Congratulations to Vanessa Fox, one of the Women in Tech we've profiled in the past. Vanessa has joined forces with RKG, a search and digital marketing agency, combining her enterprise-level search analytics platform with the fast growing agency. Some of the press around the deal can be found on Geekwire, Business Wire and RKG’s Blog.
Dr. Eve Riskin is one woman in tech who is actively working to “change the ratio” by increasing the number of women faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). As Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the University of Washington College of Engineering, Professor of Electrical Engineering, and Director of the ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change, she is a leader and a mentor for other women considering academic STEM careers (or second careers, following work in industry).
Eve received her bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from MIT and her graduate degrees in EE from Stanford. She joined the EE Department at the University of Washington (UW) in 1990. As Director of UW ADVANCE, Eve works on mentoring and leadership development programs aimed to increase the participation of women faculty in STEM fields. Her research interests include image compression and image processing, with a focus on developing video compression algorithms to allow for cell-phone transmission of American Sign Language. Eve was awarded a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, a Sloan Research Fellowship, the 2006 WEPAN University Change Agent award, the 2006 Hewlett-Packard Harriett B. Rigas Award, and the 2007 University of Washington David B. Thorud Leadership Award. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Read on as Eve discusses her career path, provides advice for young women interested in STEM fields and shares her suggestion that you find a “ventor.”
Jenny Lam is a co-founder of Jackson Fish Market, a small software startup focused on making beautiful software experiences. The company has shipped over 20 software products in the past 5 years. Their latest product is A Story Before Bed - the first (and only) service that lets parents, grandparents, and children record video of themselves reading children's books and play it back as often as they like on the Mac, PC, or iPad.
Before Jackson Fish Market, Jenny worked at Microsoft from 2001–2007 as Creative Director of the Windows User Experience team. When she isn't running her startup, she serves on the board as Experience Director of the AIGA Seattle chapter (the professional association for design) and works with national and local organizations to foster the next generation of creative design talent headed for the tech industry. She was named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Technology by the Puget Sound Business Journal and was awarded Seattle 2.0 Best Startup Designer in 2010. You can follow Jenny on Twitter (@helveticagirl).
In this piece, Jenny answers our questions about her work, how she wound up doing what she does so well and her thoughts about women in tech.
Brittany Wenger, a 17-year-old from Lakewood Ranch, Florida, is the Grand Prize winner of the Google Science Fair for her cloud-accessible application that assists doctors in diagnosing breast cancer. Check out her project entitled the Global Neural Network Cloud Service for Breast Cancer. Good on Google for sponsoring the competition, complete with scholarships and other terrific awards, (and awesome Lego trophies). I hope we see more from Ms. Wenger and her fellow impressive Google Science Fair entrants in the future.
Eric Savitz of Forbes has a lengthy interview with Mary Meeker up on the Forbes.com site, a companion piece to his profile of Ms. Meeker in the August 6 print edition (which you can read online here). In the interview, she talks about venture capital, her work investing a $1 billion tech growth fund for Kleiner Perkins (half of which has been deployed to date), the influential reports she produced as an early Internet analyst, and some of the companies that interest her now. She is someone who has seen - up close - the many ups, downs and zigzag moves of the tech industry as online and mobile technologies become more and more pervasive and more integral to business and our personal lives.
The short list of Silicon Valley female CEOs at well-known tech companies just got a little longer. Andrew Ross Sorkin and Evelyn M. Rusli of The New York Times Dealbook broke the story today that Yahoo has named Marissa Mayer as CEO (its fifth CEO in five years). Mayer comes to Yahoo from a prominent executive role at Google, having been hired originally as employee number 20 and the first female engineer at Google. Yahoo's press release announcing Ms. Mayer's appointment as President, CEO and a member of the board of directors, states that the "appointment of Ms. Mayer, a leading consumer internet executive, signals a renewed focus on product innovation to drive user experience and advertising revenue". For today at least, all eyes are on Yahoo.
Career advice from some top women in tech - including Ursula Burns, Sheryl Sandberg, and Virginia Rometty, - courtesy of Siliconrepublic.com:
"You have to have a very strong opinion with some facts and data to stand it up, you have to prove that you are right more times than you are wrong, and then you better walk into the room with something to say because otherwise you don't really add a whole lot of value to the group. So if you are going to be in the group, I want you to actually come in … and have an opinion. And I don't mean just opinion like, ‘I like blue or I don't like blue.’ This is, ‘We have this problem. Here is my take on the problem, here's what I've learned. My experience is telling me this and this is how I would approach it.’"
- IBM Corporation president and CEO Virgina Rometty:
"Remember that you can do anything you want to do,” Rometty said in Fortune. “Don't let anyone say, 'You're not smart enough ... it's too hard ... it's a dumb idea ... no one has done that before ... girls don't do that.'
- Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, at the 2011 IGNITION conference:
"Men always lean forward in their careers, no matter where they’re going, and women more often lean back. And that’s a huge mistake — because the person leaning in will one day be your boss.
See the full Siliconrepublic.com piece here.
Aileen Lee, partner at the famed venture fund Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and a former CEO herself, has a great post on TechCrunch with reasons companies should considering adding women to their boards of directors. Among the benefits Lee notes:
By adding new blood to the boardroom, these companies are getting a four-fer, or more:
- gender diversity, and in most cases, age diversity around the table;
- better understanding of core customers;
- Social-Mobile-Local expertise and insight into digital platforms like Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Twitter, Path, Square, Flipboard and Pinterest that are fundamentally changing business; and
- hyper growth and rapid innovation DNA.
I came across this Bianca Bosker interview from last fall with Padmasree Warrior, the CTO of Cisco, and thought she had an interesting take on being a woman in a technical field, working among mostly male colleagues. “I always tell women that the fact that you’re different and that you’re noticed, because there are few of us in the tech industry, is something you can leverage as an advantage,” she said. She also talks about some of the challenges women in tech face. Read the full piece here.
On a related note, as part of her response to Gigaom's questions regarding her "Resolutions for 2012", Ms. Warrior included a desire "to be more of an advocate for women in technology at all levels . . . to make sure we don’t lose the progress and momentum that women have made in technology."
Adriana Gascoigne is the founder and CEO of Girls in Tech, a non-profit organization she launched in February 2007 that is focused on the engagement, education and empowerment of like-minded professional and influential women in technology. Girls in Tech supports over 17,000 members among 37 active chapters worldwide.
Previously, Adriana was the VP of Marketing for SecondMarket, the global marketplace for alternative investments, and was responsible for SecondMarket’s marketing, branding strategy, event production and digital media efforts. She has also worked at a variety of technology start-ups working in marketing, communications and analytics, including hi5, SocialGamingNetwork (SGN), Jambool’s SocialGold, GUBA as well as Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide (as VP of 360 Digital Influence) and Edelman (as VP of the Digital Group). She is an “Intel Insider,” serving as a brand and product advisor for Intel. She advises a number of start-ups including Involver, Numiyo Technologies, Palindrome Advisors, Charity Blossom, DooChoo, and Change.org.
Read on for our interview with Adriana Gascoigne, including her advice (and encouragement) for startup entrepreneurs.