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WCW or WWC: Women Who are Crushing it in Tech

Throughout history, women have made significant yet often overlooked contributions to technology and computer science. From Ada Lovelace writing the first computer program in the 1840s to Grace Hopper pioneering computer languages like COBOL in the 1950s, women have been trailblazers in the field. However, even today, women are still underrepresented in technology careers and leadership roles. Women hold less than 25% of computing jobs and few women reach the executive level at major tech companies.

It's time for the tech industry to fully leverage the talents and perspectives of women for the benefit of the field. Research shows that diverse teams are more innovative, productive and profitable. Women offer diverse skills, experiences and leadership styles that can strengthen any technology team. Promoting women in IT also expands economic opportunities and reflects the diversity of users.

To achieve equality and empower women in the male-dominated tech workforce, initiatives must start early. Mentoring programs, inclusive tech cultures, hiring goals, and scholarships can help girls and women pursue STEM education and careers. Workplaces need policies to eliminate unconscious bias and discriminatory barriers that hinder the recruitment, hiring and promotion of women in technology roles.

Here are ten remarkable women leading innovation in the tech industry today:

Kimberly Bryant is the founder of Black Girls Code, which provides programming skills and technology education for African-American girls. She empowers young women of color to become innovators in STEM fields.

Safra Catz is the CEO of Oracle, one of the largest enterprise technology companies. Under her leadership, Oracle is expanding through acquisitions and growing its cloud computing services.

Elizabeth Churchill is a senior director of user experience at Google. She conducts influential research on human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence.

Kate Crawford is a professor and researcher who co-founded New York University's AI Now Institute to understand AI's social implications.

Amy Hood is executive vice president and chief financial officer at Microsoft. She led the company's transition to cloud and mobile technologies.

Fei-Fei Li is the co-director of Stanford's Human-Centered AI Institute. She pioneered new applications of AI in areas like medicine and robotics.

Ellen Pao co-founded Project Include to accelerate diversity and inclusion solutions in the tech industry. She advocates for workplace equality.

Reshma Saujani founded Girls Who Code to close the gender gap in computer science. The organization has reached over 185,000 girls so far.

Gwynne Shotwell is the president and COO of SpaceX. She oversees the company's operations as it pursues pioneering reusable rocket technology.

The accomplishments of these women demonstrate that talent and leadership potential have no gender. However, achieving true equality and inclusion will require extensive efforts by companies, educators, policymakers and the public. Eliminating stereotypes and implicit biases are needed to empower women and girls in technology. Supporting women in technology promotes innovation, economic growth, productivity and new ideas for the future. At AHTS we celebrate the vital contributions of women leaders today, and hope to pave the way for the next generation of women to participate, lead and thrive as technology innovators!

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