In recent years, the role of women in technology has gained increased attention and recognition. However, women account for only a small percentage of tech professionals and leaders. Statista reports that women make up only 20 to 23% of the workforce in tech jobs. Despite this gender divide, numerous women have made significant contributions to the field of technology and have become influential figures.
From Ada Lovelace to Elizabeth Feinler, women have played key roles in the development and advancement of technology throughout history. Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code, and Shellye Archambeau, former CEO of MetricStream serve as role models for the next generation of colored women and their stories demonstrate the importance of creating more opportunities for diverse perspectives in tech.
Here is a list of the top ten influential women in tech who are also working towards empowering women.
Kimberly Bryant is an influential woman in tech who founded Black Girls Code, a non-profit organization that teaches computer programming to young girls from underrepresented communities. Bryant earned a degree in Electrical Engineering and later worked in the tech industry for over 20 years.
She founded Black Girls Code in 2011 after recognizing the lack of diversity in the tech industry and the opportunities available to girls of color. Her organization has since impacted thousands of young girls, empowering them to pursue tech careers and break down barriers in the industry. Bryant's work has been widely recognized, including being named a White House Champion of Change for Tech Inclusion in 2013.
To know more about inclusive tech programs and resources, check out the Canadian College of Technology and Business (CCTB), Vancouver, an institution that offers inclusive programs that support diversity and is helping to create a more diverse and equitable tech industry in Canada. CCTB's programs are tailored to meet the needs of students from diverse backgrounds, including women and underrepresented groups in tech. These programs provide hands-on training in the latest technologies and practical skills needed to succeed in tech jobs.
CCTB also offers job placement services and works with industry partners to connect graduates with job opportunities.
Safra Catz is the CEO of Oracle, a leading enterprise software company. Catz has been with Oracle since 1999 and has held various leadership roles, including CFO and President. Under her leadership, Oracle has transformed into a cloud computing company, and she has overseen many key acquisitions and partnerships.
In addition to her work at Oracle, Catz serves on the board of directors for several organizations such as The Walt Disney Company. She is also known for her advocacy for women in leadership and has been recognized for her contributions to the tech industry, including being named to Forbes' list of the World's Most Powerful Women multiple times.
Elizabeth Churchill is the Director of User Experience at Google. Churchill leads a team of researchers and designers who work on improving user experience across Google's products and services.
She has been with Google since 2013, and before that, she held leadership positions at Yahoo!, PARC, and the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Churchill is known for her expertise in human-computer interaction, social media, and digital design.
Amy Hood is the first female Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in the history of tech giant Microsoft. Hood joined Microsoft in 2002 and has held various leadership roles within the company, including as a senior leader in the company's Business Division, overseeing the financial strategy for Microsoft Office.
She is also a member of Microsoft's senior leadership team, which sets the company's strategy and direction.
Pao has held various leadership positions in tech companies, including as a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins and as CEO of the social media platform Reddit. She is also the co-founder of Project Include which aims to increase diversity and inclusion in the tech industry by preventing sexism and gender discrimination.
Reshma Saujani is the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, an organization that works to close the gender gap in technology by educating young girls with the technical skills they need to pursue careers in tech.
Girls Who Code has grown into a global movement, reaching millions of people and helping to inspire and educate thousands of girls around the world.
Gwynne Shotwell is the President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of SpaceX, the aerospace manufacturer and space transportation company founded by Elon Musk. Shotwell has been with SpaceX since its early days and has played a key role in the company's success, leading the development of many of its groundbreaking technologies.
Shotwell has also been inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame for her contributions to tech.
Mary Barra is the Chair and CEO of General Motors, one of the world's leading automotive companies. Barra has been with General Motors for over 40 years and has held various leadership positions within the company, including Executive Vice President of Global Product Development and Vice President of Human Resources.
Ginni Rometty is the former Chair, President, and CEO of IBM, one of the world's leading technology companies. Rometty spent her entire career at IBM, starting as a systems engineer in 1981 and later holding several leadership roles.
She is the first woman head of IBM and played a pivotal role in transitioning the company into a data organization.
Ursula Burns is the former CEO of Xerox, a global technology company known for its printing and imaging products. Burns began her career at Xerox as an intern in 1980 and worked her way up through the company, holding various leadership positions before becoming CEO in 2009.
She was the first Black woman to lead a Fortune 500 company. She has been a strong advocate for education and serves on several boards, including the Ford Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
In conclusion, women have made significant contributions to the tech industry and have played a crucial role in driving innovation and progress. Despite facing gender bias and discrimination, women have continued to pave the way and break down barriers, opening up opportunities for future generations.
To continue this progress, it is important for everyone, regardless of gender, to take up tech study programs and pursue careers in technology.
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