Inspiration

Top 10 Inspiring Women in Tech

Top 10 Inspiring Women in Tech

This year’s Women’s History Month gives us an opportunity to celebrate the women who have
made a tremendous impact in society. Today, we want to commemorate those who took
the chance and stepped into the highly competitive tech industry, all while making a lasting
impression through their innovative accomplishments. Their stories are fascinating and the
motivation they’ve incited is sure to encourage the continued success of the tech community as
a whole.

As we detail the mark these talented women have left in tech, it’s important to remember just
how important inclusion and diversity are in our industry. They are integral values to the fabric
of Kenzie Academy and essential in ensuring the tech community provides equal opportunities
to everyone. Give it up to these remarkable women, their stories, and their role in Women’s
History Month!

Industry Leaders

  • Susan Wojcicki

    When Susan Wojcicki entered motherhood, many of her colleagues assumed she’d step away from her career — they were wrong. Susan has served as CEO of YouTube since 2014, helping bring the video site’s worth up well into the billions. But Susan’s history as a juggernaut actually
    began years before that.

    Headshot of Susan Wojcicki with brief bio

    Susan was Google’s 16th employee ever, serving as the site’s first marketing manager. As Google’s lead figure in marketing and commerce, she was instrumental in the search engine’s purchase of YouTube for $1.6 billion back in 2006. Now, in her ninth year as YouTube CEO,
    Susan oversees the company’s efforts in developing video content aimed to neutralize aggressive extremist messaging throughout the radicalization pipeline. Time previously named Susan “the most powerful woman on the internet,” and today she continues to hold true to her
    reputation as a tech industry powerhouse.

  • Mari Galloway

    If you heard that someone was a respected CEO, held senior roles in the U.S. government, and was also involved in Esports, you’d probably think that person was the coolest ever. Well, that’s Mari Galloway for you! Mari completed her undergraduate education at Columbus State University and earned a Master of Science from Strayer University before taking her education to the real world.

    She kick-started her career as a network engineer with Accenture and followed that move with positions at other commercial and government organizations. This helped increase Mari’s cybersecurity expertise and her knowledge of vulnerability assessments, incident responses, and policy development. Mari took things even further as CEO and founding member of Women’s Society of Cyberjitsu, an organization devoted to raising the profile of women in the security industry and boosting recognition of cybersecurity opportunities as a whole. As if that wasn’t enough, Mari is currently a board member of Wicked6, a collegiate Esports initiative working to promote gaming in the southwest. Mari’s experience is astoundingly well-rounded and her impact in technology will always be something to celebrate.

Entrepreneurs

  • Maria Fujihara

    Maria Fujihara arrived in the U.S. from Brazil and faced the incredible task of building a new life from scratch. In the early days of life in America, Maria was judged for the way she looked, the way she spoke, and even for her gender. Yet, surprising all doubters, Maria founded Sinai Technologies, a decarbonization platform that aims to mitigate climate change using technology.

    As the founder and current CEO of SINAI, Maria continues making strides to change some of the worrying statistics surrounding women in technology. For instance, the fact that Latin women founders account for only 4% of all women founders in the nation. But Maria’s work is
    important at a global scale — with her company using data and software to help organizations around the world reach net-zero targets. That’s more accuracy, fewer emissions, and a better life for everyone. It’s a tough fight, but Maria’s winning like no one before.

  • Priya Lakhani

    Priya Lakhani is a natural born risk-taker. In fact, she believes girls should be encouraged to take calculated risks at an early age. You see, Priya Lakhani is the CEO of CENTURY Tech, an award-winning AI education technology company, but she didn’t get there by playing it safe — she got there by taking the biggest risk she possibly could.

    Priya began her career as a barrister, a comfortable and distinguished profession, but left the position in 2008 to launch a company that provided meals and vaccinations to underprivileged people. Then, in 2014, Priya founded CENTURY Tech, with her mind set on improving education while decreasing teacher workload. Oh, and in the same year, she was awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire, an honor and order of chivalry bestowed for contributions to the arts, sciences, public service, and charitable organizations. The truth is Priya’s career has been nothing short of surprising and due to her endless determination, communities and educators are doing a little bit better today.

Influencers

  • Soledad Antelada Toledano

    Soledad Antelada Toledo believes cybersecurity is the catalyst for progress in technology, allowing change in politics and economics. It’s an industry with incredible growth, but Soledad knows women are missing out. It’s a massive problem, but she’s always ready to encourage change and help women become trailblazers in tech. After all, she knows a thing or two about firsts.

    In 2021, Soledad began working as a computer systems engineer and researcher in the cybersecurity division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), becoming the first Latinx to hold the position at the renowned laboratory. This milestone came on the heels of her move to the U.S. from Spain, where she first noticed the disparity between women and men in technology — she was one of only three women in her graduating class at the University of Malaga. So, how does Soledad push for change? For starters, she’s the founder of Girls Can Hack, an organization devoted to engaging women who are looking for careers in technology and cybersecurity. Soledad is also President of the Women Scientists & Engineers Council, which focuses on making the workplace empowering and friendly to women and their families. Soledad’s efforts are nothing short of amazing and they’re sure to enable women for years to come.

  • Arlan Hamilton

    Arlan Hamilton is the founder of Backstage Capital, a venture capital firm built to invest in underrepresented founders who are historically overlooked by other firms. Arlan was familiar with these obstacles. Just prior to Backstage Capital’s creation in 2015, she was frustrated, displaced, and struggling to find investors for her own projects. Now, at the helm of Backstage Capital, Arlan backs eager companies who have at least one founder who identifies as a woman, person of color, or LGBTQ+. In just a few years, her company has raised over $20 million and backed over 200 companies.

    As if that wasn’t enough, Arlan took her efforts to new heights with Hire Runner, a company that helps owners of growing companies bring experienced people into their businesses fractionally and allows professionals a way to tailor their career as they desire. It’s innovative, inclusive, and just another way in which Arlan has curated a way to provide opportunities for everyone. With so much work done to help women, people of color, and the LGBT community, it’s no wonder Arlen was recognized by Business Insider as one of the 23 most powerful LGBTQ+ people in technology. Without a doubt, it’s truly deserved.

Content Creators

  • Cathy Hackl

    The sharing of information is vital in any industry and Cathy Hackl is renowned in the tech world for doing exactly that. As the host of the Future Insiders podcast, Cathy keeps her audience in the loop about some of the most fascinating new technologies and the many ways in which they can change everyday life. But Cathy wears many hats, and her famous podcast is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Cathy is a consultant, speaker, and all-around media personality who has been featured in 60 Minutes+, WSJ, WIRED, and Forbes! She’s the mastermind behind the first-ever holographic press release and has collaborated with the likes of UPS and HTC on the best ways to implement AR and VR technologies. As of February 2020, Cathy serves as Chief Metaverse Officer of Future Intelligence, a research services agency that helps brands become metaverse-ready. If that wasn’t enough, Cathy has also authored two books and is currently working on a third. Talk about versatility!

  • Joanna Stern

    We’re willing to bet there are only a few people out there who live and breathe technology the way Joanna Stern does. As a leading journalist in all things tech, Joanna has earned a reputation for providing an invigorating take on consumer technology. She is currently highly regarded for
    her column in The Wall Street Journal, but her experience writing about technology started long before that.

    Joanna kicked things off at Laptop Magazine, where she wrote reviews about the latest laptops and netbooks. She then made the move to Engadget, where she took the role of reviews editor. In 2011, Joanna and a few of her peers created This Is My Next, which later became the leading tech news site, The Verge. Joanna then had a stint as technology editor for ABC News before arriving at The Wall Street Journal, where she has received accolades such as a Gerald Loeb Award and a News & Documentary Emmy Award.

Pioneers

  • Annie Easley

    When Annie Easley was hired at NASA, she was one of only four Black employees at her lab. She was a computer scientist, mathematician, and rocket scientist who contributed immensely to a number of computer programs. Her work was so important, especially on the Centaur rocket
    project, that it laid the groundwork for future NASA space shuttle launches. Annie’s work in her field is enough for legendary status, but the impact she had on gender and racial diversity makes her even more amazing.

    Annie was incredibly active in outreach programs that revitalized her community and even played a role in breaking down barriers as an equal employment opportunity counselor. At the height of Jim Crow laws, when Black citizens were required to pass a literacy test before voting, Annie made it her mission to help others pass the exam. Annie’s role in technology and diversity history will undoubtedly be remembered for years to come. It’s no wonder a crater on the moon was named after her.

  • Ariel Lopez

    For almost a decade, Ariel Lopez honed her skills as a tech recruiter for brands such as Nike, Google, Spotify, and eBay. It was during this time she realized the job application and hiring process needed improvement, which led to the Ariel we know today: CEO and founder of Knac. But before we get to Knac, we have to tell you just how good Ariel is at what she does. You see, her knack for recruiting showed the moment she graduated from East Carolina University. She immediately started working with marketing agencies, advertising firms, and tech companies, helping them grow their teams, careers, and even their opportunities.

    Now, at the helm of Knac, Ariel continues her passion for the future of jobs. The platform is working to change the way we look at job applications. It does so by encouraging professionals to show off their skills through evaluations and tasks, helping them get hired based on what really matters: their qualifications. Ariel’s knowledge as a career expert and advocate for diversity has led her to feature at Tech Inclusion, Blacktech Week, Forbes, Business Insider, and Refinery29, to name a few.

In Summary

From dynamic innovators to trendsetting warriors of change, all these women played an outstanding role in breaking down barriers. They paved the road for even more success and
continue guiding those who are ready to fight for equality. As a society, we may have a long road ahead, but with more women like these, our future is brighter than ever. If you’re ready to
make your own mark, Kenzie has exactly what you need! Apply today and find the program that will help you write your own story.

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