Written by Account Manager Maeve Taylor and Account Executive Oliver Swan
For women, building a career in technology is not always the easiest path, but it’s time to open the conversation and inspire the next generation. Opportunities and challenges women face in a male-dominated industry will sometimes deter them from their desired path and passions. This International Women’s Day (8th March), we are highlighting some of the best role models in the industry. These women show nothing is impossible with the right mindset, determination, and passion for a successful career. Here is our pick of the most inspirational women in tech.
1. Sarah Clatterbuck, Director of Engineering, Google
First introduced to the industry at university, Sarah developed her skills and academic achievements whilst beginning her career at a tech start-up. Years later, in April 2018, Sarah joined Google as the Director of Engineering to work on the alternative monetization for YouTube. She is also an Executive Sponsor for Google Women in Engineering. She also uses her voice, technical expertise, and her influence to advocate for those whose physical or cognitive abilities present challenges in using products. She has a very active LinkedIn, with great content. It’s worth a look!
2. Ginni Rometty, CEO, IBM
Ginni began her career with a BSC in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and then progressed through the ranks to take a seat at the forefront of one of the tech sector’s biggest organisations. As the CEO of IBM since January 2012, Ginni has been commended for increasing IBM’s commitment to diversity and inclusion through many routes. In 2018, IBM received the Catalyst Award for advancing diversity and women’s initiatives.
3. Michelle Zatlyn, Co-Founder and COO, Cloudflare
Michelle, a Canadian immigrant, met her fellow co-founders of Cloudflare (Matthew Prince and Lee Holloway) at Harvard Business School. Michelle has faced challenges with remaining in the US, being sent back to Canada on her first attempt to move and then finally being granted permission after graduating from Harvard Business School. One of the most inspirational quotes we read whilst researching was from her Marie Claire interview:
"If you ask 10 smart people for advice, you’ll get 7 different answers. At the end of the day, you’re in charge of your career, your life, and all the decisions that come with them"
4. Lisa Su, CEO and President, AMD
Lisa developed an interest in engineering when she was just 10 years old. She followed her passion and studied engineering at University, and following graduation, remained in the tech sector completing a 13-year stint at IBM before moving to AMD. She has climbed through the ranks at AMD, proving how committed she is to the company’s development. In 2017, Lisa was named one of the 'World’s 50 Greatest Leaders’. Su’s career is something to be proud of and helps prove that if you follow your dreams with determination, success will follow.
5. Anne Aaron, Director of Algorithms, Netflix
Anne has some of the biggest tech organisation’s in her resumé such as Dynno, Cisco and now Netflix. Anne has some incredible achievements to her name, including being recognised by Forbes as one of America’s ‘Top Women in Tech’. Despite the success she boasts, Anne explained to Forbes that she can be treated differently in external meetings, believing it is because she is female. She is a proud woman in tech and her pinned tweet (from 2017) proves this!
6. Amy Chang, Senior Vice President, Cisco
With a diverse career in the tech sector, Amy has a proven track record in leveraging intelligence in relationships. She led the expansion of Google Analytics and soon after, launched Accompany in 2012. This artificial intelligence app serves as a "personal assistant" to top executives, offering key insights to aid business growth. Chang now leads Cisco's collaboration business, which includes its WebEx suite of products, telepresence technology and unified communications. She has also been granted a patent for a method and system for obtaining product feedback.
7. Mary Barra, CEO, General Motors
Mary Barra is the first female CEO of a major global automaker. Appointed to this prestigious position in January 2014, Barra was earlier the Executive VP of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain at the company. Barra has featured in Forbes list of the World's Most Powerful Women consecutively for three years. In 2015, Fortune endorsed Mary as the most powerful woman in business. Her Spring Commencement address for the University of Michigan focused on the future path for the next generation and was very well received.
8. Susan Wojcicki, CEO, YouTube
Susan is perceived as one of the most influential women in the world. With numerous impressive academic achievements, Susan began her story in tech by renting her garage to the Google founders in 1998. However, it’s the success she has had that has made her become a well-known figure in the industry and has therefore, seen her name mentioned in some of the most prestigious lists in Business. In 2013, she was top spot on the Adweek Top 50 Execs and in 2018, she placed tenth in the Most Powerful Women list. Her former university has even dubbed her as ‘The most powerful woman on the internet’. Her popularity within the industry speaks volumes about Susan’s success.
9. Marissa Mayer, Co-Founder, Lumi Labs
As an honour student at a prestigious university, it’s easy to understand why Marissa graduated university with numerous outstanding job offers; however, none were accepted. She chose the start-up route. You may have heard of that start-up… Google. As one of the driving forces behind it, Marissa has been at the helm of Google’s success. Due to this accomplishment, Marissa regularly appears on the annual list of America’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. With many achievements under her belt, Marissa has returned to the start-up route with Lumi Labs, a technology studio focused on building consumer applications based on artificial intelligence.
10. Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO, SpaceX
Gwynne has been credited for playing a vital role in the growth of SpaceX. In 2011, she began to gain recognition within the industry by receiving the World Technology Award for her individual achievements in space. With this and numerous other achievements, recognising her influential status in the world of technology, it’s clear why Forbes noted her in their 100 Most Powerful Women list.
We’ve given you a quick lowdown of some of the most notable women in tech. It’s great to see so many inspirational women leading the way at some of the biggest tech companies in the world. It’s also encouraging to see how many are using their position and voice to drive initiatives to support and encourage the next generation of women in tech.
Hopefully, this drives numerous women out there towards their passion and drums up that drive to encourage everyone to follow their dreams through motivated determination.
Happy International Women’s Day from everyone here at TBT Marketing!