Women in Tech? There Are More Than You Think

If I hear the phrase "Why aren't there more women in tech" again, I will scream. There are PLENTY of women in tech, as evidenced by the fact that I can make a list almost as long as Fast Company's that has completely different women on it. And I'm going to do it off the top of my head, so it's not like I'm going searching here. Asking "why aren't there more women in tech" is like asking why there aren't more women in fashion, or medicine, or law. There are. They just don't fit our stereotypes, so we don't notice them.

On my list would be:

Randi Zuckerberg, the face of Facebook and the sister of Mark. Randi is responsible for all the great partnerships Facebook has been doing lately with media, including its election night coverage, its reporting on Egypt, and its Golden Globe/Academy Award coverage.

Victoria Ransom, founder of Wildfireapp.com, an interactive promotion builder that powers quizzes, sweepstakes, and social media marketing campaigns.

And where is Carol Bartz, the controversial CEO of Yahoo who attended the dinner with Barack Obama in Silicon Valley that no one was allowed to talk about? Before Yahoo, Carol ran Autodesk, an enterprise software company that has been successful for years.

And then there's Gina Trapani, one of the triumvirate on TWIT.tv that bring you This Week in Google. Before she became a media star, Gina was the founder of LifeHacker, a blog that was sold and led her to start Smarterware and ThinkUp.

You can add to that list Rashmi Sinha, the founder of Slideshare, which just last week launched ZipCast. Now you can share your slides and do a video conference simultaneously; it's a huge success right out of the box.

Le'ts not forget Kristie Wells, who with her husband Chris Heuer co-founded Social Media Club, the first and still leading international community for social media practitioners.

And how about Laura Fitton, aka @pistachio, who founded OneForty.com.

On my list as well would be Wendy Vittori, who ran the Intel group that marketed USB and digital imaging in the 90s and retired a few years ago from Motorola with a startup thrown in for good measure. She's now consulting to MEN in tech. I reported to her when I was at Intel, and I can tell you she's a superstar.

And Intel reminds me of Paula  Satow, co-founder of the startup Buzzuka, whom I also met at Intel.

And where's Kara Swisher, co-founder of AllThingsD and premier tech reporter on your list?

All three founders of BlogHer are women: Lisa Stone, Jory des Jardins, and Elisa Camahort Page. The premier women's blogging platform and media company, BlogHer is funded by, among others, Venrock.

You get the point. These are my personal friends. They are not even a representative sample. In my office this afternoon I met a woman who develops mobile apps, and there's an international group called Geek Girl Dinners.

And here's a woman I don't know personally, but I have heard speak many times, and who is someone I admire: Cisco's CTO Padmasree Warrior. I follow her on Twitter:-)

So guys, quit making lists of women in tech, unless you also want to make lists of men in tech. They're equally silly subjects for articles.

Read about The Most Influential Women in Technology and our expert views on Women in Tech

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4 Comments

  • professional web design

     Thanks for all these cool tools and resources we are going to have to look into this...

  • Carri Bugbee

    I'm glad to see these women get a shout-out. I actually know a few of them personally. That said, Francine's contention is dead wrong and there are plenty of hard stats to prove it. There are not that many women in tech -- particularly in the start-up community. And even after women start IT jobs, they don't stay in them because they don't get promoted. If you want the facts, you can download them from the National Center For Women in Information Technology (NCWIT): http://ncwit.org/thefacts. They did the research so you don't have to.

  • Allyson Kapin

    Francine, thanks for raising some great points and highlighting some amazing women. While not creating women in tech lists is a nice goal, sadly I think we still need them. Why? Because most top 10 lists barely include women and actually look like a "list of men in tech." Also most mainstream media that covers tech or startups rarely features or quotes women - which of course goes back to those top 10 lists. If the media is not seeing women in the space as experts worth quoting and featuring, then we end up with a list of men in tech as "the experts." How about we stop those women in tech lists, when those lists are more gender balanced and stop featuring the same few men?

  • Jody Urquhart

    Very impressive to see so many innovative women in Tech
    I am a member of BlogHer and love it