For a long time, women were the exception in the tech world. But a lot has happened in recent years and there are more and more women at the top of technology companies or in technical professions. Some even today lead multimillion-dollar corporations with global influence. TECHBOOK presents 11 women who have moved the technology world.
Women in management positions in tech companies are still not a matter of course. But they exist, and fortunately their numbers are increasing. TECHBOOK presents eleven of the most influential representatives of the technology industry.
Susan Wojcicki – Chief Executive Officer at YouTube
Susan Wojcicki’s rapid ascent began in a garage in Menlo Park in Silicon Valley. It was rented in 1998 by Larry Paige and Sergej Brin (who would marry Wojcicki’s sister Anne nine years later). It was here that the two founders launched the Internet search engine Google, which was to develop into a group that today, under the name Alphabet Inc., is one of the most valuable companies in the world. Just one year later, in 1999, the two brought in Wojcicki. She became Google’s first marketing manager and was responsible for changing the appearance of the Google logo on special (holiday) days.
In 2014, the California native joined YouTube as the new Chief Executive Officer. There she launched the gaming platform YouTube Gaming and the streaming services YouTube Music and YouTube TV. Not least because of this, the mother of five was ranked 6th in the “100 most powerful women in the world” list by “Forbes” magazine in 2017.
Also read: Google – a story about a garage and a 1 with many zeros
Antje Williams – Senior Vice President 5G Campus Network at Deutsche Telekom
The Handelsblatt recently called Antje Willams “Mrs. 5G of Telekom”. And rightly so. Because since 2018 it has been Williams’ task to equip industrial parks, warehouses and hospitals with the fourth and fifth generation mobile communications standard. Mobile communications are often superior to WLAN, Williams said in an interview with the “Handelsblatt“. A company’s own mobile network, a so-called campus network on the company premises, is the better choice. Because even the actually perfect coverage of an industrial site by the public mobile network is often not sufficient for the requirements of the economy. “Production needs about double protection against failures and high data throughput,” said the 5G expert at the time. Amazing: Williams actually studied law, and she began her career in the early 00s in Telekom’s legal department.
Sabine Bendiek – Chief People Officer at SAP
Management consultancy McKinsey, technology consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton, computer manufacturer Dell – Sabine Bendiek held management positions at a number of major American companies early in her career. This shows once again that gender equality in the USA has already made much more progress than in Germany. In 2016, Bendieck was the first woman to take over the management of Microsoft Germany. She repeatedly campaigned for more women’s power in tech jobs, which made her a role model in striving for more equal treatment. At the beginning of 2021, the 56-year-old finally switched to the SAP Executive Board, where she has since been able to push her most important concern even more impressively as Chief People Officer.
Anna Dimitrova – Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer at Vodafone Germany
Anna Dimitrova has been Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer of Vodafone Germany since March 2022, where she previously worked for four years as Managing Director Finance & Strategy. She loves people, numbers and challenges, Dimitrova once said to the “Handelsblatt”. And the excellent reputation that precedes the native Bulgarian shows that her love is accompanied by great expertise. This is proven not least by the fact that Vodafone Germany came through the Corona crisis very well.
A pleasant anecdote: Dimitrova once failed her entrance exam for a global management program, as she frankly told the “Handelsblatt”. In the soft skills test in the forest, the 46-year-old, who had only learned Russian at school and only English for the said test for everyday work, simply ran out of vocabulary. But her boss at the time gave Dimitrova a second chance. He didn’t want to hire a forester, but needed a business woman, was his reasoning.
Carol Shaw – the first game designer and programmer
It’s been a number of years since it peaked. But anyone who is even remotely interested in the history of computer games should have read or heard the name Carol Shaw. The American, born in Palo Alto, California, in 1955 is considered the first female computer game developer. In 1979, for example, she developed “3D Tic-Tac-Toe” for the Atari 2600 game console, a game that today enjoys legendary status, just like her other creations – “Video Checkers” and “River Raid”.
In fact, Atari’s heyday in the late ’70s and early ’80s is hard to imagine without Shaw. The online magazine “Videogeschichten” also called “River Raid”, presented by Shaw in 1982 for the Atari splitter company Activision, “a tough action shooter and a real masterpiece”. And even though Shaw retired around twenty years ago, her opinion still counts a lot in the gaming industry. In 2017 she received the Industry Icon Award for River Raid at the Game Awards.
Also Read: How to Become a Game Programmer
Christine Spiten – Engineer and co-founder of Blueeye Robotics
Christine Spiten has set herself the goal of supporting research with her work at the same time as raising public awareness of the effects of global warming. The Norwegian engineer is co-founder of Blueeye Robotics. The start-up has been producing smartphone-controlled underwater drones since 2015, which dive 150 meters deep and use various parameters to provide information about the state of life in our oceans. Spiten, who was also her country’s sailing champion in 2007, was included in the “The World’s Top 50 Women in Tech” list by the renowned business magazine “Forbes” in 2018 at the age of just 28. At Blueeye Robotics she is responsible for the design, development and sale of the drones.
Mariam Kaynia – Director of Architecture, Strategy and Analytics at Telefónica Germany
Mariam Kaynia is to lead Telefónica into the future. As Director of Architecture, Strategy and Analytics, Kaynia, who was born in Iran and also has Norwegian citizenship, is responsible for what Telefonica calls “the company’s largest IT transformation program to date”. In the future, Telefónica will be able to bring innovations to the market even faster, increase the reliability of its systems and significantly improve customer satisfaction, says Kaynia, who has master’s degrees in the fields of wireless communication and electrical engineering, in an interview with the “Handelsblatt”. For example, the costs for operating all applications would be “reduced by up to 30 percent from 2025 compared to today,” she says.
The 39-year-old, who received her doctorate from the Technical University of Norway in 2010 and joined Telefónica in 2019, worked as a consultant for the management consultancy McKinsey & Company in Germany during the intervening years, most recently even as an associate partner.
Constanze Hufenbecher – Member of the Board and Chief Digital Transformation Officer Infineon
In 2021, Constanze Hufenbecher was the first woman ever to join the Infineon Management Board. The fact that a new post was created especially for the now 53-year-old, that of Chief Digital Transformation Officer, also shows how great the appreciation is. For Hufenbecher, this somewhat sprawling job title means nothing less than that she should lead the Munich tech company into the digital future with the help of the 1,500 skilled IT department under her. Nobody doubts that she will succeed. After all, the business administration graduate, who incidentally worked for Infineon before between 2004 and 2009, including as Vice President and General Manager Business Line Manufacturing & Technology Services, can also draw on valuable experience from other top companies. In the past, the mother of two has held management positions at Bertelsmann, at the sales service provider Deutscher Pressevertrieb (DPV) and at Lufthansa, here as a board member of Lufthansa Technik.
Tal Rabin – Lecturer in Computer Science University of Pennsylvania/Head of Cryptography Research Group IBM
Business Insider named Tal Rabin one of the “22 Most Influential Female Engineers in the World” in 2014. Forbes included the American in the “Top 50 Women In Tech” in 2018. The doctor of computer science and university lecturer for computer science at the University of Pennsylvania has been involved in more than 100 scientific papers and studies and has been able to make an excellent name for himself in specialist circles.
Rabin’s goal is to make online communication safer for all of us. Accordingly, her research has always focused on cryptography (the science of encrypting information). She is responsible for developing the world’s most efficient and secure encryption algorithms and has filed several patents in the USA. In the late 1990s, she also headed the cryptography research group at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center, home of IBM’s research and development division.
Also Read: How to Become an Online Marketing Manager
Heike Riel – Quantum Researcher at IBM
Heike Riel, who originally started out as a furniture maker, later studied physics at the Universities of Erlangen-Nuremberg and Bayreuth and also received her doctorate in Bayreuth in 2003, is today one of the most important female physicists in the world. Their goal: companies should have access to (more) powerful systems, i.e. to significantly more efficient quantum computers. The now 51-year-old has been working towards this goal in the IBM research laboratory in Rüschlikon, near Zurich, Switzerland, since 1998 and has headed the Nanoscale Electronics Group there since 2008.
The reputation Riel enjoys is shown by the many prizes and awards she has received in recent years. In 2005 she was awarded the “Prize for Applied Physics of the Swiss Physical Society” for her “outstanding contributions to the establishment of OLED as a competitive technology in flat screen technology”. In 2013, Riel already held 27 patents. In 2015 she was elected to the venerable Leopoldina, the National Academy of Sciences. Probably even more important for her is the award of the status of an “IBM Fellow”, which she received in 2013. Finally, thanks to the full support of IBM, IBM Fellows enjoy freedom in industrial research that is hard to find anywhere else in research.
Amy Hood – Chief Financial Officer at Microsoft
The status that the American Amy Hood has achieved over the past ten years – since 2013 Hood has been Microsoft’s first female Chief Financial Officer, i.e. the company’s head of finance – was very impressively and blackened last year by the magazine “Forbes”. coated white. Because the business magazine chose the 51-year-old, who has been working at Microsoft since 2002, as 28th in its list of the “100 most powerful women in the world” in 2022. No wonder, really, since Hood has been able to close 57 deals since 2013, including a mega deal in 2018. At that time, it acquired GitHub, an online platform for software development projects, for around 7.5 billion US dollars. Ambitious and at the same time successful deals like this, Microsoft’s share price rose by almost 300 percent in the first five years of her tenure as CFO. Gossip by the way: Hood and her husband hold a minority interest in Seattle’s Major League Soccer club, the Seattle Sounders.