Top 10 Women in Tech that You Haven’t Heard of (Yet!)

You may not have heard of these women in tech yet…but you should have! They are the innovators, founders, and engineers that are quietly making big waves.

Tech companies often pride themselves on being progressive.

Yet when it comes to gender equality in the workplace, tech employs a smaller percentage of women compared to the workforce as a whole. Female employees only make up 27-47% of major tech companies with even lower percentages when looking at the tech-focused jobs.

A big part of the issue is that there just aren’t a lot of female Software Developers. Globally, only 11% of developers identify as women. But it wasn’t always like this.

In the 70s to 80s, Software Development was actually considered a “women’s job.” What changed?

During the Silicon Valley gold rush in the 80s, new stereotypes emerged and were spread far and wide by mass media. Suddenly, male nerds were a thing and video games were toys for boys. Women weren’t enrolling in Computer Science anymore, meaning less female programmers entering the workforce.

Fast forward to 2020 where the tech industry is still very male dominated. Beliefs are slowly starting to shift with cool programs like Ladies Learning Code popping up globally.

Despite today’s underwhelming numbers, there are still a lot of women in tech doing amazing work. Too many to fit on this list!

We’ve all heard about the Susan Wojcicki ‘s of the tech industry, but what about the rest? Keep reading to discover the women in tech you may not have heard of…but that you should have!

1. Brenda Romero

Gaming guru Brenda Romero started her career in 1981 with the goal of “knowing everything there was to know about gaming.” She holds the record for the longest career of any other woman in the gaming industry. Today she is the Program Director for the Masters of Science in Games and Playable Media at UC. Santa Cruz.

Learn more about Brenda Romero

2. Jennifer Fleiss and Jennifer Hyman

This powerful “Jennifer duo” founded the startup unicorn Rent the Runway in 2009. The two Harvard grads launched their idea out of necessity when Hyman’s sister dropped $2,000 on a dress for a wedding, sending her into deeper credit card debt. These two fashionistas have changed the game for women in tech with a simple idea that snowballed into an online business with a $1 billion valuation.

Learn more about Jennifer Fleiss and Jennifer Hyman

3. Olga Fitzroy

Audio engineer Olga Fitzroy has produced music for everyone from Coldplay to the Beatles. Highly sought after by artists of all genres, she travels the world, creating modern masterpieces in the form of albums and film scores.

Learn more about Olga Fitzroy

4. Helen Boaden

Since 1979, Helen Boaden has been revolutionizing the role of women in media. From presenter to controller–she has held a wide range of roles since joining BBC in 1983. Today, she manages BBC’s global news and current affairs for online media, television, and radio.

Learn more about Helen Boaden

5. Kiah Williams

Startup founder Kiah Williams was shocked by the amount of unused medication wasted in the United States every year (over $5 billion worth). She decided to do something about it by launching SIRUM. It’s an online platform to collect and redistribute medication to patients in need. To date, the company redistributes over $80,000 in unused medications every month.

Learn more about Kiah Williams

6. Katrina Craigwell

As the VP of Global Marketing Innovation at GE Digital, Katrina Craigwell is leading the way for women in marketing technology. Her latest project, GE Neuro, takes viewers on a virtual tour of the human brain. In addition to her marketing role, Craigwell is a fierce champion for women of color in marketing.

Learn more about Katrina Craigwell

7. Kiki Wolfkill

No doubt a living legend to teens and twenty-somethings everywhere, Kiki Wolfkill is the Executive Producer behind the magic of the Halo video game series at Microsoft Studios. In addition to the game, Wolfkill oversees the entire franchise, guiding the direction of comics, novels, and branded merchandise.

Learn more about Kiki Wolfkill

8. Sarah Leary

The “digital neighborhood” Nextdoor has been bringing neighbors together (online) since 2008. Co-founder Sarah Leary has helped scale the business to a $1 billion valuation with over 180,000 participating neighborhoods in the United States alone.

Learn more about Sarah Leary

9. Marilou McFarlane

As the founder of Vivo Girls Sports, Marilou McFarlane spearheaded a global digital media property that has since been adopted by Olympians, advertisers, and young athletes. It was also the inspiration for the launch of the ESPNW network. Today, McFarlane serves as Founder and Board Chair for Women in Sports Tech.

Learn more about Marilou McFarlane

10. Sarah Kennedy Ellis

As CMO of marketing automation giant Marketo, Sarah Kennedy Ellis is passionate about creating a better customer experience. She encourages her team to experiment, but with one thought in mind: everything comes back to the customer. She is known for using her prior creative experience at Adobe to tell powerful stories about the power of marketing technology in business transformation.

Learn more about Sarah Kennedy Ellis

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The women above haven’t been getting nearly the attention they deserve. If you feel inspired, head over to your social network of choice and show them some love!

Annabel Youens

About Annabel Youens

I'm a co-founder and CMO at AE. I believe that truly successful internet businesses have to connect people. {wave} When I'm not online I'm exploring beautiful Vancouver Island. Things I love: everything scifi, literary fiction, coffee, Google Music, my workhorse sewing machine and board games.