How tech creates new space for the trans community

Supporting trans people in tech

When the pandemic hit, Nikita Washington knew it was time for a change. She left her job in education to pursue a career in tech, and soon discovered that user experience design allowed her to combine her love of both creativity and analytics. There was a problem, though: Nikita quickly realized she was often the only queer person of color in the room. She found herself craving the support and community of other trans people working in tech.

That’s where TransTech Social came in. It’s an organization working to increase the representation of trans people in tech through training, an annual summit and an online community. “Attending the TransTech Summit revealed my purpose, which is to live in my authenticity as a Black trans woman,” Nikita says. “It was so empowering for me to see such a large representation of trans folks of all ethnicities and backgrounds thriving in tech.” From that point on, Nikita started to participate in TransTech’s online community and training, and now sits on their community advisory board.

Since successfully applying to a recent Impact Challenge, TransTech has received $350,000 in grant funding and participated in an accelerator to help with organizational capacity building. This has helped them launch their GROW Program, which combines a structured training program with one-on-one mentorship to help trans people create and achieve personal and professional objectives. GROW is now on a path to equip 1,000 trans people with the skills and tools they need to enter the job market within the next three years.