The Most Powerful Women in Tech

August 30, 2016 Alyson Shane

From Facebook to IBM, these women are leading the biggest businesses in the world.

Women in Tech

“Who run the world? Girls!”

These lyrics from Beyonce’s 2011 feel-good hit “Run The World (Girls)” aren’t just catchy, they’re also indicative of a global shift in women’s roles in the workplace.

Gone are the days when women were relegated to administrative or secretarial positions. Today’s modern woman is standing up to make herself heard and is pushing to pursue professional goals that would have seemed impossible just a few short generations ago.

This shift is especially evident in the world of technology, which is an industry that has long been dominated by men. Now, women are founding their own startups, taking over million-dollar businesses and moving into top management positions at some of the world’s biggest and most influential tech companies.

If you haven’t already taken notice, watch out for these top women in tech.

Sheryl Sandberg

COO, Facebook

Sheryl Sandberg

Sandberg became the first woman on Facebook’s Board of Directors in 2012, and since moving into the position of COO has increased Facebook’s revenue 66-fold. According to Facebook’s website, Sandberg oversees business operations including sales, marketing, human resources, business development, communications and public policy.

In addition to directing continued growth at Facebook, Sandberg is an advocate for women’s rights and has promoted initiatives to address the gender wage gap within the tech industry. She has also published a book called Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.

     Read Related: Must-read “Lean In” and more top business books          

Susan Wojcicki

CEO, YouTube

Susan Wojcicki

Susan Wojcicki has been named “the most important person in advertising” by AdWeek and has been working in the tech industry since 1999, when she began as the first marketing manager at Google.

There, Wojcicki was responsible for handling their initial viral marketing programs as well as contributing to some integral products such as Google Doodles, Google Images and Google Books before being promoted to Senior VP of Advertising and Commerce. In that role, she developed AdSense, which is currently Google’s second biggest source of revenue.

It was Susan who oversaw two of Google’s largest acquisitions: the $1.65 billion purchase of YouTube in 2006 and the $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick in 2007. In February of 2014 she became the CEO of YouTube.

Amy Hood

CFO, Microsoft

Amy Hood

Amy Hood joined Microsoft in 2002 as part of a group that handled investor relations, and has since moved into the position of Chief Financial Officer.

Over the past few years, Microsoft seemed to struggle to find its place in the post-PC landscape, but under Amy Hood’s leadership they have pivoted to focus on developing cloud services, a bold move which helped earn the tech juggernaut a reported revenue of $93.6 billion in 2015, a $6.7 billion increase from 2014.

Under her guidance, products like Azure and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online have also seen high growth numbers in past years.

Ginni Rometty

Chairwoman, President & CEO, IBM

Ginni Rometty

Ginni Rometty has been working for IBM since 1981, when she joined as a systems engineer. Since then she has risen through the organization, holding titles such as Group Executive for Sales, Marketing & Strategy, and Senior Vice President of IBM before becoming the Chairwoman, President and CEO.

She is the first woman to lead the company, and has been tasked with reversing IBM’s declining profits and returning the tech giant to its former glory. While this may seem like an impossible task, Rometty’s focus on investing in cloud computing and data analytics software have more than a few skeptics reconsidering their positions, and IBM’s future seems brighter than forecasted even a few short years ago.

Angela Ahrendts

Senior VP of Retail and Online Stores, Apple

Angela Ahrendts

Angela Ahrendts is the only female senior executive at Apple, and has been tasked with the goal of making the Apple Store shopping experience, and the overall Apple customer service and employee experience, mimic that of a luxury brand.

And Angela knows a thing or two about luxury brands. She is a former CEO at the luxury fashion brand Burberry and earned international fame for increasing the company’s share price three-fold during her time there, pulling the company back from the brink and introducing it into new global markets.

Ahrendts also brings her insight into the buying patterns of young women – a highly targeted and sought after market. Combined with her experience bringing a luxury brand into foreign markets has helped establish Apple as one of the most powerful status symbols and luxury tech brands in the world.

Have we missed any outstanding women in tech? Tell us in the comments section below.

About the Author

Alyson Shane

Alyson is a Winnipeg writer, content marketer and social media manager. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric & Communications from the University of Winnipeg and runs her own business providing businesses and individuals with their copywriting, content marketing strategy and social media needs. She lives and breathes digital culture and has been nicknamed the "Queen of the Internet" by her Twitter followers. When not online she can be found gardening, riding her bike or sipping fancy coffee.

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