2014 Watch List: Top 5 Fem Bosses in Technology
As part of our strategy to be more than just a destination for tech news and more of a digital hub for stories celebrating women who ride the waves of innovation to drive growth in the tech industry, we have compiled below a list of power women in the tech arena that you should know and watch this year.
The short list is comprised of two categories of femme bosses: 1) women entrepreneurs who have launched successful tech brands with year over year success, and 2) business women at fortune 500 high tech, computer tech, and information communication tech companies who are at the forefront of innovation.
This report is the first in a series of special watch lists around women in technology. We will issue them on a monthly basis to draw the world’s attention to femme bosses advancing the tech and innovation arenas. Without further and in no particular order, we present to you:
1. Ursula Burns
Her Job: Burns is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Xerox, a $23 Billion business process and document management enterprise.
Her Career Path & Education: Burns started her career at Xerox, joining the company in 1980 as a mechanical engineering summer intern after obtaining her Bachelor of Science degree at New York University. In addition to her degree from NYU, Burns holds a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University. She is the first African-American femme boss to head a Fortune 500 company. She is on the board of the Xerox Corporation, American Express Corporation and Exxon Mobil Corporation and was appointed by President Barack Obama to co-chair the President’s advisory committee on international trade.
2. Kimberly Bryant
Her Job: Bryant is the founder of Black Girls Code, a science and technology non-profit organization teaching girls of color ages 7-17 how to become programmers in the future.
Her Career Path & Education: Bryant has held senior leadership positions at several science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) companies like Westinghouse Electric, Merck, Dupont, Pfizer, Novartis and Genentech. Three years ago, Bryant launched Black Girls Code, a computer programming and technology education program for young minority girls. Bryant obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University in 1989.
3.Virginia M. Rometty
Her Job: Rometty is the Chairman, President and Chief Executive officer of IBM, and is the first femme boss to lead the $100 Billion software giant.
Her Career Path & Education: After a 2 year stint at General Motors, Rometty joined IBM as a systems engineer. Prior to adding President and CEO to her resume, Rometty held several senior leadership positions across strategy, finance, sales, and marketing organizations at IBM. It has been reported that Rometty spearheaded IBM’s $3.5 billion deal to acquire business consulting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting. Rometty obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University in 1979.
4. Cher Wang
Her Job: Wang is the Chairman and Co-founder of HTC Corporation, a $2.4 Billion smartphones and tablets enterprise based in Taiwan. She is also the Chairman and Co-founder of VIA Technologies, a computer hardware company and a leading manufacturer of motherboard chipsets.
Her Career Path & Education: Wang has been the chairman of both VIA Technologies and the HTC Corporation since founding them in 1987 and 1997 respectively. According to reports, her smartphone company creates one out of every six mobile devices in the United States marketplace. Wang has a master’s degree in economics from the University of Berkeley. She is considered one of the most influential and successful femme bosses in the tech industry segment.
5. Kathry Finney
Her Job: Finney is the founder and Managing Director of Digital Undivided, a social enterprise for women in the digital space. Finney is also the founder of The Budget Fashionista, a blog chock full of tips and tricks to stay fashionable on a budget.
Her Career Path & Education: Prior to launching Digital Undivided (DID), Finney, an epidemiologist by training, graduated with honors from Yale University and Rutgers University. She launched The Budget Fashionista to provide style advice for women who want to be frugal and fashionable. She launched DID in 2012 to cultivate a pipeline of entrepreneurs in the tech industry equipped with the skill sets necessary to take their ideas from concept to execution. As part of her DID platform, Finney, assists tech entrepreneurs with angel and/or venture investors.
(Related story: Femme Boss: Kathryn Finney, Founder, DigitalUndivided)