10 Women in Tech Who Will Inspire You
Today’s tech industry faces an ongoing and visible issue: there simply are not enough women in the field. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women make up half of the nation’s workforce and more than half of its population, yet, they are still significantly underrepresented across all areas of the tech sector, accounting for only 26 percent of computing roles.
The National Center for Women & Information Technology has projected the tech industry to grow 19 percent by 2026, adding 3.5 million jobs to the workforce. How many of those positions will be filled by women?
One solution to close this gender gap is to advance women into higher positions. In fact, a recent study on gender diversity and business performance in tech shows that diverse teams produce higher levels of profitability, particularly when women occupy a large percentage of top leadership roles. Every day that new women join the tech industry, more women have the opportunity to become leaders and empower other women to do the same.
Below, we’ve highlighted 10 incredible women who are breaking down barriers and leading the way in the technology sector.
1) Kimberly Bryant – Founder of Black Girls Code
Kimberly Bryant is quickly becoming one of the most influential women in ed-tech. In 2011, Bryant founded Black Girls Code, an educational nonprofit dedicated to teaching young girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become technology leaders. Before founding Black Girls Code, Bryant enjoyed a successful career in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, holding several technical leadership roles for various Fortune 100 companies.
2) Amber Mac – Tech Expert and President of AmberMac Media
Amber Mac has spent over 20 years reporting on the latest technology trends from around the world. Amber Mac (Arthur) started her career in San Francisco and Boston during the dot-com boom before joining Microsoft to design one of the first female-focused lifestyle portals. She then went on to start her own agency and become a bestselling author, blogger, keynote speaker and TV/radio host.
3) Angela Ahrendts – Former SVP of Retail at Apple
Before working at Apple, Angela Ahrendts served as CEO of Burberry for nearly a decade, where she established the fashion company as a global luxury brand and tripled its revenue. After joining Apple, Ahrendts was recognized as the company’s highest-profile female executive and led a remarkable redesign of its retail stores that completely transformed the customer experience.
4) Jade Raymond – VP of Google
In the gaming tech industry, successful women are seldom known and even less often seen. Industry veteran Jade Raymond began her career as a programmer for Sony, where she developed the first Research and Development initiative for Sony Online. She went on to work for gaming industry leaders like Ubisoft and Electronic Arts before joining Google in March 2019 to serve as the head of the company’s new game development studio, Stadia Games and Entertainment.
5) Safra Catz – CEO of Oracle
Safra A. Catz has led as the Chief Executive Officer for Oracle Corporation since 2014. As a self-made woman, Catz held a variety of other positions after getting her start at Oracle in 1999, working her way up through the company. Today, she is recognized as one of the few women to lead a computer technology company of Oracle’s stature and influence.
6) Amy Hood – CFO at Microsoft
Amy Hood is responsible for leading Microsoft’s worldwide financial organization, helping to spearhead the transition to the company’s Office 365 service as well as being heavily involved in the strategy and execution to acquire Skype and Yammer. Before her appointment as CEO in 2013, Hood held roles in Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business and the corporate finance organization. In the years since, she has been credited with a large portion of the company’s financial success, engineering over 57 deals including the $7.5 billion acquisition of GitHub in 2018.
7) Reshma Saujani – Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code
Reshma Saujani is the founder of Girls Who Code, an international nonprofit organization working to close technology’s gender gap. Since its inception in 2012, Girls Who Code has paved the way for young women to pursue careers in coding, reaching more than 185,000 girls across the country and inspiring many more through its efforts and initiatives.
8) Erica Baker – Senior Engineering Manager at Patreon
As the Senior Engineering Manager at Patreon, Erica Baker is responsible for helping content creators find audiences and secure funding. As an advocate for the empowerment of women and minorities in the workforce, she is also a board member at Girl Develop It, a nonprofit that offers accessible web and software development for adult women.
9) Anne Wojcicki – Co-Founder and CEO of 23andMe
Anne Wojcicki’s inspiring work is shaking up the healthcare and biotechnology industries. Her genetic profiling startup, 23andMe, has become one of the world’s largest databases of individual genetic profiles. Under Wojcicki’s leadership, 23andMe has made remarkable progress in offering personalized genetic testing directly to its users.
10) Susan Wojcicki – CEO of YouTube
Success runs in the Wojcicki family. Susan Wojcicki, sister of Anne Wojcicki, was the first Marketing Manager and 16th employee at Google. Wojcicki played a central role in Google’s acquisition of YouTube and was appointed as Chief Executive Officer for the video-sharing platform in 2014. She now oversees YouTube’s content and business operations, engineering and product development.
As we take a moment to celebrate the incredible successes and achievements these women have made in their careers, it’s crucial to recognize that there is still a long way to go in establishing gender equality. This is especially true for the technology industry.
Closing the gender tech gap is not a one-woman job. Rather, it requires the collective efforts of many dedicated female tech professionals to break into the field and lift other women up — but it also requires men to be allies, advocating for their female peers and educating themselves on problems that arise from gender inequality. The 10 women above demonstrate that the strongest impact happens one step at a time.
Local Events in 2020
To help you get started, check out these local resources and places to go for support during your journey. These events focus on empowering women to learn new skills, network, discuss the latest trends and promote gender diversity and inclusion.
Sibley Auditorium, University of California, Berkeley
March 6, 2020 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
This public symposium will highlight the experiences and career paths of women in cybersecurity.
Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center
326 Galvez Street
Stanford, CA 94305
March 2, 2020
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Women in Data Science (WiDS) aims to inspire and educate data scientists worldwide, regardless of gender, and to support women in the field.
Qualcomm Building AZ
10155 Pacific Heights Blvd
San Diego, CA 92121
March 7, 2020
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
The San Diego Tech Women’s Summit is celebrating its unique connectivity and collaborative strength for women in the new economy.
Looking for more ways to engage with the female tech community? Here are several organizations committed to empowering women in tech, promoting inclusivity in the workplace and closing the gender gap.
1. Black Girls Code:
The first woman on our list above, Kimberly Bryant, founded Black Girls Code in 2012. The organization has paved the way for young women of color to pursue a career in coding. The organization has reached more than 185,000 girls across the country and inspired many more through its efforts and initiatives.
2. Girl Develop It
Girl Develop It is a nonprofit organization that provides low-cost, judgment-free opportunities for women interested in learning coding and software development. Through its various initiatives, Girl Develop It helps women of diverse backgrounds reach their goals and build confidence.
3. Women Who Code
Women Who Code is committed to inspiring women to excel in technology careers. The goal of the organization is to tackle various initiatives including empowering women with tech skills, helping companies promote diversity and developing a worldwide community of support for women in the field.
TechWomen is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. TechWomen aims to empower, connect and support female leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by offering access and opportunity to grow their careers, pursue their goals and become role models for other girls and women.