Brenda Darden Wilkerson is president and CEO of AnitaB.org, an international organization that supports the development of women in technology.
Her appointment was effective Oct. 1, 2017, and she immediately sought to expand the community. (The organization’s name was previously the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology.)
“I’m very interested in digging into the intersectionality. There are challenges for a woman who did not come about getting into tech in the traditional way,” Wilkerson told Blue Sky. “Perhaps she’s self-taught. Perhaps she started out at a community college. Women who are coming in mid-career … I want them to know that I’m listening to them and we represent them.”
Prior to taking the reins at AnitaB.org, Wilkerson was director of computer science and IT education at Chicago Public Schools, She’d been senior manager of computer science and IT education for eight years before that.
At CPS, she shepherded the implementation of the district’s mandated computer science education requirement for high school graduation, and founded Computer Science for All, an initiative that addresses racial and gender disparities in computer science.
“I wanted all kids to have the exposure, so they had that within their cache of possibilities, to be able to choose to or not to go after a life in tech,” she said.
She is a Northwestern University graduate with a degree in biomedical engineering.