30 Women Who Have Revolutionized A Male-Dominated Industry

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30 Women Who Have Revolutionized A Male-Dominated Industry

The tech industry has a gender problem, but fortunately there are still women who have broken through the glass ceiling.

Some of them are CEO’s at household-name companies, others are up-and-coming stars with fresh, industry changing ideas.

Approximately 5 percent of America’s Fortune 500 Companies are led by women. Though this might seem small, it proves one thing: women are taking up the reins and leading their companies — something nearly unheard of until a few decades ago. The days of pure patriarchy are gone as women usher in a new age of female-run enterprises.

More importantly, women in the business world are helping others achieve their goals- a move that could improve the outlook for women in technology.

This piece is dedicated to the women who’ve served as the architects for modern technology, and to all the girls who will continue on with the legacy.


Sheryl Sandberg

Author of “Lean-In” and COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg is one of the wealthiest women in Silicon Valley. A graduate of Harvard, Sandberg was the first woman to join Facebook’s board. Much of Facebook’s success can be attributed to her intimate understanding of enterprise. It was Sandberg who helped Facebook go public and greatly expanded their digital cash flow.


Susan Wojcicki

Susan Wojcicki, currently the chief executive of YouTube, joined Google in 1999. More than just the former landlord of the original Google office (which was based out of her garage), Wojcicki would later become the brilliant mind behind the shocking growth of Youtube’s worth to 20 billion USD, taking revenue from 1.65 billion to 4 billion in a relatively short time.


Marissa Mayer

In 2012, Marissa Mayer was hired as the President, CEO and Director of Yahoo. Prior to Yahoo, she worked as the VP of Local, Maps and Location Services at Google. She spearheaded multiple projects during her time at Google, and was responsible for things like Google Maps, Google Earth and Street view. Though she is currently an expectant mother and plans to go on maternity leave in the near future, Marissa Mayer says that she will not stay away from Yahoo! for long (two weeks to be exact!).


Ruth Porat

Originally a big wig on Wall Street, Ruth Porat recently moved from her long-time career as VP of Investment Banking at the famous Morgan Stanley to the edgy, modern world of Google. She has acted as an advisor to the U.S. Treasury and NY Fed and is widely viewed as one of the world’s most powerful women. Porat remains CFO at both Google and Alphabet, Google’s new umbrella company.


Weili Dai

Dai is the president and co-founder of Marvell Technology Group. This multibillion dollar tech company, who employs more than 7,000 people and boasts customers like Google, Samsung and more,  started in the middle of Weili Dai and her husband Sehat Sudarja’s kitchen. Today they are the leading supplier of computer chips. Weili Dai currently mentors two up-and-coming stars: Lark’s co-founder and CEO Julia Hu and Depict’s CEO Kimberly Gordon.

(Photo by Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


Julia Hu

Named one of the Top 10 Women in Tech by Forbes and 30 Under 30 by Inc, Julia Hu is a co-founder and CEO at Lark Technologies with a Stanford background and a love for hip hop dance classes. She also happens to be the first person to be proposed to during an interview at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York.  She is currently being mentored by Marvell Technology’s Weili Dai.


Kimberly Gordon

Founder and CEO of Depict, Kimberly Gordon created a business model that would open the art world to more people and help bring an increase of value for artists. Depict is a digital art frame that allows people to find, collect and add digital art to the Depict frame, a model meant for connecting art lovers and curators alike. Before making waves with Depict, Gordon worked on the first domestic carbon trading platform in Shanghai. She attributes much of her success to the mentors she has had over the years.

(Image, Depict)


Penelope Trunk

Shortly after her career as a webmaster for Ingram Micro (a Fortune 100 company and the world’s largest wholesale technology products distributor), Penelope Trunk began founding businesses like Math.com, eCitydeals, Brazen Careerist and now Quistic. She’s written for over 200 newspapers and is famous for giving seemingly counterintuitive yet effective advice like “Don’t go to grad school” or “Choose sex over money…”.  Her personal blog is funny and moving and sometimes forces its readers to face the hard realities of life for an entrepreneurial woman.



Lisa Conquergood

After receiving her MBA, Lisa Conquergood landed a leadership position in the e-commerce department of Eddie Bauer. From there, she worked briefly with Expedia and later began working with PicNik as the Chief Marketing Officer. Lisa remained with the company when it was purchased by Google, but shortly after that, Google closed PicNik. So, the team packed their bags and went to work on PicMonkey, a newer, faster version of PicNik. PicMonkey now attracts 20 million visits per month, a whopping number for a company so young!

(Image from Twitter)


Meg Whitman

A graduate of Harvard’s MBA program, Meg Whitman joined Proctor & Gamble as a brand manager. After 2 years, she and her husband left for San Francisco, where she began working at Bain & Company alongside Mitt Romney. Though she held high level positions at companies like Disney and Hasbro, the real game changer for her happened when she led a young eBay from $86 million her first year to $7.7 billion ten years later. A decade later, Whitman became CEO of Hewlett Packard. Whitman is rated by Forbes as the 14th most powerful woman in the world.


Lucy Peng

Lucy Peng holds one of the most powerful positions in the whole of Alibaba. She runs Alibaba’s financial services unit, spearheading a segment of the company that boasts a total of 615 million users and she also happens to be the co-founder of Alibaba. Ant Financial’s value has been estimated around $35 to $40 billion. Alipay, the eastern equivalent of Paypal, is the driving force behind Alibaba’s e-commerce. She and Alibaba’s CFO Maggie Wu are nicknamed Alibaba’s “dynamic duo” by Fortune Magazine.


Amy Hood

With a background in investment banking and capital market groups, Hood joined Microsoft in 2002. Known by many as the first female CFO of Microsoft, she was responsible for $86.8 billion dollars worth of revenue in 2014. She also oversaw the bid for Minecraft, a $2.5 billion dollar acquisition. Hood was also the major driving force in the procurement of Yammer and Skype.

(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)


Ginni Rometty

After graduating with degrees in computer science and electrical engineering from Northwestern University, Ginni Rometty joined IBM as a systems engineer. Later, she was promoted and led IBM’s sales and marketing department. After she became CEO in 2012, she executed a series of major changes for the company, ultimately focusing heavily on helping their clients get with the 2000’s and spearheading one of the largest company facelifts since IBM’s creation in 1911.  Forbes currently lists Rometty as the 13th most powerful woman in the world and the 55th most powerful person.


Safra Catz

For 16 years Safra Catz worked alongside Oracle’s founder and CEO, Larry Ellison and became co-Ceo in 2014. Prior to her position as CEO, she has acted as President and CFO of Oracle. Over 85 acquisitions in the past 5 years have been a major result of Catz’ determination and effort.  Forbes named her the 24th most powerful woman in the world for 2015 with a networth of $525 million dollars.

(David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


Angela Ahrendts

Coined as the first woman on Tim Cook’s Apple leadership team, Angela Ahrendts comes with a long and impressive list of  famous, big name companies like Burberry, Donna Karan International, Liz Claiborne and Henri Bendel. Prior to Apple, she acted as CEO at Burberry and tripled the company’s revenue by more than $3 billion dollars. She also happens to be the highest paid female executive in the U.S. bringing in a jaw-dropping $82.6 million dollars in 2014.


Ursula Burns

Unbeknownst to the world, Ursula Burns joined Xerox as a summer intern in 1980 and would later become the most powerful woman in the company. In a period of just a few short years since she became CEO in 2009, Burns drove Xerox to transform from a global document company to a massive enterprise with a diverse set of services and clients. Though she remains busy with her current position, Ursula is a board director of the Ford Foundation, American Express and Exxon Mobil Corporation and is a leader in various non-profit organizations.

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


Mary Meeker

From 1991-2010, Mary Meeker worked as a managing director and research analyst at Morgan Stanley. During her time at Morgan Stanley, everal of her previous projects included companies such as Alibaba, Amazon, Inuit, Apple, Ebay, Microsoft and Priceline. Meeker joined KPCB in 2010 and now manages Digital Growth Funds. Meeker has long been called the “Queen of Silicon Valley” since she joined KPCB in 2010. She’s authored a number of books on Internet trends and reports.


Solina Chau

More than just the wife of Asia’s richest man, Solina Chau is responsible for Horizons Ventures’ investment in the tech industry including artificial intelligence and virtual reality and focusing on infectious diseases and the environment. With around $9 billion at its disposal, the Li Ka-Shing Foundation is a powerful charity organization and happens to be funded by her husband, co-founder and financier Li Ka-Shing. Chau is known to be a woman of formidable talent when it comes to expanding wealth. In an interview, she stated, “I like to give little gold coins to children as their birthday present. A toy is a ‘write-off’, but a coin is an asset.”

(Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)


Padmasree Warrior

Padmasree Warrior has been a major component of Cisco Systems’ successful acquisitions. Before she entered the scene at Cisco, Warrior acted as CTO and executive vice president at Motorola. It was thanks to her that Motorola received the 2004 National Medal of Technology. She has made a series of major accomplishments that have landed her a myriad of awards. Recently, Warrior left Cisco Systems rumors abound that Twitter has invited her to become their next CEO.


Jenny Lee

With experience at companies like Morgan Stanley, JAFCO Asia and Singapore Technologies Aerospace, Lee is, despite her youthful appearance, a veteran venture capitalist. Forbes has named her the top venture capitalist for 2015- the first woman ever to make it to Number 1 on Forbes’ list. Lee was a major catalyst for GGV’s presence in China. Primarily focusing on non-traditional technology companies, Lee is responsible for a series of major investments for GGV including 21Vianet Group, Inc., a leading internet data service center in China.

(Image from Forbes)


Zoe Barry

Saving bald eagles isn’t the only thing this young entrepreneur is most notable for. Far more than a pretty face, Zoe Barry, a graduate of Columbia University, first noticed a problem with the e-prescribing process when she worked at athenahealth. Leaving athenahealth in 2012, she started ZappRx in an effort to change what she realized were some major inefficiencies. She may not be a name that you recognize right away, but that may change very soon. Barry aims to help female entrepreneurs through advising women and hiring 50% female employees.

(Image from ZappRx)


Kegan Schouwenburg

Orthotics are not what we typically associate with the words “sexy” and “technology”, but Schouwenburg, the ingenious founder of Sols, has managed to do just that. Armed with 3D printing technology and an ipad, she enables the flat-footed a chance at comfortable, custom-fitted insoles. Sols has over $20 million investor dollars backing them and extends to 300 cities in 3 different countries. It is taking the orthotic AND fashion industry by storm, one custom print at a time. Schouwenburg is yet another young entrepreneur to keep an eye on.


Anda Gansca

Born and raised in her native Transylvania, Gansca came to the United States after being accepted to Stanford. Gansca has defined herself as “a rebel kid”, though her acts of rebellion often resulted in philanthropic feats. Her “rebellious” efforts would later take the form of two non-profit initiatives while she was in college. Knotch measures content performance through interactive polling.

(Hubert Burda Media/Flickr)


Olga Vidisheva

Originally from Russia, Vidisheva entered college in the United States at 17 years old. Modeling to pay for her tuition, she would graduate from Wellesley College in 2007 and work for Goldman Sachs and Co. A shopping lover herself, Vidisheva would go on business trips and visit small, local boutiques. She noticed though, that the little boutiques she would visit had almost no online presence. While at Harvard Business School, she drafted up a business plan to enable small boutiques the ability to get involved with e-commerce and officially launched Shoptiques in the year 2012.


Polina Raygorodskaya

Raygorodskaya, like many entrepreneurs with industry changing ideas before her, came up with the idea for her business during a time of need. She was on a cross country trip with a group of friends. Thanks to a ride that fell through and trouble figuring out the bus and train route, she realized that there wasn’t really a reliable website for bus routes. They had quite the task ahead of them. It was thanks to Greyhound’s former CEO, Craig Lensch, who became, in a sense, their guardian angel. Lensch would soon become their investor and advisor and Wanderu would go on to be a major game changer for the industry. Raygorodskaya has been recognized by LegalZoom, Business Week and the Fox Business Channel.

(Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)


Julia Hartz

Before building Eventbrite, Hartz was a television development exec at MTV and FX Networks. With 7 offices around the world, over 500 employees and more than $3 billion in gross ticket sales, the young company has grown tremendously. Voted Best Places to Work in San Francisco Bay Area, Eventbrite is known for its transparent and positive work culture. Hartz was listed in Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in 2013. In an interview with Lydia Dishman, a Forbes contributor, Hartz stated that she was not overtly fond of school and prefers to call herself a “Doer” rather than an entrepreneur.


Alisa Matsanyuk

Noted by many as one of the most respected voices in marketing, promotion and advertising in online gaming in Europe, Matsanyuk has been an avid gamer since childhood. After being a marketing executive at Astrum Online Entertainment, Chumachenko left to start Game Insight. The company began developing gaming apps for social networking sites and are now a social and mobile company. Boasting more than 300 million players, 9 development studios and more than 800 employees, Game Insight has grown to become one of the top gaming companies in the world.



Kathryn Minshew

Listed in Inc’s 15 Women to Watch in Tech, Business Insider’s 30 Most Important Women Under 30 in Tech and Forbes 30 Under 30 in Media, Minshew is blazing the way for young professionals on the path to their careers. Minshew created the Muse for young professionals like herself, young professionals who are looking for a bit of direction. A multitude of big-name companies like The Wall Street Journal, AOL and MailChimp pay to reach out to possible employees through Muse. She is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review and Wall Street Journal and has appeared on CNN and The Today Show.


Alex Cavoulacos

A graduate of Yale University, Cavoulacos  has spoken at WNYC and named one of INC’s 15 Women to Watch in Tech. Cavoulacos first met Minshew during their first month as management consultants at Mckinsey & Company. They worked on a few consulting projects together and realized that their combined skills and abilities made a powerful concoction. The Muse helps over 4 million users a month and focuses much of her attention on entrepreneurship and productivity.


Lady Ada Lovelace

She isn’t exactly a CEO or CFO of a tech company, but Lady Ada Lovelace is arguably the first computer programmer to exist. Born in 1814, Lady Lovelace was the daughter of the infamous Lord Byron. An innovator and visionary, Lovelace enjoyed mathematics, and would later meet a man named Charles Babbage, who would develop a machine for calculating. Lovelace came up with an algorithm meant specifically for Babbage’s machine. She never did get to test her algorithm, but it was a vision that would be realized many years later after the birth of the computer.

(Image Google Official Blog)