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8 Women Who Are Taking the Tech World by Storm

Recently findings from the performance management company New Relic indicate that encouraging more women to join the technology industry could significantly boost industry performance.

Technology companies with more women in management positions have a 34% higher return on investments. Teams with at least one women tend to perform higher on collective intelligence than those with only men. Despite holding only 25% of IT positions and 18% of computer science degrees, women are emerging more and more as innovators in the technology field. Here are some superstar women to look out for in the technology industry.

1. Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology & Strategy Officer at Cisco Systems

"I always tell women to use the fact that we offer a different point of view in a room full of men to their advantage"

Warrior is a mother, executive, and innovation strategist at the $47 billion revenue tech giant Cisco. She focuses not on a "work-life balance," but rather focuses on "life integration." Cisco CEO John Chambers has described Warrior as "among the sharpest technology persons in the world." She has been named of the World's Most Powerful Women by Forbes Magazine. She holds a MSci in chemical engineering from Cornell, and a BA from the Indian Institute of Technology. 

2. Virginia "Ginni" Rometty, CEO at IBM

"I think this is a time of great inclusion. It's not men, it's not women alone. Whether it's geographic, it's approach, it's your style, it's your way of learning, the way you want to contribute, it's your age — it is really broad."

The first female CEO of IBM, a company with $104 billion revenue, Rometty has been named one of the World's Most Powerful Women. She helped register the company's highest stock price in its 101-year history. Marissa Mayer has named Rometty a "tremendous inspiration." Rometty holds a BS/BA in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University.

3. Hilary Mason, Data Scientist at Accel Partners

"We need to create experiences that nurture men and women together so that more people are inspired to create beautiful, technical things together"

Mason is the first Data Scientist in Residence at Accel Partners, a global venture and equity firm that manages over $8.8 billion. Formerly chief scientist at Bitly and co-founder of HackNY, she is an adviser to numerous up and coming ventures like DataKind and knod.es. She has been named one of Fortune Magazine's "40 under 40." She holds a BA in Computer Science from Grinnell College.

4. Susan Landau, Distinguished Engineer, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

a"There are too many smart women whose skills we’re not using. It is not only the women who suffer; it is also academia and industry who lose the skills of such talented people."

Landau is currently a visiting scholar in Harvard's computer science department. She spent over decade as a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems Laboratories working on security, cryptography, and policy. She won the top "200 Women of Vision" award from the Antia Borg Institute in 2008. She has a PhD in Computer Science from MIT her BA in Mathematics from Princeton.

5. Melody Meckfessel, Director of Engineering at Google

“Over the years, I was generally the only woman in room, and I adapted, in many ways, to be one of the guys.”

Meckfessel oversees the team that constructs the programing tools used by engineers at Google to keep the technology giant running. Her coworker at Google said, “She’s not on a crusade to prove that women deserve to be in that place. She just knows she deserves to be in that place.”

6. Shikoh Gitau, Founder of Ummeli

"I requested to be sent back home because I believe this is where I could have the most impact ... All I wanted to do was change lives using technology." 

Gitau is the African-based creator of Ummeli, a mobile network that helps developing countries create their own employment opportunities. She has worked for prominent non-profits including UNICEF, and now works for Google’s User Experience Group in Africa. Gitau was also the first African to win Google's Anita Borg award. She has a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Capetown.

7. Sara Haider, Senior Software Engineer at Twitter

"My love for video games and the web pulled me toward computer science, and I feel blessed every day that I get to work on things I'm passionate about."

Haider is a lead software engineer at Twitter, the social networking giant with ad revenue projected to reach over $1 billion by 2014. She works closely on building Twitter's capabilities for Android. She has previously worked as a consultant for PA Consulting Group and Google. She has a BA in Software Engineering and Cognitive Science from the University of Waterloo.

8. Kristen Titus, Executive Director at Girls Who Code

'We need to really talk about what innovation means ... it's from that discourse that we're going to see a real substantive change."

Titus is the Executive Director of Girls Who Code, a non-profit that educates and motivates women to participate in the field of technology. She helped launch Jumo, the "social network for the social sector" from Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes. She sits on the Board of Doc2Dock and is an Adviser at Crisis Text Line and NonprofitShare. She has a BA from the University of Madison, Wisconsin.

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