After recently seeing the inspiring film Hidden Figures, it had me thinking. A true story about three brilliant African American women working at NASA who served as the brains behind the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. The movie is inspiring real young women to consider careers in science and technology, a career known to mostly be lead and controlled by men.
It is said that 56% of Women dominate the professional workplace in the US and yet the Tech World is still overtaken by men in many ways. Statistics show: at Google, women make up 30 percent of the company's overall workforce, but hold only 17 percent of the company's tech jobs. At Facebook, 15 percent of tech roles are staffed by women. At Twitter, it's a laughable 10 percent.
Why is this, we ask? It could be many reasons such as lack of interest, not knowing their options, media stereotypes etc. While this may all be true, the biggest reason could be simply a lack of encouragement to all these growing concerns. Simply, we can encourage girls at a young age if we notice interest and encourage conversation. Women who are already in tech can try to be more vocally supportive of other women exploring this option. Just like the movie Hidden Figures, we can bring awareness and overcome the stereotypes society has for people working in Tech. Maybe, we could encourage women to take the leap and get involved in an industry that's incredibly exciting!
The truth is we need both women and men to pursue technology careers especially in a world where everything we do is influenced by technology itself. It is not one gender over the other, but both working together to have a greater influence and effect in the tech world.
In honor of recent celebration of Women in Tech week I want to show off some of the top most influential and inspiring Women leaders in Tech today and maybe encourage young women looking in this direction.
Sheryl Sandberg – Facebook COO.
Named the most powerful woman in technology on the Forbes’100 Most Powerful Women list. Sheryl is not only as a billionaire and top executive at the world’s fifth most valuable brand but also has a voice for female empowerment in the workplace and shared responsibilities at home (now that’s hustling!)
2. Susan Wojcicki - YouTube CEO
Wojcicki, called "the most important person in advertising" was named to Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2015and described in a later issue of Time as “the most powerful woman on the internet”.
As a female CEO in the male-dominated tech industry, YouTube’s Susan Wojcicki is unique. Wojcicki believes that a robust home life is critical to succeeding in the workplace. A vocal advocate for generous family benefits — paid maternity leave in particular — she wants all parents to have the ability to care for their kids while still being able to shine in the workplace.
“At YouTube, it’s been an opportunity for me to be able to help other women,” Wojcicki says. “I see the potential that women have. And I enjoy being a mentor, figuring the best way for them to balance work with family.”
3. EN FITZPATRICK: VP, Google Maps
Jen Fitzpatrick leads the product and engineering efforts for Google’s local products including local search, Google Places and Place pages. During her 11 years at Google, Jen has led software development for a wide variety of Google products and teams, including AdWords, Google News, Product Search, corporate engineering and the Google Search Appliance. Jen was also a co-founding member of Google's user experience team. She started at Google in 1999 and was one of the company’s first female engineers.
To all those who aren’t CEO’s or VP’s of big known companies but are making waves in smaller business, we honor you and your progress!
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By: Kailey Barendregt