Internet Pioneer Lisa Gelobter Helped Create Technologies for Web Animation
By Tamara Shiloh
Many Black women have made significant strides within technology, yet they remain significantly underrepresented across the computer sciences spectrum.
According to the United Negro College Fund, Black women make up only 3% of the tech workforce, and less than 0.5% have leadership roles in Silicon Valley.
These statistics did not keep Lisa Gelobter (b. 1971) from living her dream. As a computer scientist, technologist, and chief executive, she has spent 25 years in the software industry.
By working on several pioneering internet technologies and creating web animation and online video (Brightcove and Joost), she has designed products used by millions of people.
Gelobter was instrumental in the creation of Shockwave, a technology that formed the beginning of web animation, and oversaw its product release cycle. She coded the ActiveX control for the player and coordinated the engineering transition.
A Brown University graduate (at age 20), Gelobter’s degree in computer science with a concentration in artificial intelligence and machine learning was instrumental in launching her career. She served as chief digital service officer for the U.S. Department of Education during Barack Obama’s presidency and led the team that built the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard.
This is an online tool, created by the federal. government, for consumers to compare the cost and value of higher education institutions in the U.S. At launch, it displayed data in five areas: cost, graduation rate, employment rate, average amount borrowed, and loan default rate.
Gelobter’s background in strategy development, business operations, user-centered design, product management, and engineering is expansive. She served as chief digital officer for BET Networks and was a member of the senior management team for the launch of Hulu.
Little is known about Gelobter’s childhood. Her father was Jewish and from Poland, and her mother was Black and from the Caribbean. There is no public information available about where Lisa Gelobter was born or raised.
In 2019, Gelobter was named one of Inc’s 100 Women Building America’s Most Innovative and Ambitious Businesses. Serving on boards for the Obama Foundation, Time’s Up, and the Education Trust, she is proud to be a Black woman with a degree in computer science.
Today, Gelobter runs her own company, tEQuitable (2006), an independent, confidential platform to address issues of bias, discrimination, and harassment in the workplace, according to its website. She raised more than $2 million for the start-up, making her one of the first 40 Black women ever to have raised more than $1 million in venture capital funding.
She is also a former member of the New York Urban League STEM Advisory Board and was named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People.
Encourage young girls by helping them learn about pioneering women in STEM with faces like theirs who shaped the world. Read with them T.M. Moody’s “African American Women Pioneers in STEM Activity Book.” It’s part activity book, part educational workbook
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