At Talent Works, we work with several clients in tech. So, we decided, on International Women’s Day, to celebrate the women working in tech.
Technology is an incredible force for good in our ever-changing world. Yet, it is estimated that only 1% of the tech sector will be female by 2040 if there are no interventions. However, the tech industry is gradually changing. More and more women are excelling in tech careers thanks to female pioneers such as those we’re celebrating below, as well as organisations such as Girls Who Code. To celebrate, we thought we’d take a look at some of the women currently changing the future of tech.
Young software engineer Trisha Prabhu developed an app called ReThink to help curb cyberbullying. After a young girl committed suicide because of online abuse, she was inspired to understand why young people send abusive messages. She learned that the prefrontal cortex, which controls decision-making skills, isn’t fully developed until age 25. Therefore, at times adolescents don’t consider what they do before they do it, resulting in impulsive, often harmful decisions such as sending an abusive message. Prabhu realised that if she could develop an app which detects offensive messages before they’re sent, she could give young people the chance to rethink what they are about to post. The app has been incredibly successful, with research showing that 93% of teenagers who had ReThink decided not to publish an abusive message. You can check out her Ted Talk here.
Tech Entrepreneur Zara Nanu founded software business Gapsquare in 2015 to help close the gender pay gap in less than 20 years. Gapsquare uses machine learning to analyse a company’s gender pay gap and flag opportunities to close it as they arise. Data can provide tangible goals for businesses to aim for in terms of their Diversity and Inclusion policies. Such data can influence whether candidates choose to work for certain companies, and in turn, this level of transparency can increase retention rates. So, not only is Zara Nanu helping to end pay inequality, she’s providing lasting change to employee welfare and optimising workforces. You can check out the Gapsquare website here.
Founder of Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani, is helping to close the gender gap in the tech industries. Girls Who Code provides free after-school programmes which teach girls computer science, communication skills vital for developing a career, and the values of sisterhood. She cites evidence from psychologist Carol Dweck who found that girls with a high IQ were quick to give up on challenging material, whereas boys with a high IQ were more likely to redouble their efforts. Saujani states in her Ted Talk that â€œwomen have been socialised to aspire to perfection. Girls Who Code is her answer to the perfection problem, by advocating teaching girls bravery, not perfection.” You can hear her talk about this here.
Kimberly Bryant is the founder of Black Girls Code, a not-for-profit which works to increase the number of women of colour working in tech, which currently sits at only 3%. The organisation provides opportunities to girls from underrepresented communities, who are talented in the STEM and Computer Science fields. She says, Black Girls Code is about instilling a sense of confidence in their own innate ability, so they can lead and create companies of their own. The organisation is community driven and committed to their own values, having refused grants from large companies they feel are not active enough in the community. Bryant was named as a Champion of Change for Tech Inclusion at the White House in 2013. You can watch her Ted Talk here.
Susan Wojcicki has been named one of the most powerful women “on the internet.” She was involved in the founding of Google and is now CEO of YouTube. She is also a pioneer of diversity in the workplace, advocating for more women to work in tech and for getting girls interested in computer science. She has also advocated for the US to become a leader in maternity-leave benefits.” Any list of women in tech would be incomplete without her!
Named by the BBC as one of its 100 Women of 2016, Yasmine Mustafa is the founder of ROAR for Good, an organisation which produces a piece of tech jewellery called Athena. Athena is designed as a discreet device used to share a person’s location and sound an alarm if they feel unsafe. Initially moving to the United States as a refugee at 8 years old, Yasmine first founded 123LinkIt, a blog advertising agency. Most recently, she founded the Philadelphia chapter of Girl Develop It which provides affordable web development classes for women. A social entrepreneur who is championing the rise of women in tech, Yasmine Mustafa isn’t stopping anytime soon.
The highest paid executive at Apple until April when she leaves for “new personal and professional pursuits,” Angela Ahrendts has been a surprise to the tech industry. Moving from the fashion industry as former Burberry CEO into the Head of Retail position in 2014, she became one of the most important people in Apple. She leads 50% of the workforce and is still the only woman on the senior leadership team.”
Progress is on the rise, and these are just some of the women spearheading the movement. You can check out last year’s post on our Top 5 marketing campaigns empowering women here.
Happy International Women’s Day to all our colleagues and clients!