Tech seminars, conferences, or events have been largely dominated by men. And for a few months, the questions on diversity and women in tech play out, until it is time for the next event. There are lists and discussions held on the topic, but the ball doesn’t move ahead.
Salone Sehgal, CEO of TrulySocial, believes that the problem of women in tech is much deeper. She says, “Even today, when you look at most lists and names there are several repeats, but these women are nevertheless inspiration for younger girls and women to enter into the world of technology.”
We have listed the top five women in technology who are an inspiration for women in tech across the world:
I also say to my team: Do 10 percent of your job shittily. It’s okay to do something shittily. Perfectionism prevents us from taking double steps in our career. We think we have to be perfect, but we don’t. – Reshma Saujani.
Girls Who Code is an organisation that aims to initiate young women into the world of technology. A Fortune report suggests that Girls Who Code has helped place over 10,000 high school girls into programmes where they receive mentoring from women in engineering in organisations of the likes of Facebook and Goldman Sachs. These young girls learn to code, develop apps, and also thrive in the field of technology.
Reshma believes and works hard towards changing the mindsets and expectations that the girls need to be perfect, pretty and nice, while boys need to be brave, tough and strong.
In her Ted Talk she said:
I want women to be comfortable with being imperfect. I immediately see how girls are afraid to try things that they won’t be good in. And women stay with the things they’re good at even if that’s not what they’re put on this earth to do.
Life doesn’t always present you with the perfect opportunity at the perfect time. Opportunities come when you least expect them, or when you’re not ready for them. Rarely are opportunities presented to you in the perfect way, in a nice little box with a yellow bow on top…. Opportunities, the good ones, they’re messy and confusing and hard to recognise. They’re risky. They challenge you.- Susan Wojcicki
Since the early days of Google, Susan has been part of the team and pushing the envelope when it comes to working in the world of technology. Since 1998, Susan is known to have pushed YouTube to innovate and is believed to be responsible for making YouTube a leader in online video content.
Susan is also known to be responsible for AdSense. She came up with the idea of adapting Google’s AdWords into the self-service platform it is today.
I have very personally felt the overwhelming loneliness, self-doubt and frustration that often comes with the minority status of a woman in engineering. As much as I can help others get through or avoid those difficult stretches that I myself had to weather, I’d like to. As a bonus, the more women (and minorities) that enter and don’t leave the field, the better it gets for everyone, including me! – Tracy Chou.
The daughter of Silicon Valley-based computer scientists, Tracy at the age of 27 is known as a star-problem solver and a programmer who started out interning at Facebook and Google before joining on a foundational role at Quora. Tracy is known for her efforts to solve the nagging problem of the dearth of women in technology.
One thing I always tell young girls: Never let anybody tell you you can’t do it. Growing up, they’d look at me like, Really? Even when I did my college visit, I had someone tell me most people change their minds after the first year. I never gave up. Even when I was having teachers tell me, just take a break from math, you can take this class next year. I said, ‘No, I’m going to take it now’. I kept pushing for it. – Michelle Haupt
There are fewer women in technology and engineering space, and even lesser in aerospace engineering. According to Michelle’s bio at the NASA website, she has always been interested in spaceflight and in high school she pushed to take every math and science class available.
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. It is easy to allow insecurities about age/experience level to prevent you from making a big demand, or asking for a meeting with an influential person, or even admitting that you need help. However, if you don’t at least pose the question, it will probably never happen. So go for it! You might be surprised at what can happen if you just ask. – Olivia Pavco-Giaccia
While there are several tales glorifying undergraduate boys who start tech companies, it is now time to focus on women and girls. A major in cognitive science at Yale, Olivia is the Founder and CEO of LabCandy. The platform is aimed at getting children from kindergarten through third grade interested in sciences.
The company creates colourful kits that contain lab coats, DIY goggle kits, stories of a young girl who uses science to save the day.
The top women in tech list is incomplete without a mention of the usual suspects like Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook; Meg Whitman, CEO of HP; Angela Ahrendts, Senior VP at Apple. It is important to take note of all those women who in their ways have been breaking the barriers and glass ceiling.