Brenda Darden Wilkerson: President, CEO, Founder, Advocate
Growing up, Brenda Darden Wilkerson always loved math and English. After discovering her passion for technology in a required class at Northwestern University, she began a career full of advocacy, education, and computing.
Photo courtesy of Business Chief.
After over 10 years of working in tech, Wilkerson transitioned into the educational space, first at Wilbur Wright College in Chicago, and then at Chicago Public Schools. Throughout her career, she began to notice women and people of color in school being dissuaded from joining the technology field.
Computer Science for All
She became an advocate for computer science education while at CPS, transforming them from a district where only a few students were able to learn about technology to the first school district in the country to require a computer science class to graduate from high school.
Her initiative, called Computer Science for All, allowed all 40,000 students in the CPS district to learn about computer science and helped them to get excited about coding, web design, and other aspects of computer science.
Computer Science for All caught the attention of President Barack Obama, inspiring his administration to launch their own Computer Science for All initiative in 2016 to empower students across the country to learn the computer skills needed to succeed in a digital world.
In 2017, Wilkerson was named the new President and CEO of AnitaB.org.
AnitaB.org is the leading organization for women in technology, hosting programs dedicated to helping women and non-binary technologists grow, offering supportive resources, and welcoming an entire community.
Since she took over, AnitaB.org has grown from 1,600 to more than 75,000 members worldwide.
Her ultimate goal? To put AnitaB.org out of business by increasing the amount of women and non-binary people in tech by 50%.
Brenda Wilkerson Today
On top of continuing her work with AnitaB.org, Wilkerson is a contributor to the Tech Enterprise section of Forbes. She was named on the 2023 Forbes 50 Over 50 list for Impact, as her work is changing the world. She’s on the board of P33 Chicago and presents at conferences all over the world.
Check out her LinkedIn here.