This Infographic Lists The Inspiring Trailblazing Women Making Their Mark In The Tech Industry

When it comes to helping young girls understand their potential, one of the keys is giving them mentors that look like them so they can envision themselves in that same position. It might be as simple as seeing a woman as the head of a corporation. It might be as difficult as finding a woman of color—historically passed over for any and every kind of leadership position—to help them aspire to.

When it comes to fields such as tech or STEM careers, that journey can be even more difficult. The tech world has notoriously been a boys club—an insular, difficult one to enter and move up in. Luckily, women in general have some role models that provide options for how they can enter this field. There is still more work to do, of course, particularly for women of color.

It becomes not just a gender issue, but an intersectional issue when you realize the low number of women in the tech sector (26% of computing professionals and only 12% of professional engineers, according to the American Association of University Women) and how much lower the number gets when looking at women of color.

Women of black, Hispanic, and Native American descent made up 18% of the college-aged population in 2013 yet earned only 6% of computing and 3% of engineering degrees that year, according to the AAUW report. Like the many girls in STEM initiatives that are cropping up across the US, some lead by major companies like Google, there are also grassroots and local initiatives that are specifically aimed at engaging young girls of color.

While some young girls have misconceptions about the tech industry, educators and parents have been taking steps to pique girls’ interest and solidify their confidence in science and tech at a young age—such as enrolling in STEM classes early on.

This Chicago mom turned her daughter’s love of science into an opportunity to launch a STEM program for other black girls in her community who were not being reached by bigger STEM initiatives. Of course we can’t go past Black Girls Code founder Kimberly Bryant, and Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani who are visible representations for women and girls of color who want to see themselves in the tech industry and others like them. Yes, there is slow (very slow!) progress being made, and it must continue.

More than one tenth of the total private sector payroll in the US goes straight to workers in the tech industry. And despite some well-established stereotypes, tech isn’t just a man’s world. There are an estimated 2.3 million women in computer training, biotechnology, data processing, wireless telecommunications, computer operation, computer systems analysis, and more.

With so many incredible, successful female techpreneurs motivating men and women alike, women everywhere are already changing the face of tech. With their inspiration, and initiatives to support and nurture young girls’ interest in computer science, women’s impact on tech will undoubtedly continue to grow.

There are countless stories of workplace sexism and harassment stemming from the dominant “bro” culture in Silicon Valley and the tech industry as a whole, which is why role models and the increased presence of women, especially in leadership and engineering positions, are going to be an important factor in combating this epidemic.

AppDynamics put together this helpful infographic outlining a list of trailblazing women in the tech industry who are undoubtedly inspiring a whole new generation of aspiring tech girls.


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