Breaking down barriers: Stories of women in tech leadership

By Kate Zogaj
Credit: Getty Images
It's no secret that women face greater challenges in both tech and leadership. That's why Kate Zogaj shares the stories of 10 women leading by example

Women have repeatedly shown that they can offer a variety of viewpoints, fresh ideas, and significant accomplishments to the field of technology. However, despite the many benefits of women in tech they still encounter obstacles and difficulties when trying to advance to top roles in the industry. This article will examine ten women's inspiring journeys to becoming tech industry executives. We can learn a lot about the value of variety and inclusion in tech, as well as about how to work to advance gender equality in the industry, from their experiences and accomplishments.

Former US Chief Technology Officer, Megan Smith

Former US Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith worked for President Barack Obama. She has extensive experience in the digital sector and has held positions at businesses like Google and General Magic. She has won awards for her support of women and other marginalized groups in the industry. As CTO, Smith promoted inclusion and diversity in the tech sector and supervised programs like TechHire, which sought to give people from all backgrounds access to training and employment possibilities.

Author and activist, Susan Fowler

Software developer, author, and supporter of equality and diversity in the tech sector Susan Fowler. After publishing a blog post in 2017 detailing her encounters with sexual harassment and prejudice at Uber, she attracted widespread attention and sparked a surge of inquiries and changes at the business. Whistleblower: My Journey to Silicon Valley and Fight for Justice at Uber, the book Fowler wrote about her experiences, has since become a prominent advocate for reform in the business.

Harvey Mudd College President, Maria Klawe

Harvey Mudd College's dean, Maria Klawe, is a computer scientist and statistician. She has received recognition for her leadership in education as well as her work advancing inclusivity and equality in STEM disciplines. The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and the White House Council on Women and Girls in STEM are two programs in which Klawe has participated that seek to increase the amount of women and underrepresented groups in the tech industry.

Founder of the Level Playing Field Institute, Freada Kapor Klein

The Level Playing Field Institute was founded by social entrepreneur and financier Freada Kapor Klein to advance diversity and inclusion in the technology industry. Additionally, she co-founded a number of digital businesses, including the Oakland-based venture capital company Kapor Capital and the Kapor Center for Social Impact. Known for her leadership and philanthropic efforts, Kapor Klein has been an outspoken supporter of diversity and equality in the digital sector.

Jibo, Inc.'s founder and chief scientist, Cynthia Breazeal

The creator and Chief Scientist of Jibo, Inc. is the computer scientist and roboticist Cynthia Breazeal. She is renowned for her work developing social machines that can converse with people and for her support of inclusion and diversity in the tech industry. Breazeal has won numerous honours for her work, including the Women in Science and Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women in Science and Engineering Forum, for her efforts in automation.

Journalist and author, Emily Chang

Journalist and author Emily Chang has written widely about the digital sector and its effects on society. She is the presenter of the Bloomberg Technology program and has conducted interviews with many of the industry's top players, including Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg. Chang examines the tech industry's culture as well as the difficulties that women and other marginalized groups encounter there in her novel "Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley."

Senior engineering manager at Microsoft, Erica Baker

Senior engineering manager at Microsoft Erica Baker is well-known for her efforts in advancing equality and diversity in the tech sector. She has held positions at a number of significant digital firms, including Google and Slack, and has received praise for her activism and leadership. The Project Include program, which seeks to advance diversity and inclusion in digital startups, was co-founded by Baker. In addition to her professional work, Baker is a passionate writer and lecturer on topics relating to inclusion and diversity in the digital industry. She has been highlighted in publications like Forbes and The New York Times.

Founder of Africoders, Nnena Nkongho

Africoders is a digital group in Cameroon founded by Nnena Nkongho with the goal of advancing inclusion and variety in the field of technology. Her leadership and support in the industry have been acknowledged. She is also a businesswoman and software creator. Nkongho has taken part in several projects, such as the Cameroon Women in Technology initiative, that seek to increase the proportion of women and underrepresented groups in the tech industry.

Founder of #techmums, Dr Sue Black

Computer scientist, businesswoman, and supporter of equality and variety in technology is Dr Sue Black. She is the creator of #techmums, a social business with the mission of equipping mothers with technological know-how and boosting their productivity. Additionally, Black is the creator of the #techUPwomen project, which trains and aids women from marginalized groups who want to work in the tech industry. In 2016, she received an OBE for her contributions to technology as a result of her leadership and support in the industry.

The experiences of these women serve as a testament to the noteworthy progress made in recent years in removing obstacles and advancing gender equality in tech leadership. Their experiences highlight the value of variety and inclusion in technology as well as the need for ongoing initiatives to support and promote women in the sector. We can strive to create a more equitable and inclusive tech sector by encouraging more chances and fostering a supportive atmosphere for women.


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