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.

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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 Reasons We Need Social Change

Folks, I started this craigconnects thing because I really want to use tech to give a real voice to the voiceless, and real power to the powerless. Ever justicesince starting craigconnects, I’ve created a list of issues areas that I’m really focusing on. It’s important that we work together, as a community, and collaborate to create real social change. You can’t change the world from the top down.

Here are just 5 (of many) reasons we need social change:

  1. We seem to throw money into food and housing, yet a lot of folks are still in need, so something isn’t working right. This includes military families and veterans. We need to do it better.
  2. We need to improve the reentry experience of war veterans into the American economy and society. Less than 1% of Americans currently serve in the military, so this is a really important conversation to have. The conversation has already been started, we just need to keep collaborating and working toward our goals.
  3. Journalism Ethics. We need to ensure that journalism fulfills its role as the heart of democracy and its mission of seeking truth and building trust. The press should be the immune system of democracy. Turns out that what we have now are a lot of ethics codes and policies, but very little accountability. This is something I often discuss when I talk about trustworthy journalism in a fact-checking-free world. And this is also why I joined the board of Poynter, and work with the Columbia Journalism Review, Center for Public Integrity, and Sunlight Foundation.
  4. There are some real bad actors out there trying to implement laws to stop eligible people, including women, the elderly, and disenfranchised communities, from voting. What I learned in high school civics class is that an attack on voting rights is virtually the same as an attack on the country. We need to step up and remind folks that the Founders of the US tell us that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law, meaning that citizens have the right to vote. And we need to protect that right.
  5. Today, women represent 12% of all computer science graduates. In 1984, they represented 37%. This number should be increasing, and we can change that. It’s important that we encourage girls and women to get involved in tech. Here’s more on the importance of girls in tech.

Personally, I’m a nerd, and feel that life should be fair, that everyone gets a chance to be heard, and maybe to help run things. Sure, life isn’t fair, but that won’t slow me down. A nerd’s gotta do what a nerd’s gotta do.

Note to self: JUST LISTEN. That is, don’t ALWAYS attempt to solve the problem, SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED TO LISTEN. (Courtesy of  “You Just Don’t Understand” by Deborah Tannen.)

Why It’s Important to Get Girls Involved in Tech

Folks, I’ve been supporting an effort to get women and girls involved in tech for some time now, with support for orgs like Girls Who Code and Black Girls CODE. I’ve also done some work with Roya Mahboob and the New Delhi-based Feminist Approach to Technology. And, I’ve been working with The Women’s Building in SF. Check out this map to see where we’ve teched across the globe…

The U.S. Department of Labor projects that by 2020, there will be 1.4 million computer specialist job openings. To reach gender parity by 2020, women have gotta fill half of these positions, or 700,000 computing jobs. Right now, women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but hold only 25% of the jobs in tech or computing fields (according to Girls Who Code).

This is why it’s important to get girls involved in tech now.

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Here are 5 other reasons we need to focus on teaching girls about tech:

  1. In middle school, 74% of girls show interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), but when choosing a college major, just 0.3% of high school girls select computer science. If we encouraged girls to code and to get involved in tech, more girls might start majoring in computer science.  For example, 100% of girls who participated in Girls Who Code’s 2012 program report that they’re definitely or more likely to major in computer science after taking the program.
  2. Today, women represent 12% of all computer science graduates. In 1984, they represented 37%. This number should be increasing.black girls code
  3. When we create technology and tech products, we create for the masses. By having a male perspective consistently leading and developing tech, we’re building this through the lens of men and their perspective not the masses.
  4. “The fastest way to change society is to mobilize the women of the world.”- Charles MalikThat is, we’re living in a very small period of tremendous social change, where the people who are best prepared, who have the best listening and cooperative skills should get their chance of running things.

    I don’t think we’ll see revolution, we’ll see a rebalancing of power, shifting from traditional sources of power (authority and money) to power based on the size and effectiveness of one’s network.

  5. Although the digital divide’s steadily eroding, tremendous barriers to entry in the technology field still remain for women of color. Black Girls CODE notes that early access and exposure are essential to changing the status quo.

Google launched an initiative last month called Made With Code, with the goal of getting young women excited about learning to code in an effort to close the gender gap in the tech industry. Google’s investing $50 million into the program over the next 3 years. Hey, it’s a good start.

How else do you think we can work to get more girls involved in tech and coding? This is the real deal, more to come…

7 Brilliant Women in Tech

Hey, there are some women in the tech sector who really get stuff done. My team and I really wanted to highlight some disruptors who we haven’t featured before. They’re the real deal.

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  1. Susan Buck, Co-Founder of The Women’s Coding Collective

    A programmer, designer, and educator with over 15 years of web development experience, Susan began her education in digital media at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunication Program and UNC Asheville’s Multimedia Arts and Sciences program.Susan co-founded The Women’s Coding Collective (WCC), an educational initiative aimed at helping more women excel in programming and web development.While working on the WCC, Susan also teaches web development at the Harvard Extension School. From 2007-2012, Susan was the senior developer with San Francisco-based Photojojo where she built and maintained an ecommerce platform.
  2. Brigitte Daniel, Executive Vice President of Wilco Electronics Systems, Inc.

    // For over 30 years, Wilco has provided affordable cable and technology services to low-income communities as well as commercial, governmental, and educational institutions, in Philadelphia. As edIQ’s new CEO, Brigitte will address the challenges in urban education and specific underserved student educational needs through the offering of an “educational technology kit” that includes an affordable mobile devices and specialized educational content from established and unique content providers.Brigitte received a 2011 Eisenhower Fellowship where she traveled to India, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia to explore and cultivate global relationships in developing emerging technologies that benefit Wilco’s unique low-income marketplace in Philadelphia.In addition, these initiatives led to Brigitte being re-appointed to the Federal Communications Commission Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity in the Digital Age.
  3. Lis Pardi, Founder of LadyNegotiator.com

    // Lis founded LadyNegotiator.com as an online resource for women preparing for negotiations. She also works on interfaces for healthcare, games, retailers, and libraries, and is the Treasurer for PhillyCHI, an interdisciplinary academic and professional group interested in human-computer interaction, user experience, usability, and other related disciplines.
  4. Rebecca Miller-Webster, Founder and co-organizer of Write/Speak/Code

    // Write/Speak/Code’s a conference teaching women developers the skills to become thought leaders, conference speakers, and open source contributors. Rebecca’s active in the Ruby community as a speaker, open source contributor, and co-organizer of the Gotham Ruby Conference.
    Rebecca is currently a teacher at Dev Bootcamp, and spent the last 10 years building software in a variety of languages for large corporations, non-profits, and start-ups, including as VP of Engineering for an early-stage start up in NYC. Rebecca also co-organizes GORUCO and makes Patterned.
  5. Zakiya Harris, Co-founder of Hack The Hood, Impact Hub Oakland, Grind for the Green, and Earthseed Consulting

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    Zakiya is a social change strategist, artist and educator. She works at the intersection of entrepreneurship, environmental education & creative transformation.Hack the Hood provides training in multimedia and tech skills to youth who then work on real-world consulting projects with locally-owned businesses and non-profits.The organization recently won a $500,000 grant through the Google Bay Area Impact Challenge.
  6. Rebecca Braglio, Founder of ThePhillyDog.com

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    When it came to dog owners and the dog service provider community, Rebecca saw that there was a huge disconnect. It occurred to her one day that Philadelphia needed a website that people could visit to find out where they could take their dog, what to do with their dog on the weekend, where the dog parks were, what fundraising events were going on…just a “one-stop-shop” kind of place to get information, and ThePhillyDog was born.ThePhillyDog.com has been recognized as a “Top 20 Dog Sites” in 2009 and 2012, and is a Top 100 Winner of the Start-Up Nation “Savvy in Social Media” award for building rapport and relationships in the community.
  7. Rashmi Sinha, CEO & Co-Founder of SlideShare

    // Rashmi focuses on product strategy and design. She has a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuropsychology from Brown University, and conducted research on search engines and recommender systems at U.C. Berkeley.Before SlideShare, Rashmi co-founded user experience consulting company Uzanto, and built MindCanvas, a game-like software.

Be sure and also check out 10 Women Run Startups You Should Know

Who would you add to this list?

5 women bloggers you really need to follow

Hey, I don’t think women are noted frequently enough for their accomplishments. Women dominate social media and have a huge impact in the blogosphere, but aren’t always recognized.

My team and I compiled a list of women bloggers who are the real deal. You should follow these folks on Twitter, and check out their blogs. These women are on top of of the latest tech news, nonprofit strategies, and social media trends.

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5 Women Bloggers to Follow:

Xeni Jardin is an editor and blogger for Boing Boing, a web zine they describe as being “devoted to the weird, wonderful and wicked things to be found in technology and culture.” Independent for nearly 25 years, they publish a daily mix of short articles, long features, and video productions.


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Beth Kanter is the author of Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media, one of the longest running and most popular blogs for nonprofits. Beth has over 30 years working in the nonprofit sector in technology, training, capacity building, evaluation, fundraising, and marketing.


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Shelly Kramer blogs about internet marketing, social media, and tech at V3, a full service integrated marketing, digital communications and social media agency.


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Kara Swisher is co-CEO of Revere Digital, co-executive editor and blogger for Re/code, and co-executive producer of The Code Conference. Re/code is an independent tech news, reviews and analysis site. Because everything in tech and media is constantly being rethought, refreshed, and renewed, Re/code’s aim is to reimagine tech journalism.


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Amy Vernon is the author of Dear Amy. Amy is among the top 15 contributors of all time on Digg.com (and the highest-ranked female ever), and is recognized for her knowledge of writing, community, and social media.


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Who would you add to this list? What women bloggers do you have bookmarked on your reading list?//

6 Women Who Are Disrupting the Startup World With Social Change

Folks, my team and I have compiled a list of 6 women who are really disrupting the startup world with social change. These women are in no particular order, but are listed here because their work is admirable, and they really have their boots on the ground, working to make a real difference.

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Grace Garey: Co-founder, Watsi


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Watsi is a Kickstarter-like website for medical treatments. Web visitors can go to the website, donate as little as $5, and 100% of that donation will directly fund medical care for a specific person somewhere in the world.

Grace says she’s “obsessed with the idea that connecting people can solve the world’s biggest problems.” She studied global development and politics in Santa Barbara, did refugee research in Ghana, worked at a hospital in India, and suited up to do humanitarian advocacy in DC before deciding that everyday people were actually the most powerful change agents the world had to offer. Now, she gets to spend her time connecting people from across the world and watching them change each other’s lives.

Rose Broome, Co-founder and CEO, HandUp


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HandUp is a tech startup with a social mission. They’ve created a new way to donate directly to homeless people and people in need here in the US. Starting in San Francisco, they’ve partnered with Project Homeless Connect to help deliver new resources to the thousands of homeless and at risk people in the community.

Rose is passionate about using the power of data and technology to create positive social change. She believes we already have the tools, knowledge, and desire to create a better world, so let’s just do it! Rose started the SF Homeless Innovation Meetup to help bridge the gap between new technologies and the complex problem of homelessness. She’s also an organizer for Science Hack Day and works as a data science & research consultant for organizations, including SuperBetter Labs.

Servane Mouazan: Founder, Oguntê


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Servane says, “I love helping women social innovators to be more influential and better connected.” Servane founded UK-based Oguntê and the Global Tribal Network, to prove that women can solve pressing social & environmental issues and create commercial opportunities at the same time, when given more skills and space to do so. “Being part of an ecosystem where everybody is included, can contribute and support others, is the highlight and the mission of [Oguntê ]. My drive is about supporting, connecting and promoting women who work in social enterprises, networks and campaigns, and contribute to making the world a better and more equitable place.”

Oguntê believes in social impact made by women. Influential and connected women with bold solutions to social and environmental issues, can create sustainable opportunities to make the world a better place. Influential and connected women are more likely to be listened to and valued as civic, political and economic citizens.

Joelle Berdugo Adler: Partner, President, and CEO, Industrial Revolution II


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(We couldn’t find a Twitter handle for Joanne personally…)

Besides being the President and CEO of Diesel Canada Inc and the Founder of the ONEXONE Charitable Foundation, Joelle is one of the founding partners and chairs of Industrial Revolution II. Industrial Revolution II is a different kind of garment factory.

They explain that, “Social advancement for our workers, their families and our neighbors is equally as important to us as delivering our customers the highest quality products and services. Our ‘shared value’ business model embraces the idea that not all profit is created equal. Profits involving a social purpose represent a higher form of capitalism, one that creates a positive cycle of company and community prosperity.”

Anna Sidana: Founder and CEO, One Million Lights


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(We couldn’t find a Twitter handle for Anna personally…)

Anna has spent her professional life in high technology companies with careers ranging from marketing to business management. She currently works full time at Silicon Valley startups in marketing. Prior to that, she was at PayPal in San Jose as Director, Financial Products focused on Credit products.

Anna is also the founder of One Million Lights, an organization that distributes safe, rechargeable solar lights around the world, replacing dangerous and polluting kerosene lamps. While the organization is setup as a nonprofit, they have evolved into a more of an ‘entrepreneur’ based business model where donations are only a part of their business model to subsidize the price of a solar light to a level that is affordable in remote regions of the world. Their goal is to create a sustainable supply chain that can reach the people who need this the most. The retail price of a solar lights ranges from $25 – $50 and often that is too high for a family living at subsistence level. In most regions where the lights are delivered, the families live on less than $2-$5 per day.

Meg Wirth: Co-Founder, Matnernova


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(We couldn’t find a Twitter handle for Meg personally…)

Matnernova is an Amazon-type platform, but for global health technologies. They link doctors and midwives with low-cost medical supplies to use overseas. Meg Wirth is not only the co-founder of Maternova, but also a S.E.VEN fellow and a Cartier Women’s Initiative finalist. She was named one of America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs of 2011 by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Meg has worked on women’s health throughout her career in areas as diverse as starting a home visiting program for teen mothers in Appalachia to monitoring and evaluating a major Safe Motherhood initiative–funded by USAID and implemented by John Snow International’s Mothercare project– in Jakarta and South Kalimantan, Indonesia. Meg has also worked as a member of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Health Equity team and co-edited a major volume called Challenging Inequities in Health: From Ethics to Action. She was a co-author of the UN Millennium Project’s final report on child and maternal health.

 

Who would you add to this list? I’d like to hear who you’ve seen disrupt the startup world with social change, and maybe you’ll inspire a 2.0 list. Thanks!

Why You Should Ban Bossy

Folks, today’s the one year anniversary of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, LeanIn.Org. For the anniversary, the Girl Scouts are launching a public service campaign to Ban Bossy, an effort to encourage all girls to lead.

girl-with-mic

Over the past twenty-eight years I’ve been quietly supporting women’s groups, just proceeding on what feels like the right thing to do. And this campaign seems like the real deal.

Sheryl Sandberg explained the campaign:

“When little boys lead, we call them ‘leaders.’ But when little girls lead, they risk being labeled ‘bossy.’  These negative messages have a real impact; by middle school, girls are less interested in leadership roles than boys – a trend that continues into adulthood.

Ban Bossy aims to change this by generating the awareness we need to stop discouraging – and start encouraging – girls to lead.  Please join us at BanBossy.com.”

As a nerd who also has (insert some large number) nieces it’s real important that young girls are encouraged to take on roles of leadership. It’s really all about fairness. Treat people like you want to be treated. Personally, I feel that life should be fair, that everyone gets a chance to be heard, and maybe to help run things.

Sure, life isn’t fair, but that won’t slow me down. A nerd’s gotta do what a nerd’s gotta do.

Here are some ways you can help support the Ban Bossy campaign:

    • Pledge to Ban Bossy by hitting red “I will Ban Bossy” button on the homepage.
    • Use the hashtag, #banbossy, to talk about the campaign on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Follow @LeanInOrg and @GirlScouts for more info. 
    • Check out these tips – just a few everyday things we can do to support women and girl’s leadership.
    • Share the Ban Bossy PSA: 

As Charles Malik said, “The fastest way to change society is to mobilize the women of the world.”

Will women dominate the tech field?

Hey, big news: for the first time, women outnumber men in a UC Berkeley Computer Science course. Could this be a new trend?

Stats are a little wavering and it’s unclear. Mike Cassidy at Mercury News says that after Harvey Mudd College began emphasizing coding instead of siloing it, and started paying for freshman women to attend the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, “the percentage of female computer science majors at Harvey Mudd increased from about 10% before the initiatives to 43% today.”

Cassidy also thinks that the number of women in the computer science field is getting worse. He said that “in 1984, more than 37% of computer science bachelor’s degrees in the US were awarded to women. By 1995, the figure had dropped to about 28.5 %. The latest U.S. Department of Education figures from 2011 put the number at 17.6%.”

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From my perspective, it seems to be improving overall. Folks, there are more female computer science grads at Stanford than ever before, women are outnumbering men for the first time ever at a UC Berkeley Computer Science course, and the number of Harvard sophomore women who are declaring their major as Computer Science has increased over the years. It seems to me that it’s the little things that are increasing, and those things really add up.

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2012 Infographic from Women Who Tech

What have you noticed about women in the Computer Science field? Do you think that gender equity’s on the upswing?

 

10 women entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter

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Folks, my team and I have listened to many of the suggestions you’ve been sending our way, and we’ve compiled a list of 10 women entrepreneurs that you should follow on Twitter. These women really have their boots on the ground, and are doing good work. Please comment below to share your favorite women entrepreneurs.

Majora Carter

Majora Carter is an internationally renowned urban revitalization strategy consultant, real estate developer, and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. She’s responsible for the creation & successful implementation of numerous green-infrastructure projects, policies, and job training & placement systems.
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Heather Russell

Heather Russell told TechHub that she became an entrepreneur because “My parents are artists and writers and always had their own business. From ad agency to travel agency. I just grew up without a concept of working for someone else and to do your own thing, your own way.”//

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Aliza Sherman

Aliza Sherman helped pave the way for women online and in the Internet industry. She is a web and social mobile pioneer whose work helped shape the early new media industry. In addition to starting the first woman-owned Internet company in the early 90s, Cybergrrl, Inc., she’s been writing, speaking and consulting about social media since 2006 and social mobile marketing since 2010. She is also well known for her expertise on women’s technology and business issues.

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Natalia Oberti Noguera

Natalia Oberti Noguera is Founder and CEO of Pipeline Fellowship, an angel investing bootcamp for women that’s changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for women social entrepreneurs.
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Melinda Emerson

Melinda Emerson, known as SmallBizLady, has been a thriving entrepreneur for nearly 15 years and is an internationally known keynote speaker. A pioneer in social media marketing, she’s the creator and host of #Smallbizchat, the longest running live chat on Twitter for small business owners.
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Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington is the Chair, President, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of fourteen books. In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet.
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Susan Wojcicki

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Susan Wojcicki is the CEO of YouTube. Previously, she was the Senior Vice President of Advertising & Commerce at Google. She oversaw the design, innovation and engineering of Google’s advertising, commerce, and measurement platform products, including AdWords, AdSense, DoubleClick, Offers, and Google Analytics.

 

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Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer is the current President and CEO of Yahoo! since July 2012. Previously, she was a long-time executive and key spokesperson for Google.
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Helene Gayle

Helene Gayle joined CARE USA as president and CEO in 2006. Prior to her current position, she was the director of the HIV, TB, and reproductive health program for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
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Ellen Degeneres

Ellen DeGeneres is a stand-up comedian, television host, and actress. She starred in the popular sitcom Ellen from 1994 to 1998 and has hosted the syndicated talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show since 2003, going on its 11th year.
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