Article: Where are the faces of black female founders, investors and journalists in tech?

  • Deborah Okenla
  • Anushka Sharma
Disclaimer: Firstly, I want to point out this is not a post about how we need to encourage more black women into tech or venture capital. There are already some amazing organisations working towards this, such as Diversity VC, PocTech, Hustle Crew, YSYS London and Black Girls Tech. Instead, this post is directed towards organisers of “Female Founders in Tech” events and curators of “Top Women To Watch in VC” lists.


The other day I had a conversation with a friend of mine, who commented that female founders events these days seem to be a reflection of solely the status quo — middle class white women. We sat down and prowled through panels of speakers and “Ones to Watch” lists, to find no one who looked like us
— black women.
Where are the faces of black female founders, investors and journalists in tech?
“Where art thou?”
If these events or curated lists claim to be championing diversity and supporting women in tech, surely they should be more representative of allwomen regardless of their sexuality, religion, gender, race and class. The focus on middle class white women, when it comes to diversity has omitted the voices of women who are affected by intersectionality, and as a result limited us as a movement from effectively campaigning for diversity.
“We are more than our gender”
In attempt to boost diversity in the UK startup ecosystem, female-focused initiatives have contributed further to their marginalisation and exclusion. For example, by failing to have a Black Female Founder on the panel or a Muslim VC on a “Ones To Watch” list, sends out the wrong message and shows we are still divided as as a community.
I believe we will only be able to transform the male-dominated startup ecosystem once internal changes are made within female-focused initiatives, that presents a more reflective representation of the social positions of all women.

So how can we change this …

Below is a list of some of the amazing female founders, investors, marketing gurus, coders and journalists I know in the UK tech industry.
I’ve started off with black women…
Please feel free to mention other women who do not fit the “status quo” in the comment box below. The aim is to curate a list of women from diverse backgrounds , which can be a go-to for event organisers and journalists — so there is no longer an excuse that they just can’t find these women!
  • Anu Adebajo, Investment Manager, British Business Bank
  • Paris Petgrave, Founder of We Love Work and Rareseed Capital
  • Adaobi Adibe, Student VC, Campus Capital
  • Temi Marcella, Investor, The Abraaj Group
  • Natalie Campbel, Chair, Nominet Trust
  • Keji Mustapha, Head of Founder Network, Connect Ventures
  • Yvonne Haizel, ‎Investment Professional, Mitsui & Co
  • Morenike Mougni, VP at 54 Capital
  • Suki Fuller, CEO of Salaam Ventures
  • Oyin Solebo, Partner at COS Ventures and Founder of Movemeback
  • Urenna Okonkwo, Founder of Cashmere
  • Saidat O-Giwa-Osagie, Founder of Adorli
  • Bola Sol, Founder of Refined Currency
  • Lousie Broni-Mensah, Founder of Shoobs and YC Alumni
  • Lauren Riley, Founder of Link App
  • Fifi Kara, founder of HulahTravel.
  • Yodit Stanton, Open Sensor and ODINE Alumni
  • Dayo Akinrinade, Founder of AfriClick
  • Sharmadean Reid, Founder of WAH Nails
  • Tolu Oduyemi, Founder of Now Beauty
  • Nathalie Richards, CEO and Co-founder at EduKit
  • Richill Artloe, Co-founder & CTO at AJ and Spefz
  • Esther Kuforiji, Founder of The Jeli
  • Patrice John-Baptiste, Communications Associate, ODI
  • Ebi Osuobeni, Journalist, Oscillate Tech TV
  • Rebekah Bonaparte, Community Manager at
  • Funmi Olutoye, ITV News and London Live Alumni
Marketers, Initiatives and Agencies
  • Prisca Moyesa, Founder of Moyesa
  • Adadesi Osunsade, Founder of Hustle Crew
  • Abiola Babarinde, Consultant, Writer and Founder of Wave Makers
  • Ebi Ajayi, Founder of Bring Me In
  • Nadia Odunayo, Founder of Ignition Works
  • June Angelides, Founder of Mums in Technology
  • A-Marie Imafidon, CEO of Stemettes
  • Nene Parsotam, Co-founder of Vine Creatives
  • Emem Rita Usanga, Strategy Consultant at This Is Nuance and Mentor at Seedcamp
  • Miranda Brawn, Advisor, Color In Tech
  • Adizah Tejani, Director of Marketing at Token, Inc
  • Lola Oyelayo, Founder of Own your Experience Ltd
  • Ashanti Bentil-Dhue, Founder of Nourish w/Ashanti
Coders and Techies
  • Funmi Adewodu, Software Developer, Starling Bank
  • Tolulope Ogunremi, Developer and founder of Codes of Colour
  • Pérola Da Cruz, Software Engineer at TalkTalk
  • Abi Mohamed, Software Engineer and Cofounder of CG Ventures
  • Mina Gyimah, Engineer, Pusher
  • Sapphire Mason-Brown, Software Engineer, Makers Academy Alumni
  • Florence Okoye, UX Designer and Director of AfroFutures UK
  • Adiba Maduegbuna, Android Developer, ASOS
  • Fope Adelowo, Vice President at Helios Investment Partners LLP
  • Dionne Condor-Farrell, Senior Developer, Transport for London
  • Éléonore Mayola, Freelance Web Developer and Data Scientist
  • Tanya Powell, Software Engineer at Gamesys
  • Oluwatomisin Niyi-Awosusi, Freelance Software Developer
  • Edafe Onerhime, Data Scientist Consultant
  • Dawn Duhaney, ‎Policy Advisor at Government Digital Service
  • Ade Adewunmi, Head of Data Infrastructure at Government Digital Service
  • Simi Awokoya, Software Developer and Founder of Witty Careers
  • Natalie Nzeyimana Founder of Nuanced
  • Lola Odelola Software Engineer for 38 Degrees

Share your thoughts, hashtag a friend and join the conversation on twitter #Wherearethefaces

If you would like to discuss the above further with me, please email at
Thanks to Andy Ayim, Nafisa Bakkar, Adabesi Osunsade, Sam Wood, Adaobi Adibe , Ebi Ajayi , Alex Leon, Orsola De Marco, Patrice John-Baptiste , Ajay Powar and Therese Karger-lerchl for helping me put this together.
*last updated on 18.12.17

(Article originally published on Medium)