Merriam Webster defines technology in two ways:
1.)Simple definition of technology: the use of science in industry, engineering, etc., to invent useful things or to solve problems
2.)Full definition of technology: the practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area: engineering 2 <medical technology> b: a capability given by the practical application of knowledge <a car's fuel-saving technology>
In 2016 technology seems to be far more specific and impressive, than perhaps the antiquated definitions that define what it is.
Technology exists all around us – from the vehicles we drive, the traffic lights we pay attention to, the computers, laptops, apple watches and mobile phones we use throughout the day, workout equipment, gardening and lawn care tools, medical solutions – even the way we read the newspaper or make plans with friends and family has been completely revolutionized with the advancement of technology.
However, when we begin to think about who is behind the face and name of our favorite tech companies and providers – we often think of men.
Apple’s Steve Jobs and Tim Cook. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. In fact the list continues of recent tech – Foursquare, Tumblr, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, eBay, LinkedIn, Netflix, Uber… the list of the everyday technologies that we use are overwhelmingly run, founded, and operated by men.
And for some reason, though the workforce and education of women is increasing – the amount of women in technology is drastically decreasing year over year.
This decrease of women in technology comes at a time when tech companies are purposefully trying to attract women. Opportunities and benefits such as longer paid maternity/paternity offers, advocating for more women in leadership roles, developing woman to woman mentorship programs such as Cisco and American Express have, and many more are merely a miniscule representation of what efforts major technology companies are doing to try and attract more women in tech.
Yet despite these attempts and efforts, the amount of women in technology, especially in high level/c-level roles, is minute. Women only hold 14% of c-level positions in companies, and that number is even less for women in c-level roles at technology companies: a mere 11%.
Don’t be discouraged, however. Technology is an amazing field, and one that has helped improve, change, and revolutionize the world we live in. And women play an amazing role in it too!
In fact, these 9 women are changing the game and empowering other women to jump head first into the world of technology as well.
1. Youtube CEO – Susan Wojcicki
Not many realize that Youtube’s CEO – Susan Wojcicki is a woman – a married woman with 5 young children none the less. Wojcicki was one of Google’s first employees (#16!), and their first marketing manager, and since February 2014 she has been the CEO of Youtube.
2. CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer
Truly defeating the odds, Marissa Mayer is the CEO for Yahoo. A genius in both business and computer science, Mayer also showcases the value that women (and men) who have families can have in the technology world.
3. COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg
As the COO of Facebook, and prior being the VP of Global Online Sales & Operations at Google - Sandbergs amazing wealth of knowledge and success is truly transparent. Even after the unexpected and untimely death of her husband in 2015, Sandberg has advocated for women in the workplace and perseverance. Giving the keynote speech at UC Berkley’s 2016 commencement, Sandberg speaking for the first time since her husband’s passing, shared:
“It’s the hard days — the days that challenge you to your very core — that determine who you are. You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but how you survive...You are not born with a fixed amount of resilience,” said Sandberg. “It’s a muscle. You can build it up and then draw on it when you need it. And in that process, you figure out who you really are. And you just might become the very best version of yourself.”
4. Founder & CEO of Tinder/Bumble, Whitney Wolfe
Wolfe was the cofounder of the popular dating app, Tinder. Facing difficult experiences and circumstances while working at Tinder, Wolfe eventually left and started her own dating app – the ever popular Bumble. At just 26, Wolfe is truly setting the way and stands as an amazing example for women in technology.
5. President & CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Meg Whitman
Whitman served as Ebay’s CEO for 10 years before becoming the latest president of Hewlett Packard. Having an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree from Princeton University, Whitman has overcome the odds in her field by as she says – “I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about as a woman how I would manage differently – I was just happy to be managing. In some ways it was a blessing because I didn’t second-guess myself, I didn’t add that factor into my leadership style.”
6. CEO, Reddit Ellen Pao
The daughter of immigrant parents, Pao has faced many battles since her time as CEO of the popular social media community forum site, Reddit. Pao’s advice for women working in a male dominated industry? “For now, what I’d tell any woman struggling in a male-dominated work culture is: Do not give up. You are not alone.”
7. Co-CEO, Oracle Safra Catz
Oracle is one of America’s largest computer technology corporations, and since April 2011 Safra Catz has been the co-president, and since 2014 co-CEO. From being ranked one of the most powerful women in business by Fortune in 2009, the highest paid woman among Fortune 1000 companies in 2011 to her high level role at Oracle today – Catz has continuously advocated for advanced opportunities for women in the workplace: "Business is a team sport. Get on a team even if it’s the guys’ team."
8. President, Intel, Renee James
Though currently the operating executive of the Carlyle Group, prior James spent 28 years working with Intel Corporation as their President. Rather than focusing on women in technology, James is an advocate of humans from all walks connecting and growing together.
9. Owner, COO MeetingPlay, Lisa Vann
We’ve shared how amazingMeetingPlay’s ownerand COO, Lisa Vann is in the past. Having worked in corporate America for many years prior to MeetingPlay, Vann knows firsthand the difficulties women can face when it comes to high level positions, despite experience and education, and especially in technology. An advocate of collaboration and hard work, Vann is constantly empowering and motivating both MeetingPlay’s employees and clients.
Learn more about MeetingPlay and how we are revolutionizing the event technology industry with custom, engaging mobile event apps.