Women are a minority in technology. This is usually because of cultural stereotypes. There is also the case of women whose achievements are shadowed by colleagues. There have been a lot of instances where women’s achievements and time in the spotlight were outright stolen or misappropriated to other men.
For 2016, there have a few women who have shown that a career in IT is not beyond the reach and ability of women. Every year, more and more women are being recognized for their leadership roles in IT companies. Here are some of them: most powerful women in technology
- Sheryl Sandberg. The public face of Facebook may be Mark Zuckerberg but the day-to-day operations are handled by its Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg. She has steered the company to be one of the biggest IT companies in the world. In 2015, Facebook earned $3.69 billion dollars. It also had 1 billion active users per day, out of 1.7 registered users.
- Susan Wojcicki. Leading YouTube as the second largest search engine in the world while maintaining its status as the world’s leading video site is not an easy feat. However, Susan Wojcicki has proven to be up to the task. YouTube has more active daily visitors than Facebook.
- Marissa Mayer. She is the CEO of Yahoo, and was brought on board Yahoo from Google to right the course of the ship. As its head, she is now responsible for the sale of this Internet icon.
- Meg Whitman. She is the CEO of the second largest computer company in the world, HP. Before assuming the HP post she headed eBay growing it more than a thousand fold in just 10 years. She confided in a recent interview that one of her big regrets is that while on eBay she was not able to get a foothold on the Japanese market.
- Ginni Rometty. What is not widely known is that IBM is the world’s largest software vendor as well as also the largest computer hardware company in the world. As IBM CEO, Ginni Rometty is tasked to lead this juggernaut to greater growth while everyone else focuses on Google, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft.
- Ursula Burns. The Chairman and CEO of Xerox, Ursula led her company to more than $18 billion in worldwide sales.
What is noteworthy here is that these women are leaders of the some of the biggest names in IT. In the case of Whitman, she has been at the helm of two big corporations, eBay and HP. Heading big corporations is not just an achievement for women, but considering the environment they were in, they achieved it while being in a minority group: women.
That is not to take away anything from their achievements. Rather, that fact made if harder for them to succeed in a traditionally male dominated company. In most of these companies, they were the first women to be the CEO or Chairman. Although in the case of HP, they already had a female CEO in Carly Fiorina.
Women in general have not been given the same opportunities that these women had. Women who have taken the lead in technology have had to endure the problems of social pressure. They also have to fight sexual stereotypes. Girls should have the same chances of playing with LEGO as well as any boy. They should have the same opportunities in programming a computer as any other person.
The challenges of women start at the grade level. Girls should be shown that Mathematics is not a male domain. They should be shown that the sciences are not a male domain as well. If women can be police officers, doctors and teachers, then they should also have the same chances at the fields of study.
Our well-crafted infographic celebrates the rise of most powerful women in technology. Read on and be inspired by their success stories.