50 Women in the Tech Industry Every Man Should Know
The tech industry is a sector dominated by men. You’ve probably heard about well-known tech giants like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg, but you might not know about the equally impressive female tech gurus. Research shows that almost 80% of students cannot name a single famous woman working in tech. To solve this problem, we’ve got a list of the top 50 women in the tech industry you should know about!
Despite the contributions made by women to the tech industry, even at tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple — women make up less than 30% of all employees. Although teams of both men and women are responsible for innovative technologies like the smartphone or computer games, women hold a meager 25% of leadership roles available.
In the field of computer science alone, a gender balance isn’t expected until approximately 2100. But why wait 80 years?
This list is just a taste of the female innovators, visionaries, and founders taking tech by storm. They are living proof that with perseverance, anyone — regardless of gender — can succeed in the tech industry.
Quick Guide: 50 Women in the Tech Industry Every Man Should Know
The Top 50 Women in Tech You Need to Know
1. Christine Spiten — Engineer and Co-Founder of Blueye Robotics
As a co-founder of Blueye Robotics, Christine Spiten oversees the design, creation, and sales of underwater drones controlled by phones. Blueye robots are designed to dive 150 meters deep into the ocean with the aim to expand human knowledge on underwater beauty as well as the dangers sea life faces. Spiten wants to use her product as both a discovery tool and a way to teach the public about the effects of global warming.
2. Melanie Perkins — CEO and Co-Founder of Canva
Melanie Perkins is one of the youngest female CEOs in the world. At just 22 years old, she started leading her own tech startup company, Canva. The popular, free-to-use online design platform is based on the same technology as Fusion Books, which Perkins created to help her classmates design their yearbooks. Due to the simple style and ease of use, Canva is now widely used across the world for both business and personal designs. It’s currently valued at over $1 billion.
3. Marissa Mayer — IT Executive and Co-Founder of Lumi Labs
Marissa Mayer is an Artificial Intelligence specialist, IT executive, and Co-Founder of Lumi Labs. Her greatest achievements include designing the layout of Google’s popular search homepage and leading Yahoo! to impressive growth. When Yahoo! was sold in 2017, Mayer moved on to creating her own business, called Lumi Labs. Marissa Mayer has multiple patents in her name in both AI and interface design. She was also named on Forbes “40 under 40” list.
4. Charity Wanjiku — CEO & Co-Founder of Strauss Energy Ltd.
Charity Wanjiku is a leader in the renewable energy industry in Africa. Aiming at reducing energy poverty in Kenya, she created an innovative solar power system, which combines solar cells with traditional roofing materials. Stima roofing tiles come equipped with a meter that measures energy use and recycles unused energy back to the national grid. Her tiles guarantee no blackouts as well as lower bills for homeowners. Wanjiku’s innovative idea aims to fully reduce Kenyan energy poverty in rural areas by 2030.
5. Pauline Van Dongen — Founder and Creative Director at Pauline van Dongen Studio
Pauline van Dongen, who launched her own studio at just 24 years old, is a very unusual fashion designer. All of her projects are equipped with wearable technology. Among her most popular designs are cardigans that measure movements of elderly wearers, tops that correct posture, and a jacket that strokes the wearer’s back in response to touch. With her idea, Pauline aims to show that you can naturalize technology and make it a part of everyday life.
6. Anita Schjøll Brede — CEO and Co-Founder of Iris.AI
Anita Schjøll Brede launched her company, Iris.AI, as the first AI search tool designed to make research more organized and productive. The startup came to life when Brede discovered that due to the lack of affordable and efficient search methods, research teams spend approximately 3 weeks creating a reading list. Designed to work like a human brain, Iris.AI extracts keywords and analyzes word frequency in scientific papers. Because of its algorithm, it is able to read through published work 90% faster than any other research method. Iris.AI is now widely used around the world as an online research tool.
7. Patricia Scanlon — CEO and Co-Founder of SoapBox Labs
Patricia Scanlon has been working in Speech Recognition and AI for 20 years. In 2013, she launched SoapBox Labs in order to develop AI voice and speech recognition apps to enhance children’s language learning. Her idea came from noticing the lack of artificial intelligence products tailored to the youngest generation. SoapBox Labs currently has over 25,000 different children’s voices in their database and each of their devices can adapt to a specific child’s needs.
8. Helena Samsioe — CEO and Founder of GLOBHE Drones
With her extensive experience in Disaster Management, Helena Samsioe realized that technology and drones could be used to help people exposed to dangerous living conditions. In 2015, she launched GLOBHE — a humanitarian drone service company. The startup utilizes drones to analyze and share maps between its users all over the world in order to prevent and respond to disasters quicker. Apart from collecting bird’s eye footage of natural catastrophes, GLOBHE uses drones to deliver medicine and medical tools to those in need.
9. Tammarrian Rogers — Director of Engineering at Snap Inc.
Tammarrian Rogers has over 30 years of experience in both hardware and software development. Currently, as a head of engineering at Snap Inc., she oversees the design and improvement of code quality. She’s also responsible for the usability and effectiveness of Snapchat, Spectacles, and Bitmoji. She has paved the way for many other women of color in the industry as one of the first black female employees at tech giants like Microsoft and Apple.
10. Tal Rabin — Head of Cryptography Research Group at IBM
As a female engineer, Tal Rabin ranks among the 22 most powerful women tech specialists in the world, according to Business Insider. She’s responsible for designing the most efficient and secure encryption algorithms used worldwide. Her aim is to make online communications more secure for everyone. In her lifetime, she has co-authored over 100 scientific papers, intending to make encryption and cybersecurity more accessible to the general public.
11. Maru Nihoniho — Founder and Managing Director at Metia Interactive
Video games can serve a bigger purpose than just entertainment, which is the prime reason behind Maru Nihoniho’s startup, Metia Interactive. The company designs and develops free online games aimed at young people with mental health issues. Their most popular creation, Sparx, helps teenagers deal with depression and anxiety through gameplay, which uses simple Cognitive Behavior Therapy tasks. Due to the importance and impact of Sparx, Maru Nihoniho was named Innovator of the Year at the Xbox 2017 MCV Pacific Women in Games Awards.
12. Funke Opeke — CEO of MainOne Cable Company, Founder of Main Street Technologies
Funke Opeke is an electrical engineer with over 20 years of experience working in US telecoms. As the Internet started to take over the world, she moved back to Nigeria and very quickly noticed its low online connectivity. She started MainOne with the aim of putting the country and the rest of the continent online. After raising an impressive $240 million in funding, she successfully laid over 7,000km of underwater high capacity internet cable. Her actions boosted the African economy due to the growth of online banking, retail websites, and online booking services.
13. Neha Narkhede — Co-Founder of Confluent
Growing up in Indian suburbia, Neha Narkhede had to work extra hard to leave her mark on the tech industry. Her persistence and determination led her to co-founding what is now the most popular streaming data technology company, Confluent. The site focuses on managing large scale real-time data using Apache Kafka — a stream-processing software developed by Narkhede. The software has since been released as an open-source, enabling other platforms to use and improve Narkhede’s code. Today Confluent is a $2.5 billion company, with Netflix and Lyft as its customers.
14. Katie Moussouris — Founder and CEO of Luta Security
Katie Moussouris, both a self-taught software developer and cybersecurity expert, was one of the first females to focus on creating bug bounty programs. At Luta Security, she advises companies and governments on online security and vulnerability disclosures. Starting her bug bounty programs at Microsoft, she was recognized by the US Department of Defence, where she developed “Hack the Pentagon” and “Hack the Airforce” schemes for hackers. Moussouris is also an active public speaker who advocates for better internet safety across the world.
15. Komal Mangtani — Senior Director and Head of Engineering and Business Intelligence at UBER
As a head of engineering at Uber, Komal Mangtani has helped the company grow to 5.5 million monthly users and $11.3 billion in yearly revenue. During her first 4 years at Uber, she built multiple learning-driven business machines, which improved payment process, tax engines, and fraud detection. Beyond her title, Mangtani has worked to lessen the industry’s gender gap, making sure Uber offers a variety of roles to everyone, regardless of their gender or cultural background. She also serves on the board of Women Who Code and donated $1.2 billion to Girls Who Code to increase diversity in computer science.
16. Jean Liu — President of Didi Chuxing
Climbing the career ladder as a woman in China is not easy, but Jean Liu persevered. Following her success at Goldman Sachs, she became the president of Didi Chuxing, China’s largest mobile transportation platform. Didi Chuxing’s transportation app, DiDi, currently serves over 400 million users across 400 cities. Encouraged by the app’s success in China, Liu is now working on expanding the company and growing it in Mexico and South America.
17. Carol Shaw — First Female Game Designer and Developer
Recognized as the first professional female video game designer, Carol Shaw is an iconic game developer. She designed some of the most popular retro games on Atari 2600, like 3D Tic-Tac-Toe, Video Checkers, and River Raid — which is regarded as an Atari masterpiece. Shaw quickly became a vital part of Atari as a go-to developer, especially for the most difficult programming tasks. Despite retiring almost 20 years ago, Shaw is still an important part of the gaming industry and was recently awarded the 2017 Industry Icon Award at the Game Awards.
18. Megan Smith — CEO of shift7
Megan Smith is an award-winning tech engineer, responsible for making the internet widely available to the general public. While serving under Barack Obama As the first female Chief Technology Officer of the US, she helped the former president understand the power of online data and the need for constant innovation. During her time with the government, Smith opened more than 200,000 general public data sets, like weather and maps, and made them available online. She also focused on making the tech industry interesting and accessible through various initiatives, including the government-run program TechHire.
19. Leanne Kemp — Founder and CEO of Everledger
Everledger is a startup company created and led by a self-taught engineer, Leanne Kemp. Alongside her team of Everleger, she aspires to increase transparency within the valuable market industry. Kemp developed a set of technologies like blockchain, Radio-frequency identification (RFID), and data matrix coding used by stakeholders and industry partners to track the journey of diamonds from mines to expert stores. In order to tackle money laundering and general fraud, she is now looking to expand her business to verify fine wine, gemstones, and metals.
20. Christy Wyatt — CEO of Absolute
Absolute Software Corporation develops and sells computer software designed to monitor and track computers across the globe. The program, developed by CEO Christy Wyatt, is currently installed on over half a billion different devices in over 12,000 companies worldwide. Thanks to this software, multiple businesses were able to find and recover lost or stolen laptops. Now, Wyatt is guiding her company in shifting its focus from being a simple ‘track-and-trace’ tech security provider to an online security leader.
21. Marita Cheng — CEO and Founder of Aubot
Marita Cheng combines her interest in robotics with a deep desire to help those in need. With her team at Aubot, she designed and marketed a telepresence robot called Teleport to enable a person’s virtual presence in a desired place. With Teleport, children in hospitals can attend schools, people with disabilities can still participate in tasks at work, and relatives and volunteers can monitor and socialize with the elderly. As well as leading Aubot, Cheng co-founded Aipoly — a smartphone app that can recognize and relay objects in real time to visually impaired people.
22. Susan Wojcicki — CEO of YouTube
Susan Wojcicki is possibly one of the biggest names in the modern tech industry. Her career developed at Google, where she kickstarted AdSense, earning the company its first big check. She’s also the reason why Google’s iconic logo changes according to holidays and special events. Encouraged by her success, she persuaded her colleagues to purchase YouTube, which was only a small but promising website at the time. As the CEO of the online video platform, she supervised the creation and release of YouTube Gaming, YouTubeTV, and YouTube Music. Wojcicki has been responsible for the platform since 2014.
23. Jules Coleman — Co-Founder of Resi
Jules Coleman got the idea for her business while looking for a new house renovation project online. Feeling increasingly frustrated with how difficult it was to assess the building’s potential through a few pictures, she pinpointed a gap in the market for investors like her. Despite her lack of programming knowledge, she successfully launched Resi — the first website that lets its users design a house online. The success of Resi.com earned her multiple tech awards as well as the title of “Internet Hero.”
24. Jade le Maitre — Technical Director and Co-Founder of Hease Robotics
Jade le Maitre found her passion in the science communication sector through her research project in human-robot interactions. Hease Robotics was founded to increase work efficiency by developing and providing autonomous customer service robots. To this day, the company provides robots to shops, airports, offices, and museums in France. Maitre’s most popular clients are Total (an oil and gas company) and Leclerc. Recently, Le Maitre created a website alongside her business, Lyon-Is-AI, in order to promote positive opinions about robots and AI.
25. Karen Dolva — CEO and Co-Founder of No Isolation
Karen Dolva is living proof that you don’t have to have a lot of experience to start a successful company. She set up No Isolation right after graduating as an expert in UX design. With the aim of reducing general social isolation, she has been working on developing “warm” technology for those who struggle to stay connected. Dolva designed and built a telepresence robot called AV1, which is used in hospitals and homes for children with long-term illnesses. She’s also behind the invention of KOMP — a one-button screen for the elderly that enables them to participate in social events online.
26. Eileen Burbidge — Co-Founder of Passion Capital
The Queen of British Venture Capital (as described by Fortune Magazine), Eileen Burbidge stands behind the success of many small and medium sized corporations, including Monzo Bank and Butternut Box. Her extensive experience in high positions at Skype, Sun, Apple, and Yahoo! enabled her to see potential in numerous startup companies. With Passion Capital, she carefully invests in and oversees the growth of promising businesses. On top of that, she occupies the position of Chair of Tech City UK for the Mayor of London’s Office.
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