Esosa Ighodaro is the co-founder of Black Women Talk Tech, the organization that aims to identify, support and encourage black women to build the next billion-dollar business. Black Women Talk Tech is the largest collective of black women tech founders therefore bringing a unique understanding of the challenges Black women face and the advantages they bring to the tech industry. As co-founder, Esosa co-leads business strategy and strategic partnership development and leads the organization’s marketing endeavors.
Esosa has more than 15 years of entrepreneurial experience including founding two influencer marketing businesses. Additionally, she has more than 12 years of marketing and operation experience as a serial entrepreneur, and as a former bank executive at Citigroup where she developed high-performing growth strategies and oversaw implementation for key lines of business.
Her achievements at her past companies led to several articles and past awards, including being named 100 Most Powerful Women by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2019 and one of the 50 Inspirational Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2017, and Top 10 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch by Paste Magazine. This ultimately lands her features in ELLE, Forbes, NBC, The Huffington Post, USA Today, and many more. Esosa graduated with a bachelor of science in finance from the Fox School of Business at Temple University. She and her husband now live in New York, NY and enjoy fashion, travel and food.
Regina Gwynn is the co-founder of Black Women Talk Tech, the organization that aims to identify, support and encourage black women to build the next billion-dollar business. Black Women Talk Tech is the largest collective of black women tech founders therefore bringing a unique understanding of the challenges Black women face and the advantages they bring to the tech industry. As co-founder, Regina co-leads business strategy and strategic partnership development and leads sponsor relations.
Regina Gwynn launched her first tech startup in 2014 with TresseNoire, a platform that empowers women of color to celebrate their textured hair with a personalized beauty routine that works. Its virtual beauty coach takes the guesswork out of finding the right natural hair products & services by matching your individual hair profile to a beauty regimen designed by experts (so you can get the best twist out or the perfect wash n go style the first time, every time!). This innovative product is currently in private beta.
Regina started her career in the Product Development Executive Training program at Federated Department Stores (now Macy’s Inc.), and successfully launched three exclusive brands during her tenure. After graduating from the Kellogg School of Management with her MBA, Regina was a management consultant with the Monitor Group (now Monitor/Deloitte Consulting) and worked with clients within the beauty, media and healthcare industries. She was then tapped to lead marketing at The Apparel Group, where she built the department from scratch and launched the company’s first ecommerce site for its signature brand, Foxcroft Collection.
Regina has served on the Board of Directors for BRAG, a nonprofit for diverse retail professionals & Rising Tide Capital, an entrepreneur development program based in Jersey City, NJ. Regina loves to travel, dance and watch football (Go Giants!).
“A girl should be two things: Classy & Fabulous.” – Coco Chanel
1. Tell us about your company?
There wasn’t a roadmap to billions designed for us, so we created our own. That’s how Black Women Talk Tech began. We created a tech conference designed specifically for Black women tech entrepreneurs to create a space where black women could for once, be seen and heard and have their ideas invested in. Our conference is now the largest convening of Black women tech entrepreneurs and technologists. Today, our mission is to help Black women dream big and build the next billion-dollar tech or scalable company.
2. Why from your perspective do you believe diverse storytelling is critical to driving business growth?
There are a lot of reasons! Diverse storytelling helps companies connect with a broader audience, fosters innovation, builds trust, mitigates risks, attracts top talent, and ensures compliance with evolving societal norms and regulations. Embracing diversity in storytelling is not just a moral imperative; it’s a strategic advantage that can contribute significantly to a company’s long-term success and growth.
3. How do you think brands can better work to support diverse owned media?
Supporting diverse-owned media is not just a one-time effort. It should be an ongoing commitment integrated into a brand’s overall diversity and inclusion strategy. Allocate a portion of your advertising budget to diverse-owned media outlets. Partner to create content that reflects diverse perspectives and experiences. Actively seek out diverse voices for interviews and expert opinions. Ensure diversity in your own leadership and decision-making teams. And maybe most importantly, actively listen to feedback from diverse-owned media outlets and communities. Understand their unique challenges and needs and be willing to adapt your support strategies accordingly.
4. What do you hope for the future of diverse owned media?
A media landscape that is more inclusive, equitable, and reflective of the diverse world we live in. This includes not only acknowledging the importance of diverse voices but also embracing and appreciating the unique perspectives they bring to the table. If diverse owned media can expand its reach, it will have a greater impact in challenging stereotypes, promoting inclusivity, and fostering a better understanding of diverse communities. Most crucial is financial sustainability. We want to see the financial support and advertising revenue needed to sustain operations and continue producing quality content.
5. What advice would you give marketers who want to work with you to authentically tell diverse stories?
Educate yourself about our experiences, perspectives, and cultural nuances. Actively listen to the voices and stories of the diverse communities you want to represent, then partner with diverse content creators, writers, and artists who can lend authenticity to the storytelling. Don’t approach diversity as a marketing trend because it’s not just about ticking boxes; it’s about genuinely valuing and respecting diverse audiences.