The gender bias is a serious issue that has prevented women from achieving their true potential for a long time. Luckily, things are changing now for the good. Millennial women find themselves in a transformed workplace with fair opportunities and equal rights. Although the gender bias still exists and there’s still long way to go, the trends indicate that we’re on the right path. Many age-old gender stereotypes are slowly fading away and being replaced by the realization that having women in the leading roles can result in a healthy and dynamic workforce. However, there were women who shattered the glass ceilings way before this transformation happened and made it big in the tech world. Here are the ten most influential women in the technology arena today.
According to Forbes, the ex-Google employee and current COO at Facebook has a net worth of $1.37 billion. Being the second show-runner at Facebook, Sheryl has been the brain behind the ad-centric revenue model of Facebook and made some ingenious moves like sounding off Wall street on the possibility of an IPO. She’s also the one who has supposedly fixed the overly inflated Instagram acquisition deal with Facebook. That’s not all, she is also an author, philanthropist and committed to empowering women across the world to achieve their goals.
Being the president of SpaceX, one of the most innovative tech companies ever, Gwynne Shotwell is an inspiration for women who want to achieve great heights in the technology world. She manages the everyday operations at Elon Musk’s space exploration company. Gwynne has to her credit the closing of the biggest rocket launch deal in history: a contract with Virginia-based satellite communications company called Iridium at a whopping $492 million. She was the 7th employee at SpaceX and has been serving in the current role since 2008.
Whitman is a self-made tech billionaire according to Forbes and was listed among the most powerful women in technology in 2016. She has had a long business journey and have been in the executive teams of Procter, The Walt Disney Company, DreamWorks, Hasbro and Procter before stepping up as the CEO of HP in 2011. She has earned herself a powerful spot in the tech world and is an inspiration for women in tech all over the globe.
Ginny Rometty joined IBM in 1981 and has been with the company for decades now. Currently the CEO, Chairwoman and President, she is also the first woman to head the company. With IBM, she spearheaded huge projects like the purchase of PricewaterCoopers Consulting and was ranked #3 in the list of most powerful women by Fortune magazine in 2015. She’s known for her motivational talks advising women to be risk-takers and not be constricted to others definitions of how high they can go.
Susan Wojcicki is one of the most influential women in the technology world right now. Being one among the earliest employees of Google and the CEO of YouTube now, she has made her share of contributions and influenced the way web search has taken shape. While Google was still in the growing stage, her strategic marketing tactic of convincing universities to include the Google search bar on their websites worked wonders for the search giant.
With an estimated compensation of $82.6 million, Apple’s retail chief Angela is one of the highest paid female executives in the USA. She is also the first female on the executive team led by CEO Tim Cook. At Apple, Angela oversees the online retail and brick and mortar stores. She has to her credit the wonderful transformation of Apple stores by tactful and artistic use of machines. She was ranked #25 in Forbes 2015 list of most powerful women in tech. Angela was the CEO of Burberry before joining Apple.
Ruth Porat has been a long-time Wall street power woman before joining Google’s parent company Alphabet in 2015 as the CFO. The tech giant has employed many smart cost-cutting initiatives post her arrival that has led to improvement in the revenue growth and increase in operating margins. She successfully completed the task of restructuring Google under the new umbrella – Alphabet and showed investors how much the company was worth. Ruth is a cancer survivor and believes that her passion for work is one of the things that helped her beat the disease.
Ursula Burns was the first African-American woman to overcome the race and gender barriers to become the CEO of a fortune 500 company. Burns began her corporate journey as an intern at Xerox in 1980. She got steady promotions and finally became the CEO of Xerox in 2009. Ursula attributes her achievements to the power of loyalty and hard work.
Zhou Qunfei founded Lens Technology, a major touch screen maker company that went public in 2015. Post the public listing of her company, Zhou’s net worth temporarily hit US$10 billion, making her the richest woman in China. Hailing from a humble background in rural China, she rose to be one of the most influential tech entrepreneurs. Her Customers include tech giants such as Apple and Samsung.
Lucy Peng was one among the founders of Alibaba group, which dominates China’s Ecommerce industry now. In 2010, she stepped in as the CEO at Alipay, an online payment services platform by Alibaba with 400 million registered users. Later, she was named as the CEO of Ant Financial and is one of the most powerful women in the tech industry now.
Let’s hope their work and influence would act as an inspiration for women from around the globe to aim big and achieve newer heights.