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Tech’s Leading Lady: Allison Esposito Medina ’05

When Allison Esposito Medina ’05 (journalism; media, society, and the arts minor) was working for Google in 2015, she organized a Meetup for women working in the tech industry.

They’d gather in Manhattan coffee shops to talk about their struggles in the male-dominated technology world, where they’d had difficulty finding jobs, and if hired, could face harassment in the workplace.
Allison Esposito Medina '05


To augment the casual meetings and build the community that subsequently became Tech Ladies, Medina set up a Facebook page and started a newsletter with job postings.

“It was my passion project on the side,” says Medina, who grew up in Eastchester and now lives in Manhattan with her husband, Ben. “It kept growing. At first, we were 100 women who connected, found jobs, helped each other negotiate raises, and got through the rough periods. Then it grew to 1,000, and I started to think that it could keep growing.”  

A year later, she quit her job as a content manager at Google to devote her full-time energies to the start-up. By 2019, Tech Ladies had blossomed into a global community of 50,000 women in technology. They come to to find exclusive job postings from the world’s leading tech companies and participate in webinars. There they can also shop for t-shirts that declare “Hack the Patriarchy,” “Femmes in STEM,” or “Breaker of Hearts & Glass Ceilings.” Tech Ladies also holds panel discussions at New York companies at which women talk about their work and have time for networking.  

Tech Ladies has also joined in the global debate over online harassment of women with its 2017 report to the United Nations. 

Today, Medina is CEO of Tech Ladies, with 10 employees and independent contractors. Most of them work remotely, though the business does have a small office in a WeWork space in Manhattan. 

“There was a need,” says Medina. “The industry had given lip service to diversity and inclusion, but there wasn’t much action. We aren’t able to fix every piece of what is broken. But we have helped.”

At Purchase, Medina majored in journalism, eyeing a career in the daily newspaper world. She lived on campus and found her voice writing and editing the weekly Dispatch. After graduation, she worked for a year at The Journal News in White Plains, earned a masters degree at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and worked one summer at The Daily News. She graduated in 2008 just as the recession hit and entry-level journalism jobs were increasingly scarce. 

That harsh reality set Medina on a seven-year journey through a slew of jobs—-as a nanny, aide to state Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, copy writer for FourSquare, marketing manager for a tech start-up called Oyster, and then on to Google.  

“It was hard to come up with a journalism job in the recession,” she recalls. “But I’m still using what I learned in journalism. I’m able to write and communicate. It’s less on the reporting side, but I have the ability to go out to  communicate with a group of people in a really effective way.” 

Those skills came in handy when she experienced the gender issues within the tech industry and heard from others about their struggles finding work despite their skills.  

“I realized in my first job how much opportunity there was, but how stacked the industry was against women,” she says. “It’s a big boys’ club. Almost all the venture capital goes to men, and the guys who have start-ups hire their friends.” 

When criticism of male bias bubbled up, industry leaders said they wanted to hire women, but couldn’t find them. 

“There was no pipeline in 2016,” she says. “Women were dropping out of computer science, and I was seeing that our group was growing like crazy. We had 300 women in tech in New York City and the recruiters couldn’t find them.”

That presented an opening for Medina to start Tech Ladies. With the tech industry continuing to fuel job growth in the metropolitan region and across the country, Medina wants to make sure that the opportunities extend to women intent on a tech career. 

“There’s so much wealth creation,” she says. “It would be sad if
only one particular type of person had the chance to achieve it.” 

—David McKay Wilson