I have always grown up to admire women who make exemplary strides in life. No matter the field or area of expertise, as long as a woman is behind that success, it makes a great impression on me. That is not to say that I do not appreciate men as well, I do. But if you happened to grow up in a society like mine or have my kind of experience you would understand my point of view.
That being said, I have always associated the words “Tech Enthusiast” to my profile, but I have never truly believed in my tech abilities simply because I do not code. On a personal note, I have always believed that coding is the highest form of tech, but my perception is being changed as I write this article.
Tech as easily remembered by the majority of young people around the world is more than just coding and programming. It cuts across several sectors and is divided into four categories as outlined by Chuck Fried via LinkedIn the article The Four Categories of Technology Decisions and Strategy.
The four categories he outlined with their subcategories include:
A.Cost Control: Innovation, Big data, Integrated, and Service Oriented Architecture.
B.Revenue generation: Big data, and Mobile.
C.Security and compliance: Cloud
D.New initiatives: the Internet of everything, personnel, and staffing.
With the knowledge gathered from his article, I have put together a list of female achievers in tech and their profiles. As a young woman (or man) interested in tech who may be confounded about the best field to break into, I am hoping that the profiles of these women will fill in the missing links.
1.Annie Marie Imafidon: (Big data) She is a British computing, mathematics and language child prodigy. She worked for a short while at Goldman Sachs, Hewlett Packard, and Deutsche bank before she went on to establish Stemettes in 2013. She championed the work of women in STEM (SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, and MATHEMATICS). Stemettes as an organization creates panel sessions and hackathons to support girls and young women with interest in a STEM career. Twitter: @aimafidon
2.Marita Cheng: (Big Data/Innovation) She founded Nudge in 2007; a company that provides reminders via phone or text message to individuals in order to help them manage their prescription drug schedules. She also launched Robogals in 2008; a company established to encourage young women into careers in STEM fields. Twitter: @maritacheng
3.Ursula Burns: (Big Data/Mobile) She started out an intern at Xerox, went through various roles in product development, management and engineering. In 2009 she became senior vice president of corporate strategic services, and in 2009 she became CEO and in 2010, she became chairman of the board. In 2009, she was selected by President Barack Obama to help lead the STEM Education Coalition. She has served on the board of Exxon Mobil, Uber, and VEON. Twitter: @UrsulaBurns
Jasmine Anteunis: (Innovation) She founded Recast, an artificial intelligence chatbot company. She is an alumnus of 42, a progressive programming school. Recast was also one of the first startups to be incubated in Europe’s largest business accelerator station F. React provides services for more than 20 high profile customers. Twitter: @JasmineAnteunis
Diane Greene: (Cloud) She was appointed CEO of Google cloud in 2015 after startup Bebop Tech was acquired. She also co-founded and served as CEO of VMware; a cloud computing and platform visualization software company which was acquired by DELL. She is most times referred to as the mother of Cloud computing. Linkedin: Diane Greene.
6.Funke Okpeke: (Integration and Service-oriented Architecture) She was a former Verizon executive who joined public telecoms company NITEL. She raised $2440 million in funds and laid 4.400 miles of fiber optic cable from Nigeria to Portugal. She reinvented Nigeria’s internet presence from being associated with scam, to an environment for interaction for international business opportunities. Twitter: @funkeokpeke
7.Joy Buolamwini: (AI/ Big Data) She is the founder of the Algorithmic Justice League. She is also a computer scientist and a digital activist based at the MIT media lab. The Algorithmic Justice League is an organization that looks to challenge the bias in Code that leads to the discrimination of underrepresented groups. Twitter: @jovialjoy.
8.Manal AL Sharif: (Security and compliance) She is first known for her movement which resulted in reversing the law to allow women to drive. She is an IT security specialist at Saudi Aramco. She is also the founder of Women2Hack Academy, a program that aims to foster tech talent in Saudi Arabia, with a focus on informative security. Twitter: @manal_alsharif
9.Periame Boring: (Innovator) Founder of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, a non-profit trade association with 200-plus members. She interned at the White House as a legislative analyst in The US House of Representative. Her company has launched global initiatives promoting best practices, real-world applications, and regulatory interoperability. She is also an adjunct professor of blockchain at Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business. Twitter: @PerianneDC
10.Jennifer Chayes: (Big Data) I will put this quote by her up here because in so many ways I could relate with it. She said
“ You shouldn’t let your fear about your own abilities or a fear that you might be an impostor or something have any bearing on the kind of decisions that you make. You should just take that part of your brain and say thank you for sharing and just put it aside. We all have that part of our brain and if I’d listened to that part of my brain, I would have lived a very boring life”
She is a distinguished scientist and Managing Director at Microsoft Research. Chayes holds a Ph.D. in Mathematical Physics from Princeton University. Twitter: @jenniferchayes.
11.Sanja Fidler: (Robotics/AI) She is the director of AI at NVIDA’s new Toronto Lab, conducting cutting edge research projects in machine learning, computer vision, graphics, and the intersection of language and vision. She is also the assistant professor at the department of computer science, University of Toronto. She has also served as a program chair of the 3DV conference and an area chair of CVPR, EMNLP, ICCV, ICLR, and NIPS. Twitter: fidlersanja
Sougwen Chung: (Robotics/AI) She is known for the mark-made-by-hand and the mark-made-by-machine as an approach to understanding the interaction between humans and computers. Her speculative critical practice spans installation, sculpture, still image, drawing, and performance. She is a former researcher fellow at MITS’s media lab and an inaugural member of new INC. Twitter: @sougwen
Ida Tin: (Mobile) She is the founder of CLUE, a woman menstruation-tracking app. Before establishing CLUE, she ran a motorcycle tour company based in Denmark with her father. In 2013, she co-founded CLUE with Hans Raffauf, Moritz Van Buttlar, and Mark Lavigne in Berlin Germany. As of 2018, CLUE had 10 million users in 190 countries. She is also credited for coining the term “Femtech”, a term used to refer to technology designed for women health. Twitter: @idatin
14.Melanie Perkins: (Mobile) She is the founder of the very popular app called Canva. If you are conversant with small scale graphics design/phone graphics design, you can relate with Canva easily. In order to make design software simple, online and collaborative, she set out to create Canva. As of today, more than 10 million people use Canva in 179 countries.Twitter: @Melaniecanva
15.Jeanne Achille: (HR/Personnel Staffing) She was the chair of the Women in HR Tech Summit for Women in HR Tech Conference and Expo. She is also the founder and CEO of the Devon Group. At the inception of her career, she also designed the first PC-based HRMS (Human Resources Management System). She has helped to promote and launch hundreds of tech products and companies. Twitter: @jeanneachille
16.Linda Ginnac: (HR/Personnel Staffing) She is the founder and CEO of Talent Guard. She is the author of the book Fake Perfection; My journey from broken trust to trust broker. Before founding Talent Guard, she had founded and managed a successful career development franchise called the Ginac group. Linda is a seasoned executive with a successful track record of bringing innovative technology to market. Twitter: @LindaGinac
18.Lisa Deluca: (IoT) She leads a team called App factory; that focuses on bringing IoT use cases to market, furthering the industry through innovation. Deluca is an IBM Distinguished Engineer for IBM Watson Internet of Things. She is also the author of two children’s books that aim to bring technological ideas to children in order to help inspire future tech and IoT innovators @lisaseacat.
19.Ellen Rubin: (Cloud) She is the CEO and Co-founder of Clear Sky Data. Rubin is an experienced entrepreneur with a record in leading strategy, market positioning and go-to-market efforts for some fast-growing companies. Clear Sky Data is known for having a storage network that simplifies the entire data lifecycle and delivers enterprise storage as a fully managed service. She recently became the co-founder of Cloud Switch, a cloud enablement software company that was acquired by Verizon in 2011. Twitter: @ellen_rubin.
20.Tamar Bercovici: (Cloud) She is the first woman on the backend/infrastructure team at Box and oversees the company’s annual Hackathon. As a leader at Box, Tamar scaled the cloud content management and file sharing service to handle millions of queries per second searching hundreds of billions of records. She also holds a technology patent for updating data in cloud computing systems. Twitter: @TamarBercovici.