Meet 20 of the most powerful women in the tech world
Will The Gender Gap Be A Thing Of The Past In Technology Companies? These Women Decision-makers Are Certainly Leading The Way
According to HackerRank’s Women in Tech report, women now represent the highest number of new CS grads and junior developers (53%) entering the workforce. What’s more, women often learn to code as young teenagers: almost as many women learned before the age of 16 as men who did the same. It’s not all good news. The report also looks at employment trends for female software developers. One such trend shows that women are struggling to advance in their careers, and increasingly languish in junior-level roles.
There’s a long way to go but technology companies are increasingly aware of the gender gap and more importantly, what that means to bottom line. Let’s take a look at a few unbelievable talented women who broke the glass ceiling with a bang!
Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM
Ginni Rometty began her career with IBM in 1981 in Detroit. Since then she has held a series of leadership positions, most recently as senior vice president and group executive, IBM sales, marketing, and strategy.
Earlier she served as senior vice president, IBM Global Business Services, where she led the successful integration of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting. This acquisition was the largest in professional services history, creating a global team of more than 100,000 business consultants and services experts. Rometty serves on the Council on Foreign Relations, the board of trustees of Northwestern University, and the board of overseers and board of managers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Susan Wojcicki, CEO, YouTube
Susan Wojcicki has been CEO of YouTube since February 2014. She advocated for Google’s $1.65 billion acquisition of YouTube in 2006; the video site is now worth an estimated $90 billion. Google’s 16th employee, hired in 1999, she started as the search firm’s first marketing manager and later headed all marketing and commerce.
Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
Sheryl Sandberg is a tech leader, activist, and author. She is the chief operating officer (COO) of Facebook and founder of Leanin.org. In June 2012, she was elected to the board of directors by the existing board members, becoming the first woman to serve on Facebook’s board. Before she joined Facebook as its COO, Sandberg was vice president of global online sales and operations at Google, and was involved in launching Google’s philanthropic arm Google.org. Before Google, Sandberg served as chief of staff for United States Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers.
Gwynne Shotwell, COO, SpaceX
Gwynne Shotwell is the company’s president and chief operating officer (COO), making her Elon Musk’s second-in-command.
Shotwell’s story is especially important because of scarce women are in the field of aerospace, which is mostly populated by men. Her entry into the world of engineering was not her original plan. Her mother suggested she should try it since she was struggling to think of what she wanted to be after finishing her studies. It was when they attended a panel discussion by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) that she finally understood what she truly wanted to do in life.
Weili Dai – Co Founder-President, Marvell Technology Group Ltd
As the only female Co-founder of a global semiconductor company, Weili Dai is considered both a pioneer and a tech visionary — one whose strategic thinking, business acumen, technical insights and leadership skills have been critical to Marvell’s success. Dai served a pivotal role in creating some of Marvell’s most important strategic partnerships and, under her leadership, the company’s technology became integral to many of the world’s most important products in the enterprise, communications, mobile computing, consumer and emerging markets. She has also become a driving force in building bridges between the United States and China, particularly in the arenas of education and green technology.
Amy Hood, CFO, Microsoft
As Chief Financial Officer, Amy Hood is responsible for leading Microsoft’s worldwide finance organization, including acquisitions, treasury activities, tax planning, accounting and reporting, and internal audit and investor relations.
Prior to this role, Hood was Chief Financial Officer of Microsoft’s Business Division, responsible for the company’s productivity applications and services including Microsoft Office 365, Office, SharePoint, Exchange, Dynamics ERP and Dynamics CRM. During her time in the Business Division, Hood helped lead the transition to the company’s Office 365 service, and she was deeply involved in the strategy development and overall execution of the company’s successful acquisitions of Skype and Yammer.
Hood joined Microsoft in 2002 and previously held positions in the Server and Tools Business as well as the corporate finance organization. Prior to 2002, she worked at Goldman Sachs & Co. in various investment banking and capital markets groups roles.
Safra Catz, Co-CEO, Oracle
Safra snagged a $US56.9 million salary package last year, which catapulted her to the top of the list of women rounded up by the Bloomberg’s Pay Index – a list of the 200 best-paid executives at companies that trade on US exchanges. However, on the list overall, she came in at no. 18, after 17 men. She was awarded $US10.5 million in special equity that accompanied her promotion in addition to annual stock grants, apart from her salary.
Safra is an Israeli-born American business leader. She has been an executive at Oracle Corporation since April 1999, and a board member since 2001. In April 2011 she was named co-president and chief financial officer, reporting to founder/CTO Larry Ellison. On September 18, 2014 Oracle announced that Larry Ellison will step down as CEO and that Mark Hurd and Safra Catz have been named as the new CEOs.
Ruth Porat, CFO, Alphabet
Ruth Porat is Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice President of Alphabet Inc. She also serves as the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Google since May 2015. Prior to joining Google, she served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Morgan Stanley since January 2010. She previously served as Vice Chairman of Investment Banking from September 2003 to December 2009 and as Global Head of the Financial Institutions Group from September 2006 through December 2009. Ruth is Vice Chair of the Stanford University Board of Trustees, a Board Director at The Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Advisory Council of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution.
Meg Whitman, former CEO, HPE
Meg Whitman is an American business executive, political activist, and philanthropist. Whitman served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, a role she announced on November 20, 2017, that she will resign effective February 1, 2018. Whitman was a senior member of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaigns in both 2008 and 2012 and ran for governor of California as a Republican but supported Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Renee James – former President, Intel
Renée James is currently the Chairman and CEO of Ampere Computing, which produces high-performance processors for compute, storage, and other cloud computing needs. James also serves as an operating executive for The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager. In her role with Carlyle, James evaluates new technology investments for the firm as well as advises portfolio companies on their strategic direction and operational efficiency.
Ursula Burns – Chair-CEO, Xerox
In 2009, Burns became CEO of Xerox, making her the first black woman CEO to head a Fortune 500 company, and the first woman to succeed another woman as head of a Fortune 500 company. Burns served as Xerox CEO from 2009 to 2016 and Xerox chairwoman from 2010 to 2017. In 2014, Forbes rated her the 22nd most powerful woman in the world. Among other civic positions, she was a leader of the STEM program of the White House from 2009 to 2016, and head of the President’s Export Council from 2015 until 2016. Last year, VEON named former Xerox chief Ursula Burns as its chairwoman on Monday, as the telecoms operator undertakes corporate governance reforms and a makeover as a global online services company.
Irish Anshel, Chief Scientist, SecureRF Corp
Dr. Anshel is an accomplished mathematician and cryptographer who invented and developed the foundational group theoretic methods that underlie all SecureRF protocols along with Dr. Dorian Goldfeld and Dr. Michael Anshel. In addition to extensive research and publishing, she has experience in the commercialization of security technology. As a co-founder of Arithmetica, she was responsible for documenting methods for commercial deployment of new cryptography protocols, including the AAG Braid Group Cryptosystem, and she supported sales and business development activity. She is the co-inventor of the core Group Theoretic Cryptography methods used and developed by SecureRF and is a co-author of the patents on these cryptographically secure methods.
Dr. Anshel earned a Master’s degree and Doctorate in Philosophy from Columbia University. She received a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree from City College of New York. Dr. Anshel also served as a National Science Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow at Barnard College, Columbia University.
Michelle Fleury, Corporate Senior Director, Data Protection Officer, Cisco Systems
Michelle leads the Supply Chain Transformation (SCT) team for Cisco. Her team plays a critical role in enabling the supply chain to execute on fundamentals and to adapt rapidly to the changing needs of the business and of Cisco’s customers. SCT is essential in creating supply chain strategy, digitizing the supply chain, providing leadership in acquisition integration, and partnering to develop the operational model for Cisco’s expanding businesses.
Prior to Supply Chain, Michelle lead the Data Protection team within the Security and Trust Organization for Cisco as Chief Data Protection Officer. In her time with the Data Protection Program she built a framework that encompassed corporate data governance, enterprise-wide data incident response, and a comprehensive security certification and compliance strategy.
Shawn Stavseth, Digital Strategy and Innovation Adviser, Cargill
Shawn is a technology innovation catalyst with more than 21 years experience driving growth for organizations. She has an extensive background in product development, marketing and innovation. She is currently working at Cargill as a Digital Strategy and Innovation Advisor in their newly formed Digital Labs. Cargill Digital Labs is a highly innovative space with a goal to bring a 150-year-old agriculture company into the digital future. They have done everything from putting health monitors, like a Fitbit, on cows to using drones, internet of things and robots on the farm.
Judy Faulkner, CEO, Epic Systems
Forbes named Ms. Faulkner the most successful female technology company founder, citing her net worth at $2.6 billion. Forbes previously ranked her as No. 6 on its “America’s Self-Made Women” list.
The first office of Epic was comprised of three part-time employees in the basement of an apartment in Madison. Epic was originally named Human Services Computing. Human Services Computing began with a $6,000 investment, part of which came from Ms. Faulkner’s parents. Today’s Epic is entirely self-funded, as Faulkner and Epic’s early leadership did not raise money from venture capitalists or private equity investors, according to Forbes. Epic also has offices in The Netherlands, Dubai, Singapore and Copenhagen. Epic employs approximately 8,000 people in jobs such as software developers, technical problem solvers, project managers, user experience designers and other roles. Epic is privately and employee-owned. In order to ensure the company remains private, Faulkner created a charitable foundation that her stock will go into and allow the company to remain privately held. The foundation is called the Epic Heritage Foundation.
Jean Liu, President, Didi Chuxing
Jean Liu is the president of Didi Chuxing, China’s and the world’s largest ride-sharing company. It also offers services like bike-sharing and car rentals. Jean is one of Fortune’s 2015 Global 40 Under 40 Business Leaders, and topped the Fortune 2015 China 40 Under 40 Business Leaders list together with Cheng Wei, DiDi’s CEO. In the same year, Jean was named one of China’s 25 Most Influential Business Women by Fortune, and one of China’s Most Influential Women by Women in China. She was named one of China’s Top Women Business Leaders in 2013 and 2014 by China Entrepreneurs Magazine.
Roshni Nadar Malhotra, CEO and Executive Director of the $7.5 billion enterprise HCL Corporation, is responsible for strategic decisions regarding the overall direction of the organization. She is also a Director on the Board of one of the group companies, HCL Technologies, a leading global technology and IT company. Additionally, Roshni is the Chairman of the CSR Committee for the HCL Technologies Board and is responsible for providing strategic direction to all HCL Foundation initiatives.
Cyra Richardson, General Manager, AI and IoT, Microsoft
Cyra Richardson is General Manager for Business Development for Microsoft’s cross-company initiative on the Internet of Things (IoT) an Artificial Intelligence (AI). Her ecosystem team focuses on delivering solutions and partnerships to accelerate IoT solutions for our customers. The AI team focuses on delivering solutions and partnerships to democratize augmenting human intelligence. Cyra has enjoyed a long productive career in the industry. She started working at a market research startup in Philadelphia the fledgling IBM PC to cross-tabulate large data sets at 14 years old.
Archana Jain, Chief Information Officer, Verizon Partner Solutions
Archana Jain is the CIO at Verizon Partner Solutions, serving Verizon’s Wholesale and Enterprise customers. In her current role, Archana leads a technology team spanning four continents in support of the technology enablement of Finance, Sales and Service operations and Managed Services. Archana is also leading the Digital transformation across the organization.
Archana is championing the culture transformation with the adoption of Design Thinking, Agile practice and the use of Emergent technologies.
Tina Gravel, Senior VP of Global Channels and Strategic Alliances, Cryptzone
Last year, Tina was named a Trailblazer in the second annual Cloud Girls Rising: Women to Watch Award presented at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo. The Cloud Girls Rising Awards are presented by Cloud Girls, a not-for-profit consortium of women evangelizing the cloud, in collaboration with Women in the Channel (WiC), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of female channel leaders in technology, and Channel Partners, the leading resource for the telecom and IT channel community.
Since joining Cryptzone, Gravel has been an education agent for positive change in the channel about what it takes to protect and secure the cloud. Gravel leads Cryptzone’s initiatives to create new tools that help cloud sellers understand and guide their clients to secure solutions that protect their clouds. She advises Cryptzone to be a “channel first” organization and provides incentives to the channel for qualification and identification.