard is the chief revenue officer of Credit Karma, a business she cofounded. She helped to grow it from a small consumer finance platform aimed at providing free credit scores at the beginning of the recession in 2007 into a 100-million member community, with access to a marketplace of more than 100 financial service providers. Credit Karma was recently acquired by Intuit for approximately $7.1 billion in cash and stock.  She oversees a team that stresses humility and relationship building in business, making sure Credit Karma’s innovation isn’t the only thing setting the company apart.

Shamina Singh84. For more than 20 years, Shamina Singh has been on the frontlines of developing and implementing solutions to make the global economy work for everyone, everywhere. Shamina is the Founder & President of the Center for Inclusive Growth, the philanthropic hub of Mastercard. She also serves as Executive Vice President of Corporate Sustainability. Since 2014, she has led the Center with a remit to leverage Mastercard’s data, technology, capital, and expertise for social impact. In her role as EVP for Sustainability, she is responsible for the development and implementation of environmental, social, and governance strategies across the company. In 2018, Mastercard pledged $500 million to advance inclusive growth around the world. Shamina was named President of the Mastercard Impact Fund and charged with activating those philanthropic dollars to advance inclusive growth and financial inclusion around the world.

Jen Wong85. Jen Wong is the Chief Operating Officer at Reddit. Reddit is an online network of communities, with over 430+ million average monthly active users. Before joining Reddit, Wong served as president and COO of Time, Inc, where she was the highest-ranking female executive. Before that, she served as PopSugar’s chief business officer and even spent a stint as AOL’s global head of business operations. Under Wong’s leadership, Reddit is reportedly on track to reach $262 million in ad revenue in 2021, which is more than double last year’s revenue.

Leilani Farol86. Leilani Farol is a cybersecurity technology executive with 17 years of experience in all aspects of program management, project management, business development, business/technical analysis, application development, and system implementation at some of the world’s leading companies within Healthcare, Consulting, E-commerce, and fashion industries in the U.S. and Internationally.

Jana Rich87. For more than 25 years, Jana Rich has partnered with leading companies, from the early-stage to Fortune 500, helping to build teams of proven leaders and diverse thinkers. Her clients – which include Adobe, Peloton, Eventbrite, Affirm, Lululemon, and Epic Games – have launched revolutions, small and large, that have changed the way we do business today. Additionally, Jana has built well-established relationships with many leading venture capital firms which include Lightspeed Venture Partners, GV, Coatue, Andreessen Horowitz, and Forerunner Ventures. Before founding Rich Talent Group, Jana spent over eighteen years at two of the world’s largest executive search and assessment firms. She has served on the Forbes Executive Women’s Board and was a director of the Stanford Business School Women’s Initiative Network. Jana has been honored three times by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business.

Amy Errett88. Amy Errett is the Founder and CEO of Madison Reed, an omnichannel beauty brand that is challenging industry titans in the hair color space. She is also a Partner at True Ventures focusing on investments in consumer and eCommerce startups. In 2015 and 2018, Amy was named one of the “Bay Area's Most Influential Women in Business” by the San Francisco Business Times. Amy believes in the power of giving back and dedicates herself to supporting humanitarian organizations like San Francisco’s Barbary Coast chapter of YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization) and serves on the boards of the University of Connecticut Foundation, Common Sense Media, Glide, and Madison Reed.

Irma Olguin Jr.89. Irma Olguin Jr. is the CEO of Bitwise Industries, which trains tech workers, develops software, and invests in tech-friendly real estate. At Bitwise, Irma oversees the company’s operations teams, as well as technology-focused training program, Geekwise Academy, and software development firm, Shift3 Technologies. Irma was the first in her family to attend college and has since landed $27 million in venture funding for Bitwise Industries and trained 4,500 workers to code.

Cindy Holland90. Cindy Holland is the VP for Original Content at Netflix. A 16-year Netflix veteran, Holland is responsible for acquiring and launching original series for the over 130 million Netflix global members and was named to the 2018 Time 100 list of most influential people. Previously, Holland oversaw domestic TV licensing for Netflix after starting her career at the company in DVD acquisition. An avid cyclist, Holland has ridden the 545 mile AIDS/Lifecycle HIV/AIDS fundraising ride ten times (and counting) in support of the LA LGBT Center.

Debra_Chrapaty91. Debra Chrapaty is the Vice President and COO of Amazon Alexa. She is an entrepreneur and an active investor. Previously she was the chief technology officer at Wells Fargo. With more than 35 years as an executive for startups and global tech giants, she brought her skills to Amazon. She’s currently involved with Amazon’s employee LGBTQ group, Glamazon.

ca-times.brightspotcdn92. Ilene Chaiken is an American television producer, director, writer, and founder of Little Chicken Productions. She is the creator and executive producer of Showtime's 2004 lesbian drama The L Word, inspired by her own experience as a lesbian woman in L.A. Chaiken has been credited with first developing the idea for a TV adaptation of the novel The Handmaid's Tale, but left the project to become the show-runner on Fox's Empire. Chaiken was honored with a 2016 GLSEN Respect Award for her work in representing LGBTQ people on television.

alicia-garza-commencement-speaker-293. Alicia Garza is an American civil rights activist and writer known for co-founding the international Black Lives Matter movement. Alicia has been on the cover of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World issue, named to TIME’s 100 Women of the Year list, Fortune’s 40 Under 40, Fast Company’s Queer 50 list, Politico 50, and 3x recipient of The Root’s list of 100 African American achievers and influencers. Alicia’s first book, "The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart", released in October 2020 and explores how to build the type of movements that can address the challenges of our time.

Screen Shot 2021-06-22 at 12.26.22 PM94. Gretchen Saegh-Fleming is the Chief Commercial Officer at Hydrow, a Live Outdoor Reality rower that brings home the on-the-water, outdoor experience of rowing. At Hydrow, Gretchen oversees all commercial aspects of the business: scale eCommerce, omnichannel strategy, and all sales and marketing efforts. Prior to joining Hydrow, Gretchen was the Chief Marketing Officer of L’Oréal USA.

Roxane Gay95. Roxane Gay is an American writer, professor, editor, and social commentator. Gay is the author of The New York Times best-selling essay collection Bad Feminist, as well as the short story collection Ayiti, the novel An Untamed State, the short story collection Difficult Women (2017), and the memoir Hunger (2017). She is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and is the writer of issues #1-5 of Black Panther: World of Wakanda, a comic book series and a spin-off from the Marvel Comics' Black Panther title.

Sarah Tavel96. Sarah Tavel is a General Partner at Benchmark where she invests in consumer businesses, consumerization of IT, and the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Sarah led Benchmark's investment and currently sits on the boards of Chainalysis and Hipcamp. Prior to Benchmark, Sarah was the first female investment partner at Greylock Partners, where she led their investment in Sonder and Gixo, and served on the boards of both companies. She is also a founding member of All Raise, the nonprofit organization working to accelerate the success of women in the venture capital and VC-backed startup ecosystem.

Niki Nakayama97. Niki Nakayama is a Japanese-American chef and the owner of Michelin-starred n/naka restaurant in Los Angeles, specializing in modern Japanese kaiseki cuisine. When n/naka opened, it may have been the only kaiseki restaurant run by a woman in any country. Prior to opening her restaurant, Niki embarked on a three-year working tour throughout Japan, sampling her way through different regional flavors and immersing herself in the essentials of Japanese cuisine, both traditional and cutting-edge. In 2019, n/naka was one of six Los Angeles restaurants to receive two stars in the Michelin Guide. The same year, n/naka was named one of Food & Wine's World’s Best Restaurants.

Emma McilRoy98. Emma McilRoy is the CEO and co-founder of Wildfang, a menswear-inspired brand for women. Wildfang, German for tomboy, began as a boutique in Portland to create a safe and inclusive space for members of the LGBTQ community to connect and shop. The brand quickly took off once McilRoy began offering a full range of women’s sizes from XS to 2X and non-gender-conforming styles. Today, Wildfang has locations in New York and Los Angeles.

Raquel Willis99. Raquel Willis is a Black transgender activist, award-winning writer, and media strategist dedicated to elevating the dignity of the marginalized, particularly Black transgender people. She has held ground-breaking posts throughout her career, including director of communications for the Ms. Foundation, executive editor of Out magazine, and national organizer for Transgender Law Center (TLC). Willis has been listed as one of ESSENCE’s Woke 100 Women twice and was included in Forbes 30 under 30 in 2020.

Pedro Pina100. Pedro Pina is the VP—Global Client & Agency Solutions at Google. He is a Portuguese-born executive who lived and worked outside Portugal for almost 15 years. Pina leads the relationship of Google with 10 of the largest companies in the world as they go through their multi-year digital transformation process. Pina also leads Google's LGBTQ+ chapter for the EMEA region.

Antonious Porch101. Antonious Porch is the General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer of Soundcloud. In his role, Porch proactively recruits and works to retain a diverse business and legal affairs team. Prior to joining SoundCloud, he served as general counsel for more than two years at Shazam, where he led the successful acquisition of the company by Apple. He has long worked hard to be a leader on diversity and global inclusion, now serving as executive champion of Clouds of Color, the employee resource group for people of color at SoundCloud and their allies.



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