Since Ada Lovelace was the first computer programmer to recognize the potential of computers, there has been a steady increase in women working in technology. We have more female role models than ever in the tech industry today.
The gender gap in technical workers is still a concern. The numbers show that only 26% of computer jobs were held by women in 2018, a substantial drop from 32% in 1990. STEM workers are predominantly white men. All other gender identities and skin tones are severely underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Major tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google and Facebook have only 20 to 23% female employees.
We are highlighting the importance of women working in the tech industry, given these alarming numbers. This post will discuss the most important women in tech today, the organizations that help women succeed in the industry, and what you can do to start your career in IT.
Famous Women in Technology
We’ve all heard of the great men in science and technology, such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg. It is often difficult to imagine noteworthy women working in the same fields .
Here’s a list of some the most powerful and admirable women in tech today.
- Rediet Abebe
Rediet Abebe, a black woman, is Cornell University’s first recipient of a doctorate in computer science. She is a mathematician and has co-founded Mechanism Design for Social Good, (MD4SG).
Rediet is able to combine her computer science expertise with humanitarian work through this innovative organization. MD4SG uses machine learning to help historically disadvantaged communities.
- Kamelia Aryafar
Kamelia Aryafar is Google’s Chief Analytics and Algorithms Officer. She is one of the most prominent women in technology. Kamelia is a Google Cloud AI solution specialist for many industries. She also has a lot of knowledge on machine learning. As a member of the board of Persian Women in Tech and Overstock.com, Kamelia is also a member of the Initiative of Analytics and Data Science Standards.
Kamelia, the scientist behind how Google personalizes search results and ad experiences is what you need to know.
- Safra Catz
Everybody who is even remotely involved in information technology knows something about Oracle Corporation. Oracle Corporation is a tech company that creates database software and cloud software engineering systems for companies. Safra Catz, one of two Oracle CEOs. She started her career as a banker and is now one of the most highly-paid CEOs in America, not just in the IT sector but all across the board.
- Roshni Nadar Malhotra
STEM is not just for the United States. Roshni Nadar, India’s first female CEO of an IT company, is Roshni. Roshni is the founder of HCL Technologies, which provides software services to some of the most powerful companies in the world.
Roshni also works to preserve India’s native species and natural habitats, and to help the economically disadvantaged in India.
- Zhou Qunfei
Zhou Qunfei is perhaps the most incredible story on this list. Zhou Qunfei, the richest Chinese woman at 16, had to quit school to support her family and work. She learned about customs processing and accounting through part-time classes at university. This knowledge was used to create Lens Technology, a touchscreen company.
Lens Technology is today one of the most successful companies in the world. Zhou has a net worth around $10 billion.
- Maria Raga
Maria Raga is the CEO and founder of Depop, a highly rated fashion marketplace app. Today’s young people are becoming more conscious of sustainability and climate change. Depop allows its users to sell their clothes and give them new lives.
Depop has more than 140,000 products on sale every day. Maria’s creative thinking has allowed Depop users to make a living selling their products.
- Ginni Rometty
Ginni Rometty is the most powerful woman. She was IBM’s former CEO. Ginni, who still serves as a director, led the company’s projects that were based on cloud computing, analytics, and cognitive computing systems. Her hard work and expertise helped her get to the top of IBM’s systems engineering team.
- Gwynne Shotwell
SpaceX is connected to its founder Elon Musk but Gwynne Shotwell is responsible for running the day-today operations of the space transport company. Gwynne Shotwell, who is the President and Chief Operating Officer (Chief Operating officer), manages customer relations and creates strategies to support SpaceX’s growth.
She is also a strong advocate for inclusion and diversity in tech, particularly for more women in computing.
- Susan Wojcicki
Susan Wojcicki, a well-respected name in information technology, is highly respected. Since the 1990s, she has been with Google. She was then appointed its first marketing manager in 1999. Susan is now YouTube’s CEO, overseeing all aspects of YouTube, including music, gaming and family content. YouTube Premium was launched and new ways for creators to monetize their content under her leadership.
- Jacky Wright
Jacky Wright, a powerful black woman who serves as Chief Digital Officer and Corporate vice president of Microsoft in the United States, is Jacky Wright. She advocates for gender diversity in IT, and she fights to improve the status of women working in STEM fields. Year Up is a unique organization that offers young adults from all backgrounds the opportunity to develop professional skills that will help them in their future career.
How to Become A Woman in Technology
Technologists who are women face many of the same challenges as technologists in other industries. These are the main reasons women quit STEM jobs.
- Consciousness and unconscious bias
- Discrimination and harassment (including harassment sexually)
- Confidence issues
- Competing life responsibilities
Women often feel stuck in their IT careers. This means they feel that they are being deliberately prevented from advancing (no promotions or new responsibilities, no advancement).
Although you cannot remove every obstacle in your path, you can address each one as it comes up. The position of professional women IT professionals is improving, but it may not be as quickly as people would like.
These are five pieces you might find helpful as you begin your IT journey.
- Polish your Skills
This is not a new advice. Anyone who works in STEM fields, especially information technology, knows how important it is to stay up-to-date with all the latest developments. You must stay current if you want to be a top-notch computer programmer, cybersecurity specialist or network administrator.
No matter what degree you have in computer science, it is important to practice your skills. You should search for new technologies, programming languages, or coding techniques. What’s hot in the world of programming?
Your curiosity and natural inclination for learning new skills will make you a great leader in the technological sector.
- Connect with Mentors
You can do it all on your own but a mentor will make your path easier. You should pay attention to the people around you and what they are doing in tech. Are there role models? Who are you most inspired by and would you like to work for?
Your company is the best place to look for a mentor. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your supervisors or executives to ask them for a mentor.
Social media is a great way to find mentors. You can connect with potential mentors online by following their accounts. Be friendly, respectful, and build relationships with your colleagues and peers.
- Talk Up
Don’t be afraid of sharing your opinion, or great idea, if you feel the need. Increase your self-confidence Many women feel that they are not worth listening to in conversations and meetings. You have so much to offer! Don’t be afraid to speak up when you feel it is important.
This is true for anyone who witnesses or experiences discrimination or harassment at work. Half of STEM women have been subject to gender discrimination at work. Don’t keep quiet. Stand up for gender equality and tell the world if you feel that someone is being treated unfairly.
You can practice your voice at home if you need assistance finding your voice. Practice interacting with coworkers, supervisors, or other people by looking in the mirror. This will help you find the right words every time.
- Be proud of your accomplishments
Women tend to overlook their achievements, which is a different thing than men. It can happen for many reasons. The most common is the so-called “imposter syndrome”, which means that women feel like their achievements and successes are not well-deserved.
Publicly highlighting your achievements has many benefits.
You are first building your confidence and feeling better regarding yourself and your job.
You are also building a reputation. You are creating your brand by sharing your success stories online and mentioning them at other events. When you are more open about your accomplishments, people will be more inclined to consider you an expert.
- Support Other Females
You will be shocked at how difficult it is for women to climb up the corporate ladder. Statistics indicate that very little has been done in order to increase the number of women at executive level. This is why women, especially those in leadership positions, need to support other women.
Don’t let your career progress stop you from helping others who are starting out just like you. Participate in programs that support female-led startups, teach young girls about science and coding, as well as invest in diversifying tech industry.
Organizations That Help STEM Women
It is not surprising that there are many programs and organizations that support women in STEM fields. There are many of them in the United States, and more around the world. Here we will focus on the most important.
- Anita Borg Institute
The Anita Borg Institute, a non-profit organization that promotes the inclusion of women in tech is the Anita Borg Institute. Anita Borg says that women need to take their place at the table to create the technology of tomorrow. The institute offers award programs, access and resources to female STEM communities, events, and other services.
The Anita Borg Institute’s PITCHER competition is one of its most exciting segments. This competition allows female entrepreneurs to apply for funding and receive funding for their ideas. To be eligible for the competition, PITCHER supports both nonprofit and for-profit startups. There are a few criteria that they must meet.
- Black Girls Code
Kimberly Bryant is the founder of Black Girls Code. She was an electrical engineer and felt the lack diversity on campus while she was at university. Black Girls Code is an organization that teaches coding skills to girls between 7 and 17 years old.
Black Girls Code is helping to increase the number of women in tech. This organization provides scholarships, workshops, summits and conferences for young women of color. Kimberly knows that not everyone can access this level of knowledge. Black Girls Code is actively working to reduce the digital divide.
- Girls Who Cod
Girls Who Code has a great goal: to close the gender gap at entry-level tech jobs by 2027. It remains to be seen if they can succeed, but they are on the right track. They believe in inclusive and diverse workplaces and are determined to prove that women can also be successful software engineers.
After-school programs are offered for girls in the 3rd through 12th grades. Summer programs are also available for school girls in the 10th through 12th grades. The organization also offers college programs for girls over 18.
- Women Who Cod
Women Who Code, a non-profit that supports women in tech careers, is committed to inspiring female executives. Women Who Code wants to see more women VCs and technical leaders, founders, as well as software engineers.
They offer a variety of offline resources such as tutorials, videos, articles, and more than one thousand global events every year. Women Who Code gives away $1 million annually in scholarships, conference tickets, or other programs to bring more women closer towards technology.
Change Catalyst’s female CEO and founder, Melinda Briana Epler, is Melinda Briana Epler. Since 2014, Melinda Briana Epler has been working to improve Silicon Valley’s diversity. This was after it became clear that only one-fourth the workforce is comprised of women.
Change Catalyst uses an ecosystem approach to change, Melinda says. They provide education to governments, tech companies, hubs, and other stakeholders on diversity, and work hard to bring about real change. Roundtables, summits and webinars as well as podcasts and career fairs can be a valuable source of information and knowledge for thousands of IT professionals from underrepresented backgrounds.
For decades, the number of women working in science, technology, and engineering has been low. It is not even half of all STEM workers. These jobs have seen a drop in women over the past 30 years by about 5%.
This does not mean you cannot be a successful engineer, scientist or computer specialist as a woman. Many organizations are now focused on helping women like you who want to be the next big thing in technology.
Admire the achievements of IT women like Susan Wojcicki and Rediet Abebe, Safra Katz, Zhou Qunfei. Jacky Wright, Kamelia Aryafar, Maria Raga. Roshni Nadar, Ginni Rometty, Gwynne Shotwell.
Practice using your voice at pivotal moments in your career. Standing up for yourself, and the women in your workplace, is important. Career coaches can mentor girls and women to become computer scientists and leaders in technology. Continue to improve your soft and hard skills, and be open about your achievements. Don’t be afraid to praise others and find your confidence.
You can turn to schools and colleges for help. They are actively involved in recognizing women’s rise in technology and their community impact. There will also be upcoming events specifically designed to encourage girls and women to pursue careers in tech. There are many programs that women can access for mentorship and advice. These include the Anita Borg Institute and Girls Who Code.