Women in Tech Advancing Social Justice

Women in Tech Advancing Social Justice

Written by Natalia Daies

DEI Observances

This week, World Day of Social Justice (observed each year on February 20) brought awareness to social justice and the impact of issues like unemployment, poverty, gender inequality, and social exclusion. As we celebrate this day, it’s essential to recognize the pivotal role women in tech play in advancing social change by utilizing technology as a tool for progress and equity. 

Women tech leaders have developed digital platforms for social movements, providing spaces for organizing, fundraising, and spreading global awareness. For example, Co-founder and CEO Ellen Pao of Project Include has significantly amplified the use of data to foster inclusion in tech, demonstrating how technology can bridge gaps and foster change. In cybersecurity, women have advocated for data privacy, protecting vulnerable populations from data breaches and exploitation. Women leaders in AI ethics research are working to ensure that artificial intelligence avoids perpetuating social inequalities, while others are working with blockchain technology to foster transparency in global transactions, reducing corruption and pushing for more inclusive economic practices.

As Odunayo Eweniyi once said, “When women are given an opportunity, they excel.” World Day of Social Justice reminds us of the power and potential of women in the tech industry to drive social change. Let’s look at some ways tech is being leveraged to advance social initiatives and the women leading the way:

  • Sanchali Seth Pal is the CEO and Founder of Commons. This app empowers consumers to consider sustainability with every purchase decision while tracking their carbon footprint to lower their environmental impact over time with sustainable alternatives. 
  • Ann Mei Chang is a technology executive with experience at Google, Apple, and Intuit and is currently the CEO of Candid, a data-driven nonprofit connecting other nonprofits to mission-aligned funders. 
  • Ivy Gumnishka is the Founder and CEO of Humans in the Loop, a startup connecting conflict-affected communities to digital work. Humans in the Loop provides AI and ML training to individuals experiencing displacement due to armed conflict. 
  • Odunayo Eweniyi is a Co-Founder of PiggyVest, the first online investment app in West Africa, and a leader in FinTech with a mission to give everyone the power to better manage and grow their finances. Odunayo also co-founded FirstCheck Africa, an angel fund investing in startups with at least one woman founder and supporting women in becoming early investors. 
  • Nabiha Syed is CEO of The Markup, a nonprofit media platform that ensures tech is leveraged to serve the public. While The Markup has been recognized by FastCompany and referenced by Congress, Nabiha continues to raise awareness on the intersection of free speech, privacy, and digital spaces. 
  • Dr. Geordan Shannon is the Co-Founder of Planet.Health and Unexia. Unexia leverages web3 and blockchain to support the global health financing and impact funnel. The team is working to ensure equitable resource distribution related to chronic diseases caused by tobacco, alcohol, fossil fuels, and processed foods. Planet.Health is a health and blockchain community exploring alternative approaches to planetary health.
  • Ellen Pao is the former CEO of Reddit and Co-Founder and CEO of Project Include, a nonprofit organization dedicated to using data to accelerate diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. Ellen founded Project Include with seven other women in tech
  • Linda Adami is the Founder and CEO of Quantum Temple, a web3 platform preserving communities’ cultural knowledge and heritage (currently in Bali) through NFTs and blockchain technology.

These remarkable women are examples of how women in tech are breaking barriers in a traditionally male-dominated field and using their expertise to create a more equitable global society. Their work to leverage technology for sustainability, economic transparency, health equity, and cultural preservation demonstrates how tech can benefit people and the planet. As we observe World Social Justice Day, may we each find ways to amplify the impact of women in tech who are paving the way toward a more inclusive future and to reflect on how we can each contribute to social progress.

For additional reading and to learn more about World Day of Social Justice and women in tech pioneering advancements in tech for social good, check out these resources: