DIV 2017 Finalists - Organizations

Learn more about the 14 organizations that were finalists for the 2017 Diversity In Tech Awards.


“Belonging is the thread that weaves through every touchpoint at Airbnb. Diversity is the needle that guides this thread. At Airbnb, we value and promote the diversity of our workforce, our guests, our hosts, our marketplace platform, and the world. Simply put, diversity belongs.”
–David King, Director of Diversity & Belonging, Airbnb

Black Girls Code

Black Girls Code has taught over 10,000 girls of color to code across the country and internationally through its Johannesburg, South Africa chapter.

Change Catalyst

Change Catalyst empowers diverse, inclusive and sustainable tech innovation – through education, mentorship and funding.

Our Tech Inclusion programs explore and develop innovative solutions to tech diversity and inclusion. We partner with the tech community to solve diversity and inclusion together through conferences, career fairs, strategic consulting and training.

Civic Hall

Civic Hall is a collaborative workspace with over 1,000 organizations and 500 individuals as members. It is built on the idea that together – technologists, government officials, community organizers, researchers, makers, social entrepreneurs, change-makers, hackers, academics, journalists, artists – can organize to solve civic problems to scale.

It fosters a community of action-oriented, cross-sector professionals located in the heart of Manhattan, where the goal is to better the world through civic tech.


  • The team has done a lot of work to push diversity in technology forward in their organization and beyond. Some highlights:
    The Product and Engineering team has grown to be 21 people. 6 are women, 7 people of color, the team has members from a range of gender identities, the youngest member of the team came right from high school. And, they helped a remote team member from the Ukraine get a visa to live and work in New York.
  • One example of their commitment to get women into coding is that there was a member of the marketing team that had shown interest in learning how to code so DoSomething.org sent her to the Flatiron School for Bootcamp and when she came out of that program she started working full time as a Software Engineer.
  • The team is committed to having representation at all levels and the VP of engineering was a woman, who recently left the organization to be an engineering manager at Meetup.com which proves a commitment not to just having a diverse team inside the organization, but a commitment to moving talent up the ladder and into other spaces so they can bring their valuable perspective to other companies. They just hired a new Director of Engineering in her place who is a woman of color and she will be leading the tech work across the organization.
  • DoSomething.org works with The Specialist Guild on quality assurance testing for their products. The Specialist Guild is a nonprofit that is focused on working with people and companies so individuals with Autism can earn a living doing meaningful and fulfilling work.

Emma Bowen Foundation

The mission of the Emma Bowen Foundation (EBF) is to increase diversity in the media and technology industries across all functions and levels. We do this by connecting promising students and experienced professionals of color to opportunities at top media and technology companies and advocating for best practices in diverse hiring, retention, and advancement.

EBF 2.0’s focus expands on our founding mission. We want to not only increase hiring rates for people of color, but also positively impact retention and advancement rates across the industry. The 2.0 model recognizes that impact is not solely determined by who is in front of the camera. We need to reach all essential functions in the industry, particularly the revenue-producing and technological aspects of the industry to influence the way media is delivered and business is conducted.

Infosys Foundation

The Infosys Foundation, a private charitable foundation, is passionate about bridging the digital divide in America for all students. The Foundation places an emphasis on helping underrepresented populations gain greater access to computer science (CS) and Maker education, giving children and young adults the skills they need to become creators, not just consumers, of technology.


The recent public Benefit Statement put out by Kickstarter (put out after registering as a Public Benefit Corporation) shows a tremendous commitment to diversity. From its executive leadership to its internship program (that is 100% made up of organizations committed to fighting inequality in NYC) it is a shining star of how a company can do well and do good.

Lesbians Who Tech

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.


Mogul is an award-winning technology platform reaching 18 million women per week across 196 countries and 30,470 cities. Mogul is ultimately democratizing information for women worldwide by enabling users to connect, share information, and access knowledge from each other.

Headquartered in NYC, with offices in San Francisco and Paris, Mogul was named one of the 100 Most Exciting Startups of 2016 by Business Insider, Best Website for Finding Top Talent by Inc. Magazine, Top Website for Marketing Your Company Online by Forbes, and Top Online Learning Platform by Entrepreneur. Mogul was also Winner of the Cadillac Innovator Award, Winner of the Northwestern Mutual Innovation & Inclusion Award, and has been honored by Business Insider “30 Under 30”, ELLE Magazine “30 Under 30”, City of Fort Worth, City of New York, City of Paris, and Harvard Business School.

Through the Mogul Studios division, Mogul’s partnerships with Dell, Captain Morgan, Tacori Diamonds, Ellen Tracy, AVON, Alex & Ani, and more enable Mogul to impact and influence the ways in which companies communicate with women externally, through advertising.

Through the Mogul At Work division, Mogul’s partnerships with J. Crew, Hearst, Samsung, IBM, Estée Lauder, Colliers, Stanley Black & Decker, the NYC Department of Education, and more enable Mogul to impact and influence the ways in which companies communicate with women in the workplace, enabling them to attract, retain, and advance diverse talent. For every $1 that Mogul earns, Mogul through UN Women provides a free education to 1 woman in need.

Out In Tech

Out in Tech is an organization that facilitates networking events for members of the LGBTQ community in the tech industry. These networking events span from panel discussions to social happy hours. I have attended 4 events in the past few months and found them to be incredibly valuable, and moving.

The panels include accomplished members of the LGBTQ community in various fields and they discuss topics relevant to the queer community in the tech space. I’ve attended Out in Tech panels regarding diversity, inclusion, lgbtq youth issues, and more.

The goals of their events surround the importance of not only diversity in tech, but inclusion as well. They address issues and hardships but also how we as tech professionals can work toward fixing them.

Even their social events combine a mix of such intelligent individuals with different backgrounds, races, sexual orientations, economic status, etc. In it’s simplest form, Out in Tech facilitates conversations that are not only interesting, but necessary for societies growth and improvement in regard to diversity in tech.

Silicon Harlem

Silicon Harlem is focused on diversity in tech and moving community forward. The company collaborates with the public, private, non-profits and key stakeholders in Upper Manhattan to ensure there is diversity in tech.

  • The company has a track record in diversity in tech that includes:
    Working with Jesse Jackson and Rainbow Push to increase diversity in tech with the private sector
  • Consulting with the NYC Department of Education to instantiate the Silicon Harlem STEM curriculum in after school programs to ensure students are getting the skills to be prepared for 21st century jobs
    Establishing continuing education STEM based courses at York College in Queens and City College in Harlem that provides advanced coding classes for adults
  • The company has worked with the Obama Administration on the “My Brother Keepers” initiative to identify ways to get men of color focused on tech.
  • Co-producing hackathons for students to create a tech talent pipeline
    Featured at the United Nations to discuss diversity as an opportunity
    In partnership with the Greater Harlem Chamber, host tech companies at economic development day at Columbia University as part of Harlem Week.
  • Silicon Harlem is dedicated to diversity in tech across the nation with a hyperlocal focus on New York City. The company is devoted to education, skill building and working with the tech sector on diversity initiatives. The company has been recognized by City Council, the Mayors office, The Manhattan Borough President, Assemblyman Michael Blake, the Public Advocate, Congressman Rangel, Rainbow Push and many other organizations that appreciate the work that is being done by Silicon Harlem to ensure Diversity in Tech.


“Here at Slack we are working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are fundamental components of our organization. Like many other companies, we are reevaluating and revising our recruiting practices. More broadly, we are trying to change the culture that can make Silicon Valley feel like an unwelcome place for many people. Part of transforming that culture includes accountability and transparency.”
(source: slackhq.com)


Startup52 is an early-stage accelerator based in New York City. It is the first diversity-focused accelerator in NYC and was founded in 2015 by Chike Ukaegbu to create better access to resources and capital for outstanding entrepreneurs; especially those from untapped and under-tapped communities. Their main goal is to discover, groom and launch economically viable tech ventures while increasing diversity in startup and tech spaces. Among many recognitions this year, Startup52 was named one of 2016 America’s Best Entrepreneurial Companies by Entrepreneur Magazine and 2016 Top 20 Business Accelerators by Small Business Trends.

Startup52 is launching Startup52Nigeria, it’s first class in Africa this Summer, as well as satellite locations across the US.

Their 2016 cohort demographic breakdown includes: 55% Women, 83% POC, 40% Immigrant, 33% Caucasian, 17% LGBTQ, 11% Veterans, 06% Disability

Vision: Diversity fuels innovation for positive outcomes. Their vision is to create an inclusive and diverse ecosystem of innovators that is vibrant and profitable. They therefore invest in outstanding high-potential teams comprised of at least one founder from under-tapped communities in tech, working on highly scalable and profitable solutions to global needs.  Untapped/under-tapped communities in tech include women, people of color, LGBTQIA, veterans, immigrants, seniors, etc. They look to invest in capital efficient ventures that improve human existence and survival, solve global problems, and create profitable products and solutions for a future-facing humanity.

Solution: They create inclusive safe spaces that trigger and support creativity, collaboration and innovation.  Their program is designed around The HEROES Model. HEROES is an acronym for Heritage, Education, Relationships, Opportunities, Entrepreneurship and Service – six crucial areas crucial to success. Their goal is to create better access to resources  and capital for entrepreneurs from communities that lack the support necessary to succeed.  They provide a structured curriculum focused on the needs of technology startups and founders, across legal, fund raising, sales & marketing, product design, app release best practices, social media management, scalability, networking, talent acquisition and more.  They support founder development through access to their network of mentors who have a variety of professional backgrounds.  They also introduce startups to their network of early stage investors both in and out of New York City.