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Black Leaders in Tech Who Inspire Us

Black History Month is a time to reflect, celebrate, and honor the history and accomplishments of Black Americans. During this month, the nation shines a bright light on those who are pioneers, mentors, leaders, and those who are impactful and making a difference in their communities, the workforce, and the world. 

Here at Calendly, we’ve found ways to educate our team members on not only the history of Black Americans, but also how to be better advocates for the community.

This month, our engagement team hosted a virtual Black History Museum Storytelling Tour presented in an interactive lecture-style setting which allowed us to uncover hidden backstories and discover little-known facts about historical pieces that illustrate the Black experience in America. Additionally, Calendly team members Alicia McNease and Reggie Matthews, hosted a panel with Black leaders from Google, Meta, Apple, and Iron Galaxy Studios that focused on what it’s like working in tech as a member of the Black community and how we can be better allies and advocates for each other.

As we continue celebrating Black History Month, we asked our team members to nominate a Black leader in tech who has inspired them. Continue reading to hear what our team members had to say about these influential and inspirational individuals:

Timnit Gebru

“Timnit inspires me because she has dedicated her life's work towards creating ethical technologies to support our most marginalized communities, but most of all, sharing those hard-to-hear truths. Knowing we have people like her out there, someone who will champion for change and equity, gives me hope for a future that is welcoming to all.”

- Karen Shih, Manager, Technical Project Management

Eti Enyong

“Eti inspired me as my manager at my previous company, Tableau. He worked so hard to get promoted to a sales leader and then has moved on now to a Director role at a new company. He was active in helping to build conversations at Tableau that incorporated his thoughts and experiences as a Black man in tech. These conversations helped me to build awareness, empathy and respect for what others go through on their corporate journey.”

- Hogan Bryan, Account Executive - MidMarket

Qianna Brooks

“Great things are possible when we recognize our own strengths and Qianna has built an entire platform around empowering women to proclaim their unending possibilities! 

Qianna helped create and establish a cadre of women who meet regularly to share their accomplishments under the "Bragging Rights for Women" umbrella. It's an online platform as well as a live one (when safe) where women from all spaces are encouraged and enabled to step up to a microphone and share the things they're proud of. It's a remarkable space to witness live and the energy it creates truly showcases what women can be capable of when given the space & opportunity to thrive.”

- Nayantara Ramesh, Principal People Partner

Kyra Seay

“Kyra is the definition of a powerhouse leader. She was my old manager and friend when I worked at Bumble and worked day in and day out to bring such cultural transformation to our company - the work she did to make the Bumble product a much more safe and inclusive space set the foundation for users to feel comfortable to be their authentic self. I've never met anyone, let alone a leader, that constantly puts herself second to the success of her team members and constantly looks for ways to help those who are around her. She has a genuine heart of gold and makes the world a better place!”

- Linh Phan, Product Operations Specialist

Dr. Isabelle Monlouis

“Isabelle was my first professor of entrepreneurship at Georgia State University (GSU). She re-sparked my interest in entrepreneurship, and provided me to opportunities that took me to multiple pitch competitions and connected me with like-minded people. She continues shaping the minds of young entrepreneurs at GSU and contributing to the startup ecosystem in Atlanta by preparing bright and talented graduates. Today, I am just proud to say I was one of her students.” 

- Luis Ferrer, Technical Product Manager

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