8 powerful women in the tech industry
- October 11, 2022
- Business & Tech
Today’s technologies have an impact on most aspects of our lives and are continually evolving and getting increasingly advanced. Although the term “technology” connotes development and advancement, data on jobs still reveal a gender gap.
Women account for around 28% and 42% of the overall workforce at five digital behemoths, according to Statista’s analysis of self-reported information from Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft. Women hold between 25% and 33% of the executive posts in those same organizations, while approximately 20% and 23% of technical occupations are held by women. Even while there is still more to be done, the gap is rapidly decreasing.
Celebrating International Day of The Girl Child, here are eight of today’s most accomplished and powerful women in computing, most of whom are strong advocates for diversification and inclusion in their areas.
Kimberly Bryant, founder and CEO of Black Girls Code
Kimberly Bryant received a fellowship at Vanderbilt University due to her early academic success in science and math. She graduated from that school with a Bachelor of Engineering in electronics with majors in information technology and math. Bryant has held technological management positions for more than 20 years at several pharmacological and biotechnology firms, notably Novartis and Merck.
Bryant didn’t become aware that there weren’t many Black women working in STEM fields before her child expressed curiosity in computer science. This gap was caused by a limitation of accessibility and engagement in STEM disciplines, not a lack of desire. In 2011, Bryant established Black Girls Code, a nonprofit organization in San Francisco that introduces girls of color, ages 7 to 17, to STEM fields.
Girls could study in-demand trades here as they consider what they want to do when they reach adulthood. The organization wants to instruct one million people. Black girls to the program by 2040. The group now has one branch in Johannesburg, South Africa, and 16 branches spread around the United States.
Safra Catz, CEO of Oracle
She graduated with a college degree from Penn’s Wharton School and a law degree from Penn Law. Catz worked her way up from being a banker at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette to the controlling head, eventually executive vice president, of the company. Catz became a senior VP at Oracle in 1999. She entered the group of executives of the business in 2001, and in 2004 she was appointed president.
Over the following ten years, Oracle completed upwards of 130 purchases and integrations under Catz’s leadership. The well of these purchases was PeopleSoft, a legit contender that Oracle purchased in 2004 for $10.3 billion.
Together with Mark Hurd, Catz was named co-CEO of Oracle in 2014. After Hurd passed away in 2019, she was left as the only CEO. She was appointed to the Walt Disney Co. board of executives in 2017 and lectures accountancy at the Stanford School of Business.
Elizabeth Churchill, director of user experience at Google
Elizabeth Churchill joined Sussex University where she earned an MSc in knowledge-based networks as well as a BSc in the study and practical psychiatry. She graduated with a doctorate from Cambridge University.
Churchill relocated to California to work at Palo Alto Research Center and later FX Palo Alto Laboratory. After this, she worked at other tech firms, such as Yahoo, eBay, and Google. She presently serves as the head of user engagement at Google. To improve the experience for users, Churchill conducts studies and gives presentations on subjects such as information science, psychiatry, architecture, statistics, and ethnography.
Churchill is also the organization of computer machinery’s VP. Additionally, she has far more than 50 approved or ongoing trademarks in addition to more than 100 journal reports in various domains of psychiatry and computers.
Kate Crawford, co-founder of New York University’s AI Now Institute
Upon receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Sydney, Kate Crawford began a career examining the social aspects and consequences of AI technology.
Crawford’s study aims to comprehend the advantages and risks of artificial intelligence (AI) and deep intelligence in the wider framework of civilization, society, labor, ecology, and other fields. Crawford promotes the creation of AI that is thoughtful and fair. Her research explores the possible negative effects of these innovations, including prejudice, labor and distribution network disturbances, economic costs from robotics, security abuses, and liberties limitations owing to greater monitoring.
The New York Times, Science, The Atlantic, Nature, and other publications have all highlighted Crawford’s research. Her wisdom has earned her numerous public appearances and consulting positions for decision-makers at the White House and the UN.
In 2017, Crawford helped establish the AI Now Institute at New York University, the first academic institution to study the social effects of artificial intelligence and the first AI school to be co-founded by a woman. The faculty’s objective is to alter the way scientists approach AI and broaden their technological understanding of it to incorporate histories, society, and legislation to guide growth choices.
Fei-Fei Li, co-director of Stanford’s Human-Centered AI Institute
Fei-Fei Li left Beijing, China, at the age of 16, arriving in the United States. She earned a B.A. in Physics from Princeton and a Ph.D. in computer science from the California Institute of Technology. Li delivered technical and computing technology classes at Princeton and the University of Illinois after receiving her degree. In 2009, she then started working at Stanford, where she remains an active faculty member today. From 2014 until 2018, Li oversaw the Stanford AI Lab as its head. She presently serves as a co-director of the Human-Centered AI Institute at Stanford.
Li’s study focused on ML, computational and behavioral neurology, and AI image processing. She took a leave of absence from Stanford from January 2017 to September 2018 to focus on this study, during which time she worked as Google’s VP and head engineer for AI and ML at Google Cloud.
Together with her doctoral student Olga Russakovsky, Li also established AI4ALL in 2017. The nonprofit, AI4ALL works to increase diversification in the field of artificial intelligence by educating, recruiting, sponsoring, and educating individuals from traditionally underrepresented areas. Experts from groups including Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Black Girls Code, and Girls Who Code have partnered with AI4ALL. It now runs summer programs in 16 different cities around the country.
Ellen Pao, co-founder and CEO of Project Include
At the age of 10, Ellen Pao’s mother, a software programmer at the University of Pennsylvania, taught her code. Pao later earned a Bachelor of Science in Technology in electronics engineering from Princeton University as well as a diploma in policy making. She also obtained an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Doctorate Degree from Harvard Law.
Pao joined the San Francisco private equity company, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, as the technological staff chief after serving several Silicon Valley businesses, including WebTV and BEA Systems.
Pao joined Reddit in 2013 as its chief of commercial growth and critical alliances. In 2014, she served as acting CEO. Later, Pao left Reddit and co-founded Project Include with a number of other female internet professionals. The firm’s goals are to increase diversification and inclusiveness inside tech organisations as well as tackle and eliminate prejudice and discrimination in Silicon Valley.
Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code
Reshma Saujani earned graduate honors in political studies and public communications from the University of Illinois. She then earned her Doctorate Degree from Yale Law School and her Master of Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
When Saujani ran for a New York House seat in 2010, she made history by becoming the only Indian-American woman to do so. She conducted the very first electoral operation before the election utilizing platforms like Square to collect contributions. Additionally, she observed the male / female disparity in technology courses directly whilst touring community campuses throughout the election.
Girls Who Code was established in 2012 by Saujani to close the gender divide in the technology sector. It offers classes from grade 3 until graduation. The group provides internet tools, publications, after-school groups, university programs, summer participation, and summer immersive experience programs. More than 450,000 girls have received services from the organization to date, with around half coming from underprivileged neighborhoods of Black, Latina, and low-income girls.
Gwynne Shotwell, president and COO of SpaceX
Gwynne Shotwell graduated from Northwestern University with a BSc and an MSc in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics, respectively. Following completion, Shotwell joined the management development program at Chrysler Corporation to launch a journey in the auto sector. She soon changed her mind, though, and began working on projects with Aerospace Corp. in El Segundo, California, for government space exploration. There, she worked as the MLV-class satellite program’s principal scientist and conducted studies and policy development for the Federal Aviation Administration and NASA on corporate space travel.
She was a strong contender for SpaceX in 2002 due to her enthusiasm for space travel. She joined SpaceX as vice president of commercial growth, the company’s 11th employee. Shotwell has now been named the firm’s president and COO, and she is now in charge of daily administration as well as marketing and business development.
It is the very first privately owned company to launch a commercialized spacecraft into space and deploy astronauts to the ISS and SpaceX was also the ﬁrst corporate entity to launch people into space. Additionally, it operates the biggest corporate satellite network in the world. Shotwell was included in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most significant individuals in the globe in 2020 and was admitted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame.
Want to achieve tremendous peaks such as these remarkable women in technology? Perseverance and hard work will make it possible. The destination might be far but not unreachable.
Also, here’s an interesting guide if you want to read more about women in tech.
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