Women doing STEM right

Hey, it’s important to me to recognize folks doing really good work, especially those who don’t usually get the recognition they deserve. My team and I have generated quite a few lists of women doing good work:

Recently, I asked my networks to contribute the women who impressed them, the folks in the STEM field who really have their boots on the ground. We got great responses, verified the women suggested, and have compiled a list (in no particular order) here:

1. Natasha Mohanty, Co-Founder, CTO, & VP of Technology at FEM inc.
Natasha joined FEM inc. from Google, where she was a lead engineer working on content recommendations and personalization for Google+ and Google News with a special emphasis on meeting the needs of women. Their efforts increased female engagement with Google+ by over 30%.

She has extensive experience in large-scale data mining to build user profiles through data. She received her A.B. from Mount Holyoke and M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. When not hacking for FEM inc., she works on projects to get more women and girls interested in tech.

2. Limor Fried, Founder of Adafruit Industries
Adafruit was founded in 2005 by MIT engineer, Limor “Ladyada” Fried. Her goal was to create the best place online for learning electronics and making the best designed products for makers of all ages and skill levels. Adafruit has grown to over 50 employees in the heart of NYC with a 15,000+ sq ft. factory.

Adafruit has expanded offerings to include tools, equipment and electronics that Limor personally selects, tests and approves before going in to the Adafruit store. Limor was the first female engineer on the cover of WIRED magazine and was awarded Entrepreneur magazine’s Entrepreneur of the year.

3. Marianne Marck, Senior Vice President of Consumer Facing Technology at Starbucks
At Starbucks, Marianne leads the global retail and digital technology teams, the solution architecture and enterprise integration functions, and the technology teams for the China-Asia-Pacific region.

She joined Starbucks in 2011 as Vice President of Software Engineering, and led the enterprise software and application engineering function, including efforts for ERP, HRIS, web, mobile, enterprise QA, enterprise integration, and solution architecture. Prior to joining Starbucks, Marianne earned 22 years of tech experience developing solutions and platforms and building teams. Most recently at Blue Nile, she held the role of Senior Vice President of technology.

4. Bindu Reddy, CEO and Co-Founder of MyLikes
Before starting MyLikes, Bindu was at Google and oversaw product management for several products including Google Docs, Google Sites, Google Video and Blogger. When she first started at Google, Bindu was a Product Manager for AdWords, where she improved the AdWords bidding model by introducing Quality Based Bidding and Quality Score for keywords. She was also in charge of Google’s shopping engine – Google Product Search and designed and launched Google Base.

Before Google, Bindu founded AiYo – a shopping recommendations service. Earlier in her career, Bindu was the Director of Product Management at eLance and a Computational Biologist at Exelixis.

5. Edie Stern, a distinguished Engineer and Inventor at IBM
Edie has more than 100 patents to her name, and has been awarded the Kate Gleason Award for lifetime achievement. She received the award for the development of novel applications of new technologies. The 100 patents to her name represent her work in the worlds of telephony and the Internet, remote health monitoring, and digital media.

 6. Ellen Spertus, Research Scientist at Google & Computer Science Professor at Mills University

Ellen’s areas of focus are in structured information retrieval, online communities, gender in computer science, and social effects of computing. She was a core engineer of App Inventor for Android, which enables computing novices to create mobile apps. and she co-authored a book on App Inventor.

Ellen has been working to bring more women into computing for decades now. In 1991, while studying computer science at MIT, she published a paper titled, “Why are there so few Female Computer Scientists.” And Ellen tells girls: “I’m sorry to tell you that Hogwarts isn’t real — but MIT is.”


Thanks to everyone who contributed, and please, keep ’em coming!

5 thoughts on “Women doing STEM right

  1. You’re too kind, Craig.

    You may be interested to know in some connections among three of your honorees. I met Nathasha Mohanty when she was visiting Google as an Anita Borg Scholar and helped arrange for her to interview for a summer job, which led to a full-time position at Google, where she spent many years. Marianne Mark is an alumna of the Interdisciplinary Computer Science “reentry” program at Mills College, which provides college graduates with degrees in other fields to learn computer science.


  2. I am a woman and have been working in the Information Technology industry in Australia since 1981. Fortunately, I know I have been doing good work, even if I never make a list like this.


  3. Prof Dorothy Denning teaches at the Naval Postgraduate School. She was one of the inaugural inductees into the National Cyber Hall of Fame in 2012.


  4. I’m a single mom of 3 below the poverty line. I tried computer classes at my university but couldn’t get the help and the academics counsel directed me to another degree that me washed out. I ended up with a liberal studies degree instead.
    If a woman is already intimidated by the guys who have an educational advantage and then there’s road blocks of being too slow because you’re already behind the curve ball instead of getting the extra help to get brought to the guys level they just leave you in their dust and you get left behind. Then you get redirected to some useless degree that does nothing for you except keep you stuck in poverty now with excessive school loans to seal your fate of poverty. The trap.

    So, now, years later still struggling financially my daughter (17) is
    interested in computer programming but the poverty cycle I’m afraid is going to leave her behind too.
    Are there any women who want to step in and stop this cycle for her career goals, financial future and her younger siblings?
    There are plenty of women that try to get involved but the resources, connections and networks of support have to be there for success.


  5. I am indian women got two grown up kids with well educated and settled with their job, but the struggle I had to bring them up,living with my husband tolerating with many haressement.because at the age of 17yrs I have got married and I lost my studies, and later on I had a situation to go for job,then I came to know about basic computer knowledge, really thank god I had chance to come through computer knowledge.
    Now I am very interested to join in non profit organisation at USA, UK, countries.


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