Janet Emerson Bashen

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Janet Emerson Bashen
BornFebruary 12, 1957
Alma materUniversity of Houston, Harvard University, Tulane Law School
OccupationInventor, Entrepreneur
EmployerBashen Corporation
Home townHuntsville, AL, USA
Spouse(s)Steven Bashen
ChildrenTwo children, Blair Alise Bashen and Drew Alec Bashen.
AwardsGreater Houston Black Chamber's Pinnacle Award - 2003[1]

Janet Emerson Bashen (born February 12, 1957) is an American inventor, entrepreneur, and business consultant. She patented a software program, LinkLIne, to assist with web-based Equal Employment Opportunity investigations making her the first African American woman to obtain a software patent.[2] She founded a human resource consulting firm focusing on Equal Opportunity Employment compliance, which investigated civil rights violations and employee misconduct. In May 2000, she testified before the U.S. House of Representatives that civil rights and employee misconduct investigations should be exempt from the Fair Credit Reporting Act.[3] In 2012, she was named to Ebony magazine's list of the 100 most influential African-Americans in entertainment, politics, sports and business, called the Power 100 List.[4]

Early Life[edit]

Janet Emerson was born to a mother who served as a ER nurse and a hard working garbage collecting father on February 12, 1957 in Mansfield, OH. As a child, her family moved to Huntsville, AL where Emerson was raised. [5]


Emerson began her studies at Alabama A&M where she met her husband and renamed to Janet Emerson Bashen. Together, they moved to Houston where she earned a degree in legal studies and government from the University of Houston. Following her graduation, Bashen attended Rice's graduate school of administration and received a certificate from Harvard's "Women and Power: Leadership in a New World". Furthermore, Bashen is on track to receive her Masters of Law from Northwestern California School of Law in Sacramento, CA.

Work Career[edit]

After her CEO refused to hire independent investigators to look into the Equal Employment Opportunities at her company, Bashen took $5,000 from her hard working mother to begin her own company to handle EEO complaints. Her company began in her house as her kitchen table served as her first office. She began work alone and serving only one client in EEO complaints from Title VII, she also assisted companies HR departments with solutions to problems she found in the company's hiring processes regarding discrimination. The company grew rapidly and Bashen had to face the fact that there was little to no ability to store all the information from all the companies she represented. Her and her cousin, Donny Moore, began tracking all of Bashen Corps. and posting them on the internet for the public to check. This service became LinkLine, "Bashen’s patented EEO compliance and case management software." On December 20, 2007 LinkLine earned Patent No. 6,985,922,B1, making Janet Emerson Bashen the first African-American woman to earn a software patent. Since then, Bashen has earned many other patents, for software and otherwise, and other awards and honors.

Honors and Achievements[edit]

  • Houston, TX Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle Award (2003)
  • National Association of Negro Women in Business Crystal Award (2004)
  • MIT Recognition at World Festival of Black Arts and Culture in Dakar, Senegal (2010)
  • Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard’s Kennedy School (2014)
  • Black Inventors Hall of Fame


  1. ^ "Pinnacle Award". Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Bashen Patent". Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  3. ^ "H.R. 3408—THE FAIR CREDIT REPORTING AMENDMENTS ACT OF 1999". Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Ebony's Power 100". Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Bashen, Janet Emerson (1957- ) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed". blackpast.org. Retrieved 2018-12-17.

External links[edit]