We all know that familiar feeling of meeting someone in a work setting, knowing she’s a lesbian, and trying to work it into a conversation and make that connection. We’re about making that happen: connecting lesbians and building a network of colleagues, associates and friends in the industry.
Outside of Ellen, Rosie, Melissa, and now Tammy, what other mainstream lesbian role models can most people name? We need more examples of lesbian leaders and that means we need to come out as the amazing, successful people we are.
Lesbians are women first, and right now women are some of the most gifted folks in technology, yet there are far fewer of us than there should be (women account for 1 in 15 people in STEM fields). Because there aren’t enough women, women are rarely quoted as experts by the mainstream media and blogs, on panels, etc. And add the element of being lesbian, it’s equally important for us to represent women, and out women, for our communities.
There are so many groups who are fighting for our rights, and they need our support. Lesbians Who Tech provides a platform to raise awareness of their work and connect these organizations to queer women in the tech community.
CEO & Founder, Lesbians Who Tech. include.io + Tech Jobs Tour
Leanne Pittsford is an entrepreneur, investor, and thought leader at the intersection of technology and diversity.
Leanne Pittsford is the CEO and Founder of Lesbians Who Tech, the largest LGBTQ network of technologists in the world. Now over 25,000 queer women and allies strong, Lesbians Who Tech is increasing visibility and improving representation among LGBTQ women in the tech sector on a global scale through annual tech Summits in New York, San Francisco, Mexico City, Paris, Singapore and programs like the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship, a coding scholarship fund for LGBTQ to learn how to code, and Bring a Lesbian to Work Day, a one day shadow career program. You can learn more here at lesianswhotech.org.
She recently launched include.io, a recruiting and retention platform that uses mini-mentoring sessions to validate diverse and non-traditional technical talent, allowing companies to be intentional about inclusion. On the platform companies can scale access to the direct referrals that matter most, their current employees, to build their best teams and hire individuals for who they really are. Check out the platform to learn more at include.io.
In 2017, Leanne is partnering with TechHire, an initiative created by the Obama Administration, to launch a 50 city Tech Jobs Tour in 2017 with advisor Megan Smith, 3rd Chief Technology Officer of the United States. The Tour will stop in 50 cities across America to connect diverse and non-traditional talent to over 500,000 open tech jobs. See where it’s stopping next at techjobstour.com.
Before her work with Lesbians Who Tech, Tech Jobs Tour and include.io, Leanne founded and led Start Somewhere, a design and technology agency focused on strengthening social good organizations. She built leanimpact.org, an organization that helped social good organizations and companies use lean startup principles to increase their impact, which officially became part of Lean Startup in 2016. From 2006 to 2010 Leanne served as the Senior Director at Equality California, the largest statewide LGBTQ organization behind the No on Prop 8 Campaign. She managed the data for the campaign and built online fundraising campaigns that raised millions to support No on Prop 8. Leanne lives San Francisco and Washington D.C with her partner Pia Carusone and their two dachshunds. You can find her on a plane or on Twitter at @lepitts.