10 Powerful Women in the World of Technology
Technology is an extremely competitive field, traditionally dominated by men. Happily, that’s changing. Below, we have highlighted 10 female tech titans on Forbes Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential women from around the world.
Sheryl Sandberg is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook where she oversees sales, marketing, business development, human resources, public policy, and communications. In addition, she is the founder of the Lean In Foundation, which helps to empower women to realize their ambitions. She also serves on the board of directors of several organizations such as The Walt Disney Company and SurveyMonkey. Before Facebook, Sandberg worked at Google as VP of Global Online Sales and Operations, and helped launch Google’s philanthropic arm. Sandberg also served as Chief of Staff for United States Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers.
After starting her career in marketing at Intel, Wojcicki moved on to management consultant positions at Bain & Company and R. B. Webber & Company. In 1999 she became Google’s first Marketing Manager, where she successfully worked on programs including Google Doodles, Google Images, and Google Books. She was later promoted to Senior Vice President of Advertising & Commerce where she headed projects like AdWords, AdSense, DoubleClick, and Google Analytics. Interestingly, Google’s first office operated out of her garage in Menlo Park, CA. Wojcicki now serves as Chief Executive Officer of YouTube.
Meg Whitman started her career as a brand manager for Procter & Gamble, moving on to work as a consultant at Bain & Company. Later, she became Vice President of Strategic Planning at The Walt Disney Company and then President and CEO of Florists’ Transworld Delivery. At Hasbro’s Playskool Division she was General Manager where she oversaw both the Playskool and Mr. Potato Head brands. In addition, Whitman brought the UK’s television show Teletubbies to the United States. She became CEO of eBay in 1998 before she settled into her current role as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. Whitman serves on several boards and has created many charitable foundations.
Beginning a lifelong career at the company, Ginni Rometty started at IBM as a Systems Engineer in 1981. She then joined their Consulting Group in 1991. Eleven years later, she advocated for the purchase of the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting. Rometty then became Senior Vice President and Group Executive for Sales, Marketing and Strategy. She also spearheaded the Watson project, which was responsible for preparing the computer for commercial use. In 2011, she became IBM’s first female President and CEO, where she serves to this day. In 2014 Rometty became the third female member of the Augusta National Golf Club.
Ruth Porat is currently the Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company. She started her impressive career at Morgan Stanley. After a three-year stint at Smith Barney, Ruth returned to Morgan Stanley where she was quickly promoted first to Vice Chairman of Investment Banking, and once more to Global Head of the Financial Institutions Group. During the financial crisis, she was an advisor to the US Department of the Treasury and was highlighted in the 2011 HBO movie, “Too Big to Fail.” In 2015 Porat joined Google as Chief Financial Officer.
The first female African American CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Ursula Burns began her illustrious and storied career at Xerox as a summer intern in 1980. Her early responsibilities included various roles in Product Development and Planning. From there she moved on to Executive Assistant positions for several senior executives. After a stint as Vice President for Global Manufacturing, Burns was quickly promoted to Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategic Services. A mere two years later she was named President of Business Group Operations, then President , and ultimately CEO. Burns serves on numerous boards including Exxon Mobil Corporation and American Express.
Lucy Peng began her career as a professor of Finance and Economics at Zhejiang University. She went on to become a co-creator of the Alibaba Group, an e-commerce company that provides sales services via web portals. Early on, her responsibilities included creating and ultimately managing the HR Department. She then became CEO of Alipay, which under her management became the most successful payment gateway within China. Peng then founded Ant Financial Services, which supports small businesses. She also serves as Chief People Officer for Alibaba where she oversees approximately 35,000 employees.
Amy Hood has the distinction of being Microsoft’s first female Chief Financial Officer. She started her career at Goldman Sachs as an Associate in the Investment Banking and Equity Capital Markets. She moved on to Microsoft in 2002 where she was Director of Investor Relations. She subsequently became General Manager in 2006, and CFO in 2013. During Hood’s rise through the company, she worked on several high-profile acquisitions, such as Skype and Yammer. Her accomplishments include bringing in $93.6 billion in revenue for the FY2015, a 7.2% increase over the previous year.
After graduating from Stanford University in 1997, Marissa Mayer immediately received 14 job offers. She joined Google two years later as employee number 20 and its first female Engineer. She was eventually promoted to Product Manager, then Director of Consumer Web Products. As one of the key people responsible for the creation of the extremely profitable AdWords program, Mayer was soon promoted to Vice President of Search Products and User Experience. She spearheaded many groundbreaking projects including Google Search, Google Images, Google News, Google Maps, Google Books, Google Product Search, Google Toolbar, iGoogle, and Gmail. At the age of 33, she was the youngest woman to appear on Forbes’ 2008 list of the 100 most influential women.
Zhou Qunfei is an entrepreneur who founded Lens Technology in 1993, which produced watch lenses. The company got their big break when TCL Corporation contracted with them to make mobile phone screens. Since then, she has created screens for companies like Motorola, HTC, Nokia, Samsung Electric, Apple, and Huawei. In 2015, Zhou was named richest woman in China and holds the title for richest self-made woman.
Content originally published by Eureka.