June 15, 2015
Though the gender pay gap still has a way to go before it shrinks to nothing, women are steadily climbing up the corporate ladder. The tech industry in particular has made significant strides when it comes to women in positions of power.
According to some of the top venture capitalists, the female population in the tech and IT industry is expected to grow even further in the next five years, possibly to the point where half of the top executives in the computer science field will be women.
Incredibly influential women all got their start somewhere. Susan Wojcicki began as a secretary for a startup that drove her hunger to learn more about the technical aspects of business. Other women who want to make it big in the tech industry should start right away.
The great news about today’s tech business environment is you can learn almost anything tech related online.
These kinds of services will aid women who seek to equal men in the computer science industry. Here is a look at some of the industry’s most powerful women.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO
As the chief operating officer of Facebook, which is the largest social media network in the world, many would argue Sheryl Sandberg is the most powerful and influential woman in the tech industry. She has been named No. 1 on Forbes’ Power List four years in a row.
Sandberg was also the first woman to serve on Facebook’s board of directors. Before she joined Facebook, she was the vice-president of online sales and operations at Google and helped to develop the charity-driven Google.org.
She’s been on lists of most influential people for years. At a net worth of $1.06 billion, she’s made a name for women in the tech field, and she encourages women openly to pursue careers in technology.
Susan Wojcicki, YouTube CEO
As another technology executive who got her start at Google, Susan Wojcicki was the senior vice-president of advertising and commerce within that company. She led the team as it developed the famous Google tools AdWords, AdSense (which became Google’s second-largest source of profits), DoubleClick, and Google Analytics. Overall, her developments make up 96 percent of Google’s income.
She also supervised Google Video, and suggested that the company purchase YouTube, which at that point was a comparatively small start-up. She handled that purchase and then became the head of YouTube last year.
Virginia Rometty, IMB President and CEO
Better known as Ginni, Rometty was the first woman to head IBM. She worked her way up from within the company, having previously served as the senior vice-president and group executive for sales, marketing, and strategy before being selected for the presidential seat in 2012.
Rometty has been named one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business for 10 years a row, and was awarded the No. 1 spot on that list for three years running (2012-2015). Both Forbes and Time have also named her one of the world’s most powerful people.
Meg Whitman, HP CEO
After graduating from Princeton and the Harvard School of Business, Whitman progressed through several major corporations before becoming HP’s chief officer. Her past employers included Walt Disney, DreamWorks, Procter & Gamble and Hasbro.
She was also the president and chief executive officer of eBay for 10 years. During that time, she helped it grow from just 30 workers to 15,000 employees and $8 million in annual revenue.
Whitman has also run for political office. She joined the race for governor of California in 2009. At the time, Whitman was one of the wealthiest women in California, and she spent more on her political race than any other candidate in political history.
Though she lost the race, the New York Times hailed her as their pick for the first female president. She is worth more than $2 billion.
Jenny Lee, GGV Managing Partner
At just 42 years old, Lee is one of the most powerful investors in the Chinese tech arena. Before turning to investing, she was a jet and drone engineer.
Lee eventually used her hard-earned engineering pay to begin investing, primarily in China ventures. She backed the social platform YY, which has become huge, as well as Yodo1, Chukong Technologies, and China Talent Group.
This year was Lee’s first time to appear on the list of most influential women. She turned up at the 98th spot, but she is only one of two venture capitalists ever to make the list.
Earlier this year she was also ranked among the top 10 on the Forbes Midas List, which makes her the highest ranked woman in history on that roster. Unquestionably, Lee has made an impressive name for herself as a savvy investor.
Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO
Mayer is not only one of the most influential women in the tech industry, but she’s also one of the highest paid CEOs in the United States. Her pay package jumped 69 percent last year to $42 million. This brings her total net worth to $380 million.
She has brought the company a long way since taking the reins of the major corporation three years ago. Mayer, 40, has acquisitioned top-notch journalists Katie Couric and Matt Bai. She also predicted the importance of mobile for online businesses and actively pursued revenue improvements in that area.
Critics claim that her impressive performance as the Yahoo CEO comes largely from her 13 years at Google where she served as one of Google’s earliest and most loyal employees. Her current goals for Yahoo involve trimming spending and improving overall financial implementation.
I am a professional blogger, writer, researcher and successful investor who contributes to a number of reputable online media outlets and news sources. A graduate of Iowa State University, I’m now a full-time freelance writer, business consultant and independent real estate investor. Currently, I write for Inc.com, Entrepreneur.com, TheNextWeb.com and BiggerPockets.com. I have previously contributed to the HuffingtonPost.com, and Business.com, among others. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, I’m also active in real estate investing and spend weekends volunteering with a local non-profit literacy organization. When I’m not saving the world with my keyboard, I can be found rock climbing.