Today’s Working Women in Tech
Earlier this month our blog “Honoring Women’s Role in Tech History” looked back to influential women who have paved the way for women in technology today. As the conversations around STEM education for girls and women in the workplace continue to be shaped, it’s just as important to recognize women taking on traditionally male roles in technology today. Here are five women who are making headlines today, because they are women in powerful positions with technology companies; and because they are tenacious, intelligent and successful leaders.
Meg Whitman, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise CEO – The daughter of a Wall Street business man and a stay-at-home mom, the current CEO of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise has demonstrated that hard work pays off. Earning a bachelors from Princeton University and completing her MBA program at Harvard Business School, she entered the workforce and held many highly coveted positions. Ms. Whitman spent a decade as eBay’s CEO, where she moved the company’s sales from the millions to the billions. In 2014 she made Forbes’ list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.”
Ginni Rometty, IBM CEO – Ms. Rometty is the first female CEO of IBM and is credited with growing the company’s ventures in cloud computing and analytics businesses. She received her bachelors from Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University, which led her to work for GM. She was one of 19 iconic people featured in PBS’s “The Boomer List:” a documentary telling the story of her influential generation. Projects like Watson, the bot that won at Jeopardy, demonstrate how her work with modern technology is helping redefine the interactions between man and machine.
Ursula Burns, Xerox CEO – Raised by a single mother in New York City, Ms. Burns went on to earn her bachelor of science from New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering. Starting as an intern for Xerox she climbed the latter to become their CEO. She is the first woman to succeed another female CEO, and the first female African-American to be the CEO, for a Fortune 500 company. She believes in the importance of STEM in the U.S. education system and made Fortune’s 2014 list of “The Most Powerful Women in Business.”
Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO – Ms. Mayer grew up in a small town and always had an affinity for math, science and competition. She earned her bachelors and masters from Stanford University where she developed a passion for computer science. Her postgrad, research internships landed her a job offer with a then 19 employee company that eventually grew into the Internet giant Google. She was Google’s first female engineer and her work there spanned projects from Google Maps to Gmail. In 2012 she was appointed the CEO of Yahoo, where she has been reimagining the company for a mobile and digital publishing environment as they celebrate their 20th anniversary.
Venessa Wittman, Dropbox CFO – Ms. Wittman has a reputation as a “top-notch fixer” and is known for being drawn to a challenge—helping companies in murky financial waters. She took on the role of Motorola Mobility CFO and SVP after helping Google through their acquisition of the company. This month Ms. Wittman has stepped into the role of Dropbox CFO and will be supporting and growing Dropbox’s operations globally. Here are just five women—in a world of women—who are making their mark in technology companies and in the workplace. They are role models for girls, and young women, and are champions behind not only knowing—but doing—what.