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5 Women Who Are Revolutionizing the Tech Industry

Cue the next sentence to the tune of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.” All the techie ladies, all the techie ladies, put your hands up if you love engineering, gadgets and technology. Think there’s no place for women in the tech industry? Think again. It’s easier than ever for women to break into a career doing what they love. Women all around the world are rising up and becoming leaders of big-time tech companies and brands; showcasing their digital-savvy skills, all while balancing family life.

From digital to science industries, influential women are paving the road in tech for today's working women and future generations. As ideas flourish, younger generations of women have a stepping-stone and a place to learn the skills they need to become the technology leaders of tomorrow.

How are women leaders in the technology space laying groundwork for the younger generation? What are their key leadership skills and how have they made a clear pathway for others? Let’s take a look at 5 women who are revolutionizing the tech industry and how they earned the position they are in today.

Marissa Mayer

CEO of Yahoo, @marissamayer

I'm incredibly excited to start my new role at Yahoo! tomorrow:…

— marissamayer (@marissamayer) July 16, 2012

What is she doing?

As CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer is leading the pack of a well-known Internet search company. Mayer is turning heads as the new President and CEO by pushing to improve Yahoo’s core products – email, Flickr and search.

How did she get here?

Mayer previously worked at Google in the role of Vice President of Search Product and User Experience. With her bachelor’s degree in symbolic systems and a master’s degree in computer science from Stanford University, in addition to her doctorate degree in search from Illinois Institute of Technology, Mayer began her career in 1999 at Google as an engineer.

How is she revolutionizing the tech industry?

Mayer is taking the tech industry by storm. She has a genuine interest in the science and history behind the topic, and it shows with her numerous triumphs in the industry thus far. She is number 14 on America’s most powerful businesswoman of 2012 by Forbes magazine, was named one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year in 2009 and recently gave birth to her first child; all while being president and CEO of Yahoo.

Karen Purcell

Author, Engineer and Entrepreneur, @STEMspire

I'm proud to announce that Unlocking Your Brilliance officially publishes today! Thanks for your support! #stemspire

— Karen Purcell (@STEMspire) August 1, 2012

What is she doing?

As an author, engineer and entrepreneur, Karen Purcell has a lot on her tech plate. Purcell’s main focus is helping young women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career fields, as well as working as the founder and president of PK Electrical.

How did she get here?

As a high school student, Purcell excelled in math and science. With college on the horizon, she wasn’t sure where to put her talents to good use; a physics teacher suggested engineering. With that, Purcell earned her bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Widener University. She is now mentoring and encouraging younger women in the same path.

How is she revolutionizing the tech industry?

With Purcell’s recent book, Unlocking Your Brilliance, she helps the younger generation of STEM career women to understand their passions and showcase their talents in their future careers. In addition to her career as an engineer, she has won a 2012 Reno-Gazette Journal Entrepreneur of the Year award, is a marathon runner, volunteer and is married with two daughters.

Victoria Ransom

CEO and Founder of Wildfire, @victoria_ransom

Wow! Totally humbled by all the amazing tweets I have received today. Thanks so much everyone of you for your support. WF is a team effort!

— victoria_ransom (@victoria_ransom) August 4, 2011

What is she doing?

As an entrepreneur and founder of Wildfire, a social media marketing technology provider (recently acquired by Google), Victoria Ransom built a small business into a large company. With more than 30 of the top 50 global brands as Wildfire clients and a two-time winner of the fbFund, Ransom is a leader in the industry.

How did she get here?

Ransom graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree at Macalester College and then earned her MBA from Harvard Business School. From there, she began her career as an entrepreneur and has been featured in several widely-known publications including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

How is she revolutionizing the tech industry?

Ransom is revolutionizing the tech industry by becoming a recent Techfellow winner, 25 Women to Watch in Tech for 2010 and 2011, and an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for New Zealand. With any spare time she has, her passions include snowboarding and traveling.

Sheryl Sandberg

COO of Facebook, @sherylsandberg

one of the central messages of @leaninorg is that we have to get beyond gender stereotypes…

— Sheryl Sandberg (@sherylsandberg) January 28, 2013

What is she doing?

Serving as the COO of Facebook since 2008, Sheryl Sandberg is also the first female member on the board of directors for Facebook. In her role, Sandberg focuses her talents on advertising and business operations.

How did she get here?

Sandberg graduated with a degree in economics and was awarded for graduating as the top student. In addition to her undergraduate degree, she also earned her MBA. She began her career working as a management consultant and then as Chief of Staff to the United States Secretary of the Treasury from 1996 to 2001. In 2001, she joined Google and served as Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations.

How is she revolutionizing the tech industry?

Sandberg is revolutionizing the tech industry with her management and sales background. She was ranked one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business by Fortune Magazine, Women to Watch by the Wall Street Journal, 25 Most Influential on the Web by Business Week and most recently, a Time Magazine 100 most influential people in the world. In addition to all of these accolades, she is married and has two children.

Meg Whitman

CEO of Hewlett-Packard, @MegWhitman

Excited and honored to lead HP. I'm a true believer in the future of this Silicon Valley icon.

— Meg Whitman (@MegWhitman) September 23, 2011

What is she doing?

As CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Meg Whitman leads the company in its strategic effort to retain and recommit the PC business back to its roots: computer hardware, software and technology, as well as providing services to small and large businesses and companies.

How did she get here?

Whitman studied math and science at Princeton University and eventually earned her degree in economics, in addition to an MBA from Harvard Business School. She began her career as a brand manager, strategic planner and numerous other leadership positions at several big-named companies including Procter & Gamble, The Walt Disney Company and Hasbro.

How is she revolutionizing the tech industry?

With her diverse work history and background, Whitman has many talents to bring to the table. She is revolutionizing the tech industry by becoming a female leader of a major technology brand. In addition to being on the board of several major companies and non-profits; her voice, along with many other women’s voices are being heard.

Do the lives of these 5 women revolutionizing the tech industry excite you? Maybe a degree in technology is the pathway you would like to take. Let us know what women inspire you in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Kendall Bird

Kendall is a Social Media Strategist at Collegis Education who is focused on bringing awareness and engagement to Rasmussen College's social media properties. She is passionate about helping others, the power of education and building strategies that put the needs of students first. 


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