10 inspirational women to know — Part 1

A tech workforce dominated by men is a hard and undeniable truth. A 2018 study of the United States’ tech industry reveals that only 25% of the US tech workforce is made up of women.

Despite the fact that the tech industry is mostly male, there are lots of brilliant women who are making their mark as leaders who are changing the landscape.

The women on this list are an inspiration for everyone who want to join the tech industry. They are dedicated to teaching code, AI, VR and machine learning.

These influential women are founders of companies, innovators, leading tech writers and podcasters. Inspiring female entrepreneurs like these are making a huge difference in the world.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it’s a great place to start. Diverse voices need to be heard and these women may inspire you to learn more about this critical topic.

To celebrate the power of women in tech, we’re compiling a list of top female founders, influencers, leaders and CEOs who are moving the industry forward.

The world’s leading innovators, entrepreneurs and tech executives are at the forefront of shaping the future, but they also share a vision of how to make our planet a better place.

No matter how many tech leaders you add to the list, there will always be even more. The collected minds of the top tech leaders today are an impressive force in the modern world.

Danah Boyd

Danah Boyd is a globally recognized scholar and thought leader. She has founded her own research institute, which focuses on the ethical and legal implications of emerging tech. She is an important partner researcher for Microsoft.

In high school, one of Boyd’s classmates told her that girls “can’t do science.” From then on, she was determined to prove him wrong. By studying at Brown, MIT, and Berkeley, she became an expert in artificial intelligence.

Her research includes a number of thought-provoking papers like accountability in machine learning and media manipulation.

Kate Crawford

Kate Crawford, an Australian author and thought leader on the social impacts of AI and machine learning. As one of the most influential researchers in, Crawford has helped create the AI Now Institute and is senior researcher at Microsoft.

She believes that there are some very compelling reasons to ban facial recognition altogether. This technology is advancing faster than most people realize; it’s time we pay more attention to its implications.

“Today’s AI is extraordinarily powerful when it comes to detecting patterns but lacks social and contextual awareness. It’s a minor issue when it comes to targeted Instagram advertising but a far more serious one if AI is deciding who gets a job, what political news you read or who gets out of jail.” — Kate Crawford in the Wall Street Journal

Crawford is not just a brilliant scientist. She’s also a talented musician! She helped launch an institute at NYU and was part of an electronic music duo that released three albums.

Reshma Saujani

Reshma Saujani is a New York Times bestselling author and a Harvard and Yale-educated lawyer. She is the founder of Girls Who Code and the brains behind the famous TED Talk, “Teach girls bravery, not perfection.”
She became the first Indian-American woman to run for Congress in 2010.

Saujani told Adweek: “When I lost, I wanted to continue to make a difference. I figured the best way that I could do that is by creating opportunities for girls.”

Two years after losing the congressional race Saujani started Girls Who Code. The nonprofit aims to increase the number of women in tech by helping other young girls develop computer science skills.

Saujani is an inspiring role model for women in tech.

Ellen K. Pao

We couldn’t leave off Ellen K. Pao from our list of top women in tech. Pao was CEO of Reddit, the popular online bulletin board, before co-founding Project Include — a nonprofit that aims to improve diversity in the tech industry.

Pao is also well known for speaking publicly on issues women facing in Silicon Valley and beyond.

Breaking into the public spotlight in 2012, Pao filed a $16 million lawsuit against a former employer due to alleged gender discrimination. Though she lost her suit, Pao’s courage in speaking up inspired conversations about diversity and inclusion in the tech world.

In her memoir, “Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change,” Pao detailed her experience.

Dr. Fei-Fei Li

An artificial intelligence pioneer, Dr. Fei-Fei Li is a force to be reckoned with on Twitter and in the tech industry.

Dr. Li was born in Beijing, China and came to the U.S. when she was 16 years old. Her physics degree from Princeton and her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Caltech have given her a depth of knowledge and a breadth of experience that few match.

Dr. Li co-founded AI4ALL, which aims to make AI more diverse.

She is known for leading the ImageNet project, which created a massive image database. The project helped train the first computer to recognize and understand what was in a picture.

From her famous TED talk: “Little by little, we’re giving sight to the machines. First, we teach them to see. Then, they help us to see better.”

She is an influential scientist and teacher, but she’s most known for being an inspiration to women in technology.

Our team at Falktron looked through the top tech companies and academic institutions to find out which female powerhouses are making significant contributions to AI, VR, HPC and other fields. We chose these females because they’re also making a difference in helping women succeed in technology.

Our best leaders make it clear that there’s no reason why we can’t achieve our dreams.

They give us hope for a better tomorrow.

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