There is no doubt that great strides have been made over the years in terms of gender equality within the workplace. While there are still issues to resolve in certain areas, the access women have to certain industries and roles is shifting for the better in our modern business world. One key sector within society that this is evident in is STEM. As more companies begin to see how important it is to encourage women into science, technology, engineering and mathematics roles, we are beginning to see a real culture change in these industries.
Technology is a particularly interesting one to look at in more detail. Traditionally, this had been something of a male dominated world which women found it hard to be accepted in. While the battle to change this is by no means over, the current presence of many influential women in the tech sector certainly bodes well for the future. Of course, many of these are real trailblazers who kicked open the door for other women to follow them into technology-based roles, but who are the most influential women in tech today?
Lady Barbara Judge
One of the longest standing advocates for more women in tech roles has been Lady Barbara Judge. Still highly influential within the whole STEM sector to this day, her tireless work has done much over the years to open all the STEM industries up to women. Former Chair of committees such as the Atomic Energy Committee and the Institute of Directors, Lady Judge currently sits on the board of the UK fraud prevention service, CIFAS. Regularly featured prominently on respected lists of the most powerful business executives in the world, her work within the tech sector and STEM as a whole is still helping women access these jobs to this day.
Gwynne Shotwell is President and COO of well-known tech company, SpaceX. Starting out as an employee of the firm, her hard work and talent has seen her rise to a position of real power. Under her leadership, the company has grown to a valuation of over $30 billion and won a $645 million contract to provide next-gen GPS satellites to the US Air Force. Many have recognized Shotwell’s leadership as the driving force behind SpaceX’s best developments and tech breakthroughs. With more than 30 years’ experience in engineering, she has turned out to be not only very successful but a great example to all women thinking of getting into a tech-based role.
Butcher is often referred to as a visionary within tech and with good reason. Director of Blippar, she has built the company up to a position of great stability over the last 20 years. Mainly concerned with the tech behind innovative augmented technology solutions, Blippar has shown impressive growth under her watchful eye. Not content with this, Butcher used her extensive business skills to co-found Tick in 2018. A highly experienced public speaker, Butcher has also used her profile to speak about women in tech at conferences like TEDx and FIPP. This can only be a good thing in helping more women to see what can be achieved and that there is a place for them in the modern tech industry.
One of the most powerful women currently within tech is Leanne Kemp. This has been the result of sheer talent and hard work for many years in areas such as RFID tracking, advertising and supply chain solutions. Since then, she has formed the blockchain tech company Everledger which has risen to a valuation of $50 million. Kemp’s organization bases its work around using blockchain tech to enhance verification practices in the diamond industry. A member of many important groups, such as the IBM Blockchain Board of Advisors and the World Trade Board, Kemp is a truly a key female figure within tech. This is not only for now but also for the future as blockchain becomes more widely used.
Future looks bright for STEM equality
As the above shows, there are some truly powerful female figures emerging in certain STEM sectors like technology. The example they set for other women to follow is laudable enough, but this is only enhanced by the way all use their status to advocate more gender equality for women in these roles. As this continues into the future, it should help not only more women feel able to enter sectors like technology, but more companies put measures in place to encourage them. Women have so much to offer the business world as the above list shows and making the tech sector more accessible to them can only be a good thing.