This statistic may be shocking, but it’s no secret that women are a highly underrepresented demographic within the field. It’s important to look to women who manage to break through the glass ceiling and become leaders in tech for inspiration and hope for the future.
Here at Conspicuous, we wanted to acknowledge some of the incredible women making an impact in the tech industry right now.
Ellen Pao – Co-Founder and CEO of Project Include
Ellen Pao first came into the spotlight through her legal battle with the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. After working for the company as the Technical Chief of Staff, Pao filed a $16 million lawsuit against them for workplace gender discrimination. In the end, she lost the case, but not before raising considerable awareness about the biases faced by women in tech.
Pao went on to become the CEO of Reddit, where she took strides to remove hate-filled subreddits, paving the way for safer online experiences for all across social platforms. After resigning from Reddit, Pao set up an initiative called Project Include with the mission ‘to give everyone a fair chance to succeed in tech [and] to accelerate diversity and inclusion solutions in the tech industry.’ Pao has taken her experiences of sexism in silicon valley and channelled them into making the industry a more inclusive space, for which she is admired worldwide.
Fei-Fei Li – Co-Director of Stanford’s Human-Centred AI Institute
Fei-Fei Li is a woman who has abundant influence across the technology field, boasting a huge Twitter following thanks to her many achievements. Li has close ties to Stanford University, first joining as a professor of computer science in 2009 before becoming the director of Stanford’s AI lab where she focused on improving the image recognition of AI. Her work on the ImageNet project was crucial in training computers to recognise the contents of a picture; she claims ‘If we want machines to think, we need to teach them to see.’
In 2017, Li began a sabbatical from Stanford, during which she became Vice President at Google and worked as the Chief Scientist of AI and Machine Learning at Google Cloud.
And, in addition to holding many of the top jobs in tech, Li finds time to give back to the community she loves. She co-founded a nonprofit called AI4ALL alongside her PhD student, Olga Russakovsky. They aim to increase diversity in the AI field, operating summer programs across the U.S. and introducing people to artificial intelligence opportunities who have been historically excluded.
Kimberley Bryant – Founder and CEO of Black Girls Code
When Kimberley Bryant refers to her life before founding Black Girls Code, she says she was “just a nerdy mom raising a geeky daughter.” This ‘geeky daughter’ showed an interest in computer science but when Bryant looked into coding programs she found that they were dominated by white men. So, in 2011, Bryant used her 401(k), her pension, to found the nonprofit Black Girls Code (BGC) to tackle this. The mission of BGC is to give young black girls access to STEM subjects that they have long been excluded from.
With a goal of ‘training 1 million girls by 2040 to lead, innovate and create in science, tech, engineering and math’ Bryant has great ambitions for the nonprofit. And, with 15 chapters across the U.S. and South Africa, Bryant is undoubtedly making waves in the sector and encouraging black girls worldwide to pursue a career in tech.
And Many More…
Pao, Li, and Bryant are just some of the awe-inspiring women that are excelling in the tech industry right now. And, although there are many more exceptional women we could have included on this list, there are still not enough young girls that are encouraged to pursue a career in tech.
At Conspicuous, we celebrate women in their careers. Our goal is to place as many ambitious, intelligent, and inspiring women into technology leadership positions as possible.
If you’re as excited as us to help women secure their dream jobs in tech, why not join our team?
Get in touch with Vanessa Lowe at +44(0) 7825 138 621 or email Vanessa.Lowe@conspicuous.com to find out more about working at Conspicuous.