Women are bringing huge technological changes in the present world. They are innovating, exploring, and experimenting with different technologies. These women are gradually breaking the glass ceiling and gaining access to the top position in the tech world. But the truth is, they are small in numbers.
Let’s analyse from the beginning:
Women are 50.8% of US population, and account for almost 47% of US labor workforce. But they are just 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs.
And why is it so?
Various studies were carried out to understand these statistics. It was found certain factors discouraged them from rising the corporate ladder, such as the male workforce unwilling to work under a female boss, a thought process that females couldn’t handle the stress just as their male counterparts, they couldn’t dedicate themselves to their professional life, etc. These misconceptions or stereotype is hampering women to move forward and take charge of the crucial activities in an organization.
But time and again, some powerful women have reached the pinnacle of success and inspired other women to follow them for fulfilling their dream.
A right balance at the top-level is something that needs to be actually looked into. It’s a fact that both genders have a different perspective on a specific challenge, and when they work together, it helps in having a holistic approach. They can put their unique views and solutions on the table that could resolve the problems effectively, when integrated into the strategy.
Here, we would be discussing about some top women leaders who have grabbed the right spotlight:
1. Jennifer Morgan:
She is a technology executive and the first American woman to be appointed as SAP executive board in 2017.
Jennifer joined SAP in the year 2004 as a part of the growing public sector business. She was appointed as the co-chief executive officer along with Klein in the year 2019.
In 2020, she stepped down from her position, citing a mutual decision with the company board. The organizational disturbance due to the pandemic was considered the main reason that shake up the leadership structure.
While Jennifer departed from the organization, Klein continued to be the co-CEO. Her talent was always appreciated, and later she joined Blackstone Group Inc. as the global head of the portfolio transformation and talent. This post was considered something relatively new.
Blackstone is an investment management company based out of New York and is into hedge funds, and other financial products.
She was also the first female leader to lead a company that was listed on the DAX-30 index.
2. Ruth Porat:
Ruth Porat is an American business executive who is the chief financial officer of Alphabet Inc. since 2015. Bloomberg Business even reported that hiring deal in the organization amounted to around $70 million.
She started her work at Morgan Stanley in the year 1987 and left in the year 1993. It was in the year 1996, she joined Morgan Stanley organization again.
McKinsey and company analyzed her unique talent and achievements in “How remarkable women lead.”
She was also the CFO of Morgan Stanley from the year January 2010 to May 2015. In 2020, Porat was named as 16th most powerful woman in Forbes magazine.
It was in the year 2013, President Barrack Obama nominated her as the Deputy Secretary of Treasury.
3. Sheryl Sandberg:
She is the COO of Facebook. Her leadership style is something that industry leaders have always admired. She is considered a transformational leader where she celebrates the employees’ success. She even set higher expectations from her employees, which pushes every employee to give their best in any of the projects they are working for. In the year 2012, she became the eighth member of Facebook directors, and in the year 2014, she sold almost half of her shares just when the company went public. Sheryl had almost 41 million shares in the company. In the year 2019, she is believed to be worth over $1.8 billion.
4. Susan Wojcicki:
Susan is the CEO of YouTube. She took over as CEO in the year 2014.
When Susan joined the company, she was the 16th employee of the organization. Susan became the first marketing manager of Google in the year 1999. Before that, she worked for Intel Corporation, R.B Webber & Co., and Bain & Co. After taking over this prominent position, it was observed that the number of female staffers significantly increased. It increased from just a quarter to third, an encouraging and inclusive approach followed by the organization.
During her tenure, the organization followed a policy to strictly tighten the policy on videos as it was considered promoting any hate speech is unacceptable and should not occur through their medium. She has always looked to promote educational content so that more users could gain an advantage from the cutting-edge developments in the technological world.
On July 20, 2018, the company announced a good initiative called YouTube learning, which helps invest in a high number of grants for supporting the education focused content.
She follows a completely new approach in her every initiative. In 2006, she even advocated for $1.65 billion of YouTube.
It is known that Susan significantly contributed a lot to the development of Google images and AdSense. She has been working in the tech industry for more than 20 years.
Susan was also named as one of the 100 most influential people in the year 2015. And currently, she is ranked 41 on the Forbes list of America’s self-made women
5. Ginni Rometty:
She is an American business executive who previously worked as the chief executive officer of IBM from 2012. When she became the leader, there were only 21 women who were leading the Fortune 500 companies. Before she took over, Ginni successfully led the integration of PwC into IBM’s global division in the year 2002. Ginni stepped down from her position as CEO on April 1, 2020. Soon after this Arvind Krishna, took over as the next CEO of the organization. She was also nominated in Bloomberg’s 50 most influential people globally, and a fluent speaker in various conferences. While working in the organization, she directed businesses into cloud computing, analytics, and cognitive computing systems. She was also named on Time 100 list in the year 2012.
6. Meg Whitman:
Meg Whitman was ex-CEO of Hewlett Packard. She was an executive at Walt Disney in the 1980s and an executive at DreamWorks in 1990s. When she was the CEO at eBay (1998-2008), she led the company from 30 employees to around 15000 employees. She could also raise the revenue from $4billion to $8billion within that period. The change seen in these 10 years was commendable. After she joined eBay, she faced the biggest challenge on her first day itself. The website crashed for almost eight hours, a real big challenge. In the same year itself, the company was preparing for IPO. Her net worth is around US$5.1 billion as of September 2020
7. Safra Catz:
She is the CEO of Oracle Corporation. Safra Catz joined the company in April 1999, and became President in 2004. She also worked as CFO from 2005 to 2008. In the year 2005, her efforts were appreciated when she pushed on to acquiring software rival PeopleSoft. Some of the qualities that people have noticed about Safra are she can multi-task at higher levels; she is educated as a lawyer, she is a professional banker, with other qualities. In the year 2009, she was ranked as the 16th most powerful woman by Forbes. In 2009 only, she was ranked as the 12th most powerful businesswoman by Fortune. Her knowledge in technology and finance is impressive and has taken the business world by storm. Her net worth is US$1.1 billion.
8. Kate Crawford:
She is the co-founder of AI Now Institute. Crawford is a thought-leader and has presented her views on the social impact of modern technologies such as AI and ML to the audience.
She executed her research activities at Microsoft Research. Most of her research is directed towards understanding the media technologies, and social change across the world. And it has been widely published in journals such as Communication & Society, New Media & Society, Technology & human values and information. Kate Crawford is even a distinguished professor at New York University.
9. Amy Hood:
She is an American businesswoman and currently working as the chief financial officer at the Microsoft Corporation. She joined the organization in 2002. Before that, she worked at Goldman Sachs & Co. in various investment and capital markets. She is responsible for leading the financial activities of the organization, such as tax planning, acquisitions, accounting and reporting, treasury activities, and investor relations. In the year 2018, she steered Microsoft to crack almost 57 deals. She shifted money from the legacy division including Windows to other cloud computing divisions. People also noticed that within few years when she became the CFO, the company’s stock grew to almost 300%.
10. Gwynne Shotwell:
Gwynne Shotwell is a businesswoman and engineer. She is now the chief operating officer at SpaceX, a well-known space transportation technology company. In May 2020, the organization sent astronauts on the international space station that too for the first time.
It was in the year 1988, she started working at the research centre of Aerospace Corporation. She executed all the research activities and did the technical work on the military development contracts.
Shotwell joined SpaceX in 2002 as the vice president of business development. Before joining SpaceX, she was working at Microcosm Inc. as the space systems director. Under her guidance, the organization witnessed an impressive growth. In 2019, the company launched more than 700 satellites for the Starlink project.
At that time, she was the eleventh employee of the organization. She was responsible for managing all the customer and strategic relations for supporting the company’s growth. As a VP of business development, she helped in the effort to build the Falcon vehicle. She helped ramp up the business activities of the organization.
She has a significant public outreach. In June 2013, she spoke in a TEDx talk, about the importance of science, mathematics, technology, and engineering
It is interesting to see women leaders holding crucial positions at the top place. They are changing the way a corporate world works with their creative, bright and practical minds. Besides that, they are motivating their employees to give their best at the workplace.
Women are the change masters as they could see the world through different lenses. They understand the paradoxes in the technological world and introduce innovative solutions. This blog talks about some of the top women leaders in the technology world, who were noticed by the entire world.
With the ushering of the new year-2021, we would be seeing more women leaders rising to the top level.