6 Inspirational Women In Tech

Hey, it’s a priority of mine to promote the work that good people are doing.

A lot of times women don’t get the recognition they deserve in the tech industry. In the last  few blog posts I’ve shared about really good women in tech, we asked folks to suggest women they thought really had their boots on the ground.

My team (which includes Justyn Hintze of Rad Campaign and Allyson Kapin, Founder of Women Who Tech and Rad Campaign) and I researched your suggestions, and created a list of 6 women (or orgs run for women, by women) who are doing tech right. You should follow and support these women, if you’re able.


J. Kelly Hoey@jkhoey, is a strategist, speaker, startup board member and angel investor focused on social/digital and the human motivations which fuel innovation. A connection-maker, networking strategist and expert community builder, Kelly is known for her leadership in building valuable professional networks, understanding the dynamics of engaged communities and the “how” of raising visibility, online and off.

Women Who Hack, @WomenWhoHack, are casual get togethers for women who want to hack on projects with or around other women. All types of projects (software and hardware), languages, platforms and experience levels are welcome. Their goal is to support local women hackers (and aspiring hackers) by providing a safe, welcoming environment in which they can connect with and learn from each other. They’re based in Portland, OR.

Kimberly Scott, @COMPUGIRLS, is the Founder of COMPUGIRLS, a culturally responsive technology program for adolescent (ages 13-18) girls from under-resourced school districts in Phoenix and Colorado. Kimberly is also Associate Professor of Women and Gender studies at Arizona State University and an Affiliate Faculty in George Mason University’s Center for Digital Media Innovation and Diversity.

Lizelle van Vuuren, @lizellevv, recently Co-Founded StartupDenver and a monthly event called Women Who Startup which empowers Colorado entrepreneurs with the resources they need most. Lizelle believes that entrepreneurship is the key to solving the World’s biggest problems. She seeks to work with mindful people who she can learn from, and work with on new ideas, solutions, products or services that create change, improve people’s lives and makes a difference.

The Next Women, @thenextwomen, is a community of Investors, Entrepreneurs & Advisers. They build formats to support the growth of female entrepreneurs -from startups to companies making millions. They provide access to capital, resources and networks, offering our community a support infrastructure critical for success.

Jennifer Shaw, @missjennshaw, Founder of New York Tech Women and Bella Minds. @NYTechWomen helps women in tech make meaningful connections. @BellaMinds bridges the gap between urban tech centers and educated women of rural America. They empower all women to take control of their careers.

Hey, these are a few of the blog posts we pulled your suggestions from:

Please comment with your suggestions of other women in tech who are the real deal. Thanks!

5 thoughts on “6 Inspirational Women In Tech

  1. Great post, Craig, and thank you for helping promote equality for women in tech. I have several other candidates who I hope you might keep an eye on going forward, most in the Free/Open Source Software realm, like

    Selena Deckelmann, who is a director of the Python Software Foundation, a data architect at Mozilla and a 20-year veteran of the software industry. She is also a major contributor to the code at PostgreSQL and speaks extensively on both tech and equality issues when she’s not raising chickens at home in Portland.

    Leslie Hawthorn, currently the Community Manager at Elasticsearch, is an internationally known community manager, speaker, and author who has spent the past decade creating, cultivating and enabling open source communities. Her recent keynote at the Southern California Linux Expo this year, “Why Checking Your Privilege Is Good for You,” is only one example of her great contributions to equality in tech and is a must-see.

    Deb Nicholson, Director of Community Outreach for the Open Invention Network, works at the intersection of technology and social justice. She has been a free speech advocate, economic justice organizer and civil liberties defender, and she also serves on the board at Open Hatch, a non-profit dedicated to matching prospective free software contributors with communities, tools and education.

    Keila Banks, a 12-year-old wunderkind and daughter of Los Angeles developer/tech guy Phillip Banks, has given presentations both in the U.S. and Canada on making movies from video games using Open Source Software.

    Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph, who is an Automation and Tools Engineer at Hewlett-Packard on the OpenStack Infra team, is also a Community Council member for Ubuntu and a board member for Partimus, an organization that puts Linux hardware in schools.

    There are many others, now that I think about it: Máirín Duffy, Ruth Suehle, Rikki Endsley, Robyn Bergeron, Lene Jensen, all of Red Hat; Cathy Malmrose of ZaReason; Cat Allman of Google; Dru Lavigne of the FreeBSD Foundation; Julie Miller at USENIX; Isabelle Roughol of LinkedIn; Amber Imel Graner of the Open Compute Project; Akkana Peck; Alison Chaiken; Lori Waltfield; Mirano Cafiero (yes, I’m partial to this one); and others for which I’ll be kicking myself for forgetting.

    [Also, as an aside, in my capacity as a publicity chair of the Southern California Linux Expo, I’d like to say that many of the aforementioned have spoken at our annual conference, held every February. I’d like to invite you to attend next year, and will make arrangements if you contact me off-list.]

    Thanks again for the excellent post.


  2. Excellent list. I’d also suggest:

    Laura Haas, an IBM Fellow and currently Director for Technology and Operations of IBM Research’s Accelerated Discovery Lab. Haas is best known for her work on the Starburst query processor (from which DB2 UDB was developed); on Garlic, a system which allowed federation of heterogeneous data sources; and on Clio, the first semi-automatic tool for heterogeneous schema mapping.

    Brenda Dietrich, an IBM Fellow and currently the VP of Emerging Technology in the IBM Watson Group. Previously she was CTO and Strategist for IBM Business Analytics, and for over a decade served as VP of Business Analytics and Mathematical Sciences at IBM’s Watson Research Center.


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