Taking cannons to exploitation

Jessica Hubley is a 2019 finalist of the WE Empower United Nation Sustainable Development Goals challenge and an innovative entrepreneur that uses her software business which leverages the growth of the $1.5 trillion software services industry, to drive economic power into the hands of human trafficking survivors, empowering them. In the article below, WE Empower Intern Jordan Leiter highlights Hubley, her business, AnnieCannons, and shows how they promote gender equality and other sustainable development goals.

Jessica Hubley is the founder of AnnieCannons, a mission-driven software development shop that exclusively staffs their engineering team with survivors of human trafficking who have graduated from the company’s in-house coding boot camp. Hubley believes that technology, together with a “generational change of consciousness”, can be used to accelerate the unraveling of gender inequality and human exploitation.

The company trains survivors in technology skills demanded by the market, then sources and manages contract-based client work that provides high growth potential learning opportunities. This drives economic power into the hands of survivors on a massive scale. Additionally, AnnieCannons also supports 10 of the 17 sustainable development goals, including promoting gender equality through the provision of software programming education,  providing economic empowerment to female survivors, and promoting innovation & infrastructure through developing a workplace model that allows less-privileged individuals of all gender identities to thrive.

When it comes to unlocking the economic potential of marginalized survivors, AnnieCannons has developed a workplace model that allows less-privileged individuals of all gender identities to flourish. They “actively dismissed traditional business models and built theirs from scratch based purely on the latest educational and organizational science, and through active and consistent experimentation and refinement.” The result is an innovative, sustainable company that still provides educational, on-site childcare (most graduates of the program are single mothers, and obtaining access to childcare while working is prohibitively expensive), meals and nutrition on-site, free mentoring on-site and remotely, free hardware and connectivity locally and remotely, and mental wellness support. This, combined with a non-hierarchical management structure, has created what Hubley describes as “a tech company that women thrive in, and a model for how other companies can do the same.”

When asked about her company’s focus on gender equality, Hubley replied, saying: “We support gender equality because it is both the best and the only path to a sustainable human future, and a world without abuse.”

AnnieCannons support for gender equality is evident in every facet of the company, proving that it is and will continue to be a powerful force when it comes to creating a more sustainable world.