From Past to Present: Technology’s Successful Women Entrepreneurs
After taking a quick look at recent statistics, our prediction is that the future looks very bright for women in the tech world. Consider these facts:
Women only make up 31% of the current IT workforce.
Women in IT now earn roughly the same salaries as their male equals do, an improvement over where things were five years ago. Not surprisingly, recent reports indicate that the number of women in IT positions are one the rise; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 45% of new technology positions in 2013 have been awarded to women.
The above facts seem to support the old adage: show her the money, and she’ll show up.
For making up only 31% of the IT workforce, it’s surprising how much bang for the buck the world is getting from successful women entrepreneurs. Below, we’ll shine a light on 10 of the most influential and famous women entrepreneurs in tech:
1. Anita Borg / Founder of The Institute for Women and Technology
No top 10 list of successful women entrepreneurs can be complete without giving Anita Borg her due. Borg founded the Institute for Women and Technology (now known as the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology) along with the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. Borg was an American computer scientist, who originally taught herself how to program while still working for an insurance company. She landed her first programming job in 1969, and eventually worked as a researcher for Xerox PARC before founding the Institute for Women in Technology.
An extraordinarily strong advocate for women in tech, Borg’s goal was to have women in computing represent 50% of the workforce by the year 2020.
2. Susan Wojcicki / Google’s SVP of Advertising
Meet the woman behind Google’s AdWords, AdSense, Analytics, DoubleClick and all of the company’s ad products. How much value is all of that advertising worth? Well, in 2011, Wojcicki was responsible for bringing in a whopping 96% of the company’s $37.9 billion dollar revenue. Wojcicki has been involved with Google from the very beginning, going as far back as 1998 when she rented out her garage to Sergey Brin and Larry Page while they were still developing their search engine.
3. Sheryl Sandberg / Facebook’s COO
Sandberg’s empowering book, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead”, encourages women to step up in corporate America and play with the big boys. She should know. She has served as Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer since 2008, and in 2012, became the first woman ever to be appointed on Facebook’s board of directors. Prior to Facebook, Sanberg was the Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations for Google. If her resume still doesn’t impress you, you should know that prior to joining Google, Sandberg was Chief of Staff for the United States Department of the Treasury.
4. Marissa Mayer / Yahoo’s CEO
Mayer recently eliminated Yahoo’s work from home option for all employees, a blanket policy that would affect 200 full-time remote workers. Since the policy would affect work-from-home mothers, many criticized Mayer’s stance as being insensitive to working mothers that need a certain degree of flexibility when balancing their responsibilities.
However, Mayer had her reasons. It was soon revealed that many of the remote workers rarely if ever logged into the company’s Intranet, so they were essentially being paid for doing very little.
This wasn’t the first time that Mayer made headlines. Notoriously, she opted to return to work just two weeks after giving birth. However, in her defense, she also had a nursery built right next door so that she could be closer to her newborn.
Regardless of the controversy that seems to follow Mayer, it’s clear that she is one of the more powerful women in tech today.
5. Meg Whitman / HP’s President and CEO
Prior to joining HP in 2011, Whitman had already paved a road for other soon-to-be-famous women entrepreneurs. She was Vice President of Strategic Planning for The Walt Disney Company during the 1980s, and served as an executive for Hasbro, Procter & Gamble and Dreamworks throughout the 1990s. She is most known for serving as Ebay’s President and Chief Executive Officer from 1998 until 2008, during which time she oversaw expansion from 30 employees to more than 15,000, achieving $8 billion in annual revenue in the process. In 2010, Whitman was the 4th wealthiest woman in the state of California.
6. Cher Wang / HTC’s Co-Founder and Chairperson
It’s time to think global. Though not as well known in the United States as the above famous women entrepreneurs are, Wang has made huge contributions to the world (and we mean the entire world) of tech. In America, HTC now makes more than 1 out of every 6 smartphones.
7. Virginia Rometty / IBM’s President and CEO
Rometty’s career is proof-positive that diligence and cross-training really pays off. She worked for IBM for 30 years before being appointed to the top post of President and Chief Executive Officer. During those 30 years, she transitioned across multiple departments at IBM, including financial services, global services and its marketing and communications group.
8. Safra Catz / Oracle’s President and CFO
Sure, there are Apple software products out there, but in the world of business software providers, Oracle is top dog. Due to her influence on Oracle’s operations, and for leading the company to astronomical annual revenue levels, Catz has found herself on both Fortune’s and Forbe’s respective lists of top women in business.
9. Ursula Burns / Xerox’s CEO and Chairperson
Burns, like Rometty above, spent 30 years with Xerox before being appointed to the post of Chief Executive Officer in 2009. That appointment turned out to be a landmark moment in U.S. History: it was the first time that an African-American woman became the CEO of a major American corporation.
10. Michal Tsur / Kaltura’s Co-Founder and President
Our last nominee has yet to find herself on many top ten lists of successful women entrepreneurs, but we’re more than confident that this will change in a matter of time. Kaltura is an open-source video player and platform, which last year went beyond the 300,000 customer mark. In 2013, new offices opened in Europe and Asia, and the company recently secured $25 million in funding. Kaltura’s newest client is Wikipedia, so we expect big things from Tsur this year.