#IWD2016: Celebrating Women in Tech

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About the author: Ashley Krupnik is a Senior Account Manager, Digital at Edelman UK with a keen interest in the technology sector. 

The tech industry is filled with successful, inspirational female founders and leaders. International Women’s Day (along with every day) is a time to celebrate women in tech and the progress made as a female collective.

Female Founders are important. They provide a different way of thinking and diversify the tech industry which is widely known as being dominated by men. Women make up approximately 25% of the tech industry (Huffington Post). Women are underrepresented in digital roles; although making up nearly 50% of the workforce in the UK, females only account for 20% of digital roles (DCMS).

Highlighting the success and gains made by women in the tech industry, here are a few notable women paving the way and taking a different approach that inspire me!

  • Marcela Sapone – CoFounder, Hello Alfred:
    • On the Forbes 30 under 30 list and winner of the TechCrunch Disrupt SF Startup Competition Sapone and her CoFounder have tapped into the millennial mindset and used consumer tech to free up the most valuable thing this generation has: their
  • Susan Wojcicki, CEO YouTube:
    • Involved in Google from the early startup stages, Susan is now one of the most powerful females in the US Tech scene as the CEO of YouTube. Working to further female voices and initiatives, YouTube has partnered with the UN on the Sustainable Development Action campaign to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
  • Ruchi Sanghvi – First female engineer at Facebook, Founder of Cove later bought by DropBox, now on the board of Paytm
    • Ruchi has been in the tech industry for nearly a decade, inserting herself in the male dominated industry from the outset, becoming the first female engineer at Facebook. Continuing to lead within the industry she developed her own company Cove, worked as the VP of Ops at DropBox and is now working with Patym.
  • Nancy Hua – Founder of Apptimize:
    • First hearing about Nancy Hua’s work as part of the Y Combinator, Nancy Hua left a male dominated industry of trading to forge her way in another, the start-up scene. Optimistic about the future of females in the tech industry, Nancy Hua believes the cone of possibility is expanding and more people will be able to enter the tech space and choose based on goals rather than conventional boundaries.

All of these women are pushing boundaries, challenging the status quo and seeking to bring other females up the tech ladder with them.

Today is a day not only to celebrate the achievements of specific women in tech but to come together as a collective and work to achieve even more. There are multiple reasons why females don’t enter the tech field from insufficient early stage STEM education, lack of awareness, intimidation, etc. As women in the field we can all do our part to educate, raise awareness, encourage and inspire other women to come on the tech journey with us.

Initiatives like the Sephora Accelerate program are looking to target female founders and help them make it in the beauty space where the number of female-founded companies are still underrepresented.

The DCMS (Department for Culture, Media & Sport) is also hosting a Women in Digital round table to unpack the barriers preventing women from undertaking digital roles. Closing shortly as the discussion is on International Women’s Day, a survey is available to share your opinion on the changes that need to be made. Have your say here!

Some of the resources (Outside of GIT!) that are bringing women together to inspire and encourage a larger presence in the tech space I follow are below – have a look!

  • Women Tech Founders – inspiring women to use technology to reach their dreams.
  • Blooming Founders – a network for early stage female entrepreneurs.
  • Female Founder Fridays – interviews with amazing female founders every Friday, sign up for the newsletter!
  • Rocket Podcast – one of the few female only tech podcasts out there with a little bit of movie, game and book talk in there.

There is also an amazing event on tonight to mark International Women’s Day #IWD2016: Powering the Next Generation of Female Tech Entrepreneurs at Campus London. Learn more and register your place here – sorry men, ladies only.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Ashley Krupnik, Senior Account Manager, Digital at Edelman UK

IG: @ashleymadeline / TW: @ashkrup

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