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Black History Makers in Technology: Janet Emerson Bashen

Bowling Green, KY. (February 19, 2018) - Entrepreneur. Advocate. Inventor.

Those are just some of the words to describe the life and career of Janet Emerson Bashen. In 2006, according to, Bashen became first African American woman in the United States to hold a software patent.

Bashen is the founder and CEO of the Bashen Corporation, a human resources firm with a focus on Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Compliance. She started the company in 1994 after recognizing the need for third-party teams to investigate EEO claims as they arose in a workplace. Her company specialized in investigating claims made to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

As the corporation expanded and grew, Bashen had to solve a new problem: storing and retrieving information related to cases. She worked with her cousin, Danny Moore, a computer scientist from Tufts University, to develop software that could securely store information.

According to her company biography, “Bashen determined that an internet software application was required to add efficiencies to the antiquated paper process used by organizations at the time.” The solution was LinkLine, a web-based EEO claims management and tracking reporting system.

She filed for a patent on the software in 2001, and five years later entered “an elite group of African American inventors” when her patent was approved in 2006.

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