Bitwise Industries co-founder honored on Fast Company's Queer 50 list

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Irma Olguin Jr., co-founder of Bitwise Industries, is once again being recognized as a strong woman who continues inspiring many across the Central Valley and beyond.

"It's about acceptance, it's about love, it's about belonging here as much as you belong here," she said.

Olguin is a strong Latina voice representing the Queer community and most recently recognized for the second time as one of the Fast Company's Queer 50 list.

"It feels a lot like being recognized for the first time," she said. "It was a shock!"

The list features women and nonbinary leaders in business and technology.

She is the co-founder of Bitwise Industries, which launched in 2013 in Fresno, and since then expanded to Bakersfield, Merced, West Oakland and most recently, Toledo, Ohio.

The company is opening a huge window of opportunity.

"We wanted to infuse the technology industry, catalyze it, bring those high growth, high waged jobs to our hometown and very specifically create an invitation for folks who do not see themselves in those jobs to finally achieve them," said Olguín.

For years, her leadership in the Central Valley has helped minorities, veterans and the LGBTQ community feel represented.

"There are safe places, safe people, even in places like Fresno, where you sometimes feel like there isn't. Bitwise Industries is absolutely one of them," she said.

But even with the progress that's been made, she says there is still a lot of work to get done and hopes people will feel inspired to join in the uphill battle.

"This is just the very beginning of what can be accomplished in a place like Fresno, and it's made out of the people who love this place they call home," she said. "We can do this, we can build the place we all want to live in."
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