From being afraid to read and write to winning Noble prizes, women have come a long way in regards to the dogmas revolving around the notion of women in tech. They have fought for their right to work, right to vote, right to equal pay and right to equal opportunities and have sailed through with grace and excellence. And this did not begin only after 21st Century.
Owing to the various efforts to empower women, they began appearing in the frontlines of different fields even before the waves of the 21st century came to the shore. They have been competing and excelling in every field they have step foot into, be it writing, designing, academics, sports, cultural and performing arts, culinary industry, working in the forces, holding management positions or science and technology.
For instance, “Admiral Grace Murray Hopper” was among the first three modern programmers and is known for the contributions she made for the computer languages.
“Joan Clarke” is another such woman. She was a mathematician and worked during World War II alongside Alan Turing, who is the creator of modern computing, to crack the code of the German-made Enigma Machine. As a result, her expertise helped in shortening of the war saving the lives of thousands.
Nevertheless, technology is still considered a field which is dominated by men. Despite these clichéd beliefs, there are women who broke the barriers and are now ruling the world of tech from working as web developers to software engineers and IT consultants. So, here is the list of Top 10 Women in Tech in 21st Century –
Manal Al-Sharif – Founder, Women2Hack Academy
Manal is a computer scientist and a Saudi activist. She founded a program called Women2Hack Academy, aimed at fostering women in technology in Saudi Arabia concentrating on information security. Her journey began as the only woman working as a specialist in IT security at Saudi Aramco, a state-owned oil producer. She is also the woman behind starting the campaign to get women their right to drive earlier in 2011 when she went online to post a video in which she was driving.
Jasmine Anteunis – VP product and Cofounder, Recast.AI
Anteunis is second on the list being the founder of an artificially intelligent chatbot company called “Recast.AI”. This French woman entrepreneur founded her company in 2015 which was bought by SAP in 2018. Jasmine is an Alumnus of 42, which is programming school funded by Xavier Niel, the French billionaire.
Chantelle Bell – Cofounder, Syrona Women
Bell is a British entrepreneur and a bio-scientist who cofounded Syrona Women with her female founder Anya Roy while studying at Cambridge University. These wonder women in tech developed a device which allows women to take a test for cervical cancer at home by themselves. It is as easy as a pregnancy test. She is among the many black women in tech and aims to help women in monitoring their health.
Elina Berglund – Natural Cycles
A particle physicist and entrepreneur from Sweden, in 2012, started working on finding an alternative to the oral contraceptive pill. This led her to create an algorithm which helps in identifying the fertility window in a woman’s reproductive cycle and furthermore led to the development of “Natural Cycles”, an app for fertility tracking in 2013.
Sue Black – Founder, #techmums
Sue Black, a computer scientist, founded #techmums. It is a charitable organization empowering mothers through the way of online and offline classes of technology basics. Presently, Black is working as a Government Advisor at DSRPTN, the all-female tech consultancy and also as a mentor for Mums at Google Campus.
Joy Buolamwini – Founder, Algorithmic Justice League
Next on the list is yet another computer scientist who is also a digital activist based at the MIT Media Lab. She founded the Algorithmic Justice League which helps in challenging bias in AI and developing practices for its accountability. She is amongst the top black women in tech as well as girls who code and is known as “a poet of code” for using art and research against the social implications of AI.
Emmanuelle Charpentier – Cofounder, CRISPR Therapeutics
A French professor and researcher of microbiology, genetics and biochemistry, Charpentier is cofounded CRISPER Therapeutics. CRISPR is a technology which works as a tool for editing genomes allowing researchers in altering DNA sequences and modification of gene function. This further helps in the prevention and spreading of diseases. Wouldn’t it be correct to include her among the wonder women in tech?
Marita Cheng – Founder & CEO, Aubot
Named the 2012 Young Australian of the Year, Cheng is the founder and CEO of an impactful start-up robotics company, Aubot, which is a robot designed to help children diagnosed with cancer to attend school and people with disability to attend work, all this virtually. She is also the founder of Robogals, a non-profit organization run by students for young women to pursue education and careers in engineering.
Sarah Clatterbuck – Director of Engineering, Google
This American engineer currently leads different teams at Google for focusing on strategies of alternative monetization beyond advertising for YouTube content creators. Before this, she worked at LinkedIn towards Application Infrastructure. She aspires to inspire women and girls interested in technology and hence have also been on the board of Girls Scouts of Northern California.
Jules Coleman – Founder and CTO, Resi
A self-taught coder, Coleman is the founder of Hassle.com, a cleaning service platform in Britain and sold for $37 million in 2015. Resi is her second online business, founded in 2016, providing advice for home development and architectural drawings for the same. She has been seen on programmes like Girls Can Code by BBC3 and The Bottom Line by BBC Radio 4 talking and inspiring young women to take up careers in coding. She is one of the girls who code for the greater good of the community.
Importance of Women in Tech
Aren’t these women in technology an inspiration for all the young women around the world who want to pursue a career in tech? Without a doubt, but they represent only a few of the amazing women in tech who are unknowingly breaking the stereotypes. For instance, initiatives like the Indy Women in Tech are working to provide opportunities and platforms to women in becoming a part of the innovative and growing Indianapolis’s tech sector.
Indy Women in Tech provides education and training to women of all age groups. In spite of all the progress, we still have a long way to go but the technology sector is slowly but surely moving towards an equal working environment for both men and women.