Women and our Collective Power for Change
Brenda Darden Wilkerson
President and CEO | AnitaB.org
Brenda Darden Wilkerson is a prominent figure in the tech industry, renowned for her dedication to promoting computer science education for all. She is the current President and CEO of AnitaB.org, a global non-profit organization that works to connect and empower women and non-binary people in technology, with a vision of intersectional gender equity and pay parity in the tech ecosystem. Since taking the helm of the organization, she’s boosted its membership from 1,600 to more than 75,000 technologists worldwide.
With over 30 years of experience in the technology industry, Brenda is a vocal advocate for diversity and inclusion in the field. She is a recognized leader in the movement to make computer science education accessible to all, regardless of gender, race, or socioeconomic background.
Prior to joining AnitaB.org, she spent 11 years managing computer science and information technology for Chicago Public Schools (CPS). In 2008, while she was still at CPS, she founded the groundbreaking Computer Science for All program, which aims to maximize the potential of every student through a computer science education defined by equity, empowerment, and opportunity. Also, during that time, Brenda founded the Chicago chapter of Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA). Through her efforts, she connected with educators and industry leaders to raise awareness about the importance of computer science education and the need to increase access to those opportunities.
In 2016, Brenda was appointed by President Barack Obama to the White House’s Tech Inclusion Task Force, where she worked with other experts to create strategies for increasing diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. She was also a driving force behind the launch of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), which seeks to increase the participation of girls and women in computing.
As the leader of AnitaB.org, Brenda has continued to influence technology equity on a global scale. Under her leadership, the organization has expanded its reach to include programs that support women and non-binary technologists at all stages of their careers, including mentorship, leadership development, and advocacy.
Brenda’s contributions to the field of technology education have been recognized with numerous awards and accolades, including the 2017 Computer Science Education Week Champion of Change Award from the White House and the 2019 Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Lifetime Achievement Award. She is a passionate advocate for access, opportunity, and social justice in the tech industry, and her work continues to inspire and empower women, non-binary people, and historically excluded groups in technology.
Brenda was named to the 2023 Forbes 50 Over 50 list for Impact. The third annual list is a collection of founders, innovators, and creators and is divided into four broad categories – Innovation, Impact, Investment, and Lifestyle. The women on the 50 Over 50 Impact list are leading the charge for a better world. See her profile here.
"I want to see a culture where we don’t even have to discuss gender diversity...where every woman can realize her full potential and our world can benefit from it."
Brenda Darden Wilkerson