It’s important to acknowledge and support the people on the backend doing good work. Too often, women engineers get little to no acknowledgement for the work they’re doing. As a nerd, it’s my philosophy that everyone gets a fair chance to be heard. It’s one of the reasons I started craigconnects.org.
My team and I have compiled a list of women in engineering who are the real deal. These women work and build the companies that many of us use every single day, but you may have never heard of them. This is a selection that people don’t hear enough about, as opposed to the notoriety that some others get. I’d like to challenge you to check out the work that these women are doing.
1. Holly Liu, Cofounder and Chief of Staff at Kabam
Kabam is the leader in the western world for free-to-play core games. Holly also oversees Kabam’s corporate culture as head of People Operations (“People Ops”), which is responsible for driving Kabam’s vision, mission, and values for its more than 800 employees in offices around the world. Holly has helped build a world-class human resources team that is responsible for recruiting and retaining top talent and has grown Kabam’s personnel base by 500% in three years.
Holly was named to Forbes’ “Top 10 Women Entrepreneurs to Watch” in 2013 and one of Fortune’s “10 Most Powerful Women in Gaming.”
2. Avni Shah, Director of Product Management at Google
Avni is in charge of Chrome development at Google. She was one of two women to present at Google’s recent developer’s conference I/O. During her presentation, Avni introduced the new version of Chrome coming in the next Android update dubbed Android L.
3. Nadine Harik, Engineering Manager at Pinterest
Before joining the Pinterest team, Nadine was at Google overseeing the Web and mobile Web teams
When Nadine first started working the the tech field, she described how quickly she became tired of explaining her role at the tech companies she worked for to strangers who assumed she was in HR or community management.
“Now,” Nadine says, “I tend to always preface with, ‘I work at Pinterest and I’m an engineer at Pinterest.'”
4. Merline Saintil, Head of Global Engineering Operations at Yahoo, and Advisor for EngageClick
Merline is an international technology executive, business advisor, and operations expert, having distinguished herself as a leader in fast growing sectors of cloud computing, mobile, online payments and commerce. She has been involved in the process of creating software as well as managing global teams to produce world-class products in a variety of positions at Sun Microsystems, Adobe, PayPal and Joyent, Inc.
Merline currently serves on the Strategic Development Board and co-leads the COO C-Suite of Watermark (leading organization for Executive Women).
Outside of her business interests, Merline said she’s advising Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (CA-18) on the first mobile app challenge for high school students sponsored by the U.S. House of Representatives. She has a passion for mentoring, investing, supporting women in technology
5. Ruchi Sanghvi, Head of Operations at Dropbox
Prior to joining Dropbox, Sanghvi served as the co-founder and CEO of Cove, a collaboration, coordination and communication product for organizations and communities.
Sanghvi holds the distinction of being the first female engineer at Facebook and was instrumental in implementing the first versions of key features such as News Feed. She then led product management and strategy for Facebook Platform and Facebook Connect. She was also responsible for core product areas such as privacy and user engagement.
The BBC asked Ruchi what it was like to be the first female engineer at Facebook? She said she “‘was used to being in a minority: at engineering school, she was one of the five female students in a class of 150.’
But at Facebook, she says, she truly came into her own.
‘You had to be opinionated, you had to make sure your point of view was heard, you had to ask questions. Sometimes people would tell you were stupid and you’d start all over again,'” she said.
6. Hilary Mason, Founder and Chief Executive at Fast Forward Labs
Before founding Fast Forward Labs, Hilary was chief scientist at link-shortening company Bitly for almost four years and more recently worked part-time for Accel Partners as a data scientist in residence.
A subscription to Fast Forward Labs includes quarterly R&D reports, prototypes, innovation events, and an ongoing dialogue with their team on the topics of innovation and near future technologies.
Hopefully you learned about someone new, and maybe started following that person. I’d appreciate it if you left a comment with someone you’d like to see in a 2.0 version of this list. My team and I would like to hear from you about some women in engineering who really have their boots on the ground. Thanks!