International Women’s Day is quickly approaching, and one arena where women are making a major impact is the technology field. Yet in one recent survey reported by Fast Company, 91.7% of Americans were unable to name a powerful woman in tech. From thought leaders shaping strategies, to coders and engineers creating the next generation of products, to investors and venture capitalists, women are driving the tech industry forward. Here are five technology innovators whose work you should follow in the year ahead.
Stephanie Lampkin, Blendoor
Studies show that diverse teams are more creative, successful, and engaged. Yet many things can get in the way of making the right hires. Stephanie Lampkin is an MIT-trained engineer who founded Blendoor. Blendoor is a technology-driven application that is working to eliminate racial and gender bias from the hiring process. The app blends augmented reality and people analytics to help identify bias, anonymize candidates during the hiring process, and help companies recruit from a wider pool. By eliminating bias, candidates are hired on merit. Learn more about Blendoor or follow Ms. Lampkin on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Reshma Shetty, Ph.D., Ginkgo Bioworks
Ginkgo Bioworks describes itself as an organism company. They go on to say, “We design custom microbes for customers across multiple markets. We build our foundries to scale the process of organism engineering using software and hardware automation. Organism engineers at Ginkgo learn from nature to develop new organisms that replace technology with biology.” Dr. Reshma Shetty is a co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks and holds a Ph.D. in biological engineering from MIT. Follow Dr. Shetty on Twitter and LinkedIn, or read her contributions to the company’s blog.
Nayana Penmetsa, Qualtrics
Nayana Penmetsa was recently recognized by the Women’s Technology Council as an emerging technology leader. As her bio describes, “Nayana is an Engineering Lead at Qualtrics where she specializes in building features for high value customers and leading strategic partner initiatives. In her current role, Nayana wears many hats—she leads an engineering team, oversees multiple third-party software delivery teams, and is part of the Qualtrics Partner Network.” Ms. Penmetsa has a master’s degree in information systems from the University of Washington in Seattle. With a deep commitment to STEM, she’s active in a range of mentorship roles that encourage young women to pursue careers in STEM and helped found the Qualtrics Women’s Leadership Group. Follow her work on LinkedIn.
Chenxi Wang, Ph.D., Rain Capital
Technology innovation requires strategic funding, and a new generation of specialized venture capital funds are paving the way. Rain Capital identifies and invests in disruptive companies in the cyber security space. Dr. Chenxi Wang founded the venture capital fund and serves as the managing general partner. Dr. Wang brings to the table her expertise, ranging from a Ph.D. in computer science to positions as a former Carnegie Mellon professor and Vice President of Research at Forrester, when investing in and advising companies. She also founded The Jane Bond Project, which advocates for women in the technology field. Explore her work on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Katie Moussouris, Luta Security
In a world of constantly evolving cyber security threats, expertise at keeping hackers at bay is all that keeps corporate, personal, and government information safe. One of the leading experts is Katie Moussouris. Ms. Moussouris founded Luta Security, a company that partners with clients to develop vulnerability discovery and bug-bounty programs. Follow her thought leadership on security issues at LinkedIn, Twitter, and during conference appearances.
This International Women’s Day—and beyond—take a moment to recognize the women who are developing new technologies, shaping business, and using their expertise in coding, engineering, and more to positively impact the world.