Dear Silicon Valley, Black Women Are Still at the Table

Kyra Peralte, CEO and Co-founder of Roofheads

(ENSPIRE She Did That) Black Tech Entrepreneur, Kyra Peralte, Releases New Developments That Promote Diversity and Community

ENSPIRE Contributor: Halima McDoom

Around this time last year, the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor gave rise to a season of reckonings that spread like wildfire. Solidarity defied language and became a thing of stride and action, as the world protested for prison reform and abolition, justice, and an all-encompassing Black liberation. The moral paradigm of this world was quickly changing, and leading tech companies namely, Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook, released statements of solidarity with the Black community, all of them committing to expanding their diversity agendas. Almost a year later, with tech diversity rates still staggering to life, Black women, in particular, hold only 3% of computer-related jobs in the U.S. Kyra Peralte, an innovator, app creator and tech entrepreneur, is one of many Black women who are paving their own paths in this industry.

Peralte is the CEO and co-founder of Roofheads, a user-friendly app that facilitates and simplifies real estate transactions. The app encourages efficient investment by helping users locate, organize and compare property information. Peralte ensured the accessibility of this app, incorporating features that assist new investors with “calculating relevant metrics with one click”. She is also the genius behind Mermaid Quest, a 4+ mobile-game whose three protagonists are mermaids of color. It features a series of levels and challenges, all while normalizing the presence of Black and Brown characters in children’s games.

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The Traveling Diary, a collection of women’s stories written in a physical diary, is Peralte’s most recent development. It was born from her desire to reestablish connection with the world, a closeness that was lost in 2020. In her words, “That’s what I envision for the traveling diary — to invite people into an experience where they get to perform an act of kindness towards one another, where they are really pouring out their hopes, dreams, ideas during this period that the whole world is in right now. And then, they are making sure that they’re also protecting what’s put in there from the woman that wrote in it before it got to them”. Peralte’s contributions, by way of tech innovations, inclusionary game development, and bridging of global communities, are all testaments to the necessity of Black women creators and developers.

TrustRadius 2021 Women In Tech Report shows that compared to their white counterparts, women of color face specific obstacles to getting a promotion. Nearly 37% believe this barrier is due to race, while 42% believe it’s because of gender bias and 49% attribute it to a lack of budget. Women of color are also 27% less confident in their abilities than white women. Black women operating in these highly visible spaces, where profit is still made despite their expendability, is perhaps the result of diversity having never been the priority it’s so suddenly become.

However, 2021 has seen the rise of Black entrepreneurship. Black women now represent 42% of new women-owned businesses, with 13% of those being in professional, scientific, and technical services. Peralte, along with countless other Black women tech leaders, have set their very own tables in Silicon Valley – no longer waiting for a granted visibility, but rather, allowing the world to witness their genius.