Black Women in Tech Spotlight is a series that aims to highlight successful women and highlight Black women in the technology industry. There are so many inspiring stories about Black women who have made it big, but often they come with difficult beginnings. The Black Women in Tech series aims to change this by sharing success stories of Black female tech leaders, entrepreneurs, and engineers, as well as providing resources for those looking to enter into technical fields. Below is one successful black woman in tech that will motivate you no matter what you're currently up against!
Kamilah Taylor is a Jamaican-born engineer, writer, entrepreneur, and public speaker who now lives in San Francisco. She works for Gusto, a company that provides payroll and benefits to small firms, as the Head of Financial Products.
She has previously worked on mobile applications and robotics at a variety of firms, including Krikey, LinkedIn, Wolfram Research, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also co-founder of Swaay, an app that helps you have thoughtful conversations online. She also promotes the importance of encouraging underrepresented minorities to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. She is also a co-author of Women in Tech and the recently released Swift For Good, a new book written by 20 top authors and speakers that donates all proceeds to charity. She was recognized by Business Insider in 2017 as one of the 43 Most Powerful Women in Tech, and by Essence Magazine in 2018 as one of the 10 Black Women Rocking the Tech World. In her free time, she has too many side projects, buys too many books, watches too much tv, and is a lifelong Harry Potter fan and Trekkie.
In her own words:
Things that make me tick - working on thoughtful products that solve real problems. I'm currently an engineer at Gusto, the people platform - Gusto provides payroll and benefits for small businesses. I also work on a product called Swaay that's focused on reducing polarization and toxicity in online discourse. Finally, I help startups like Skinary and Krikey with their mobile apps. Previously I was recently a Senior Software Engineer at LinkedIn for 5 and a half years and a Software Engineer at Wolfram Research for 1 year and a half. I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I got a M.Sc. from the Computer Science department. I worked in the Motion Strategy Lab with Steve LaValle. I also graduated from the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus with a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Mathematics. I have a younger sister, Gabrielle Taylor. She's cooler than me, knows everything about plants and birds, and is a software engineer at Carbon Five. I’m a lifelong bookworm - here’s what I’ve been reading in 2020!