Listen to this article here
Born in 1972 to a Jewish father from Poland and a Black mother from the Caribbean, Lisa Gelobter has connected cultures throughout her life as a computer scientist, contributing to global internet technologies that support online chatting, streaming and gaming. Her innovations are used by billions and include the animation tools necessary for the GIFs that liven up text messages and online chats.
According to BlackPast, she graduated from Brown University in 1991 at the age of 20 with a computer science degree with a concentration in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Gelobter also worked as the Chief Digital Officer for BET Networks.
With 25 years in the industry, Lisa has a deep and proven track record in software and has worked to pioneer Internet technologies, including Shockwave, Hulu, and the ascent of online video.
She also served as the Chief Digital Service Officer for the U.S. Department of Education during the administration of President Barack Obama.
In 2016 Gelobter founded and became the Chief Executive Officer of tEQuitable, a company that provides an independent, confidential platform to address issues of bias, harassment, and discrimination in the workplace. Gelobter raised more than $2 million for the start-up company, becoming one of only 34 Black women to ever raise $1 million in venture capital. She is also a former member of the New York Urban League STEM Advisory Board.
Gelobter summed up her life’s work to Forbes, “From a technology perspective, Shockwave has had the most impact and has had the most things built on or stem from it. Hulu has had the biggest impact from a consumer perspective. What I worked at the Department of Education under the Obama administration has had the most societal impact.”
Determined to leave her industry in a better place than she found it, Gelobter describes tEQuitable, “we’re using technology to make workplaces more equitable. We help employees figure out their next steps when inappropriate things happen in the workplace like harassment, discrimination, etc. Companies don’t always have a good pulse on their work culture therefore we also provide data and insights so that they can make systematic change.”
Gelobter added, “I’m inspired by the younger generation. I believe that I can learn a lot from them. I feel like they don’t adhere to our standards and norms. They are about making change and questioning the status quo. I really appreciate it and I want to encourage them to continue to do two things: be true to themselves and make a social impact.”