Women in Tech | Women’s History Month
March is Women’s History Month, a dedicated time to commemorate the study, observance and celebration of women in American history. Evolving from a week-long celebration of women’s contributions to culture and society, Women’s History Month was founded by the school district of Sonoma, California in 1978 where students gathered for parades and ‘Real Woman’ essay contests. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared the week of March 8 as National Women’s History Week, and the U.S. Congress passed a resolution to establish a national celebration the following year. Six years later, the week celebration was officially expanded to the entire month of March.
As we join the celebration of women across the globe, we’re shining a spotlight on a few key women figures in the world of tech. From innovation to strong leadership, these women have played a large role in technology advancements and the digital age that brings us the devices, technology and features we’ve all come to love.
As chief operating officer at Facebook, now rebranded as Meta, Sheryl Sandberg has been advocating for women in the business world for years. She joined Facebook in 2008 and dramatically increased the social giant’s revenue while spearheading the use of the platform for small business advertising which increased ad revenue to $84.2 billion in 2020. So, every time you scroll Facebook or consider advertising on the social platform, don’t forget that a brilliant woman is behind the scenes making it all possible. Also, Sandberg made headlines in 2013 with her New York Times Best Seller, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.”
With an out-of-this-world resume, President and COO of SpaceX Gwynne Shotwell is a woman in tech to honor. Prior to joining the commercial space exploration company founded by Elon Musk, Shotwell worked at the Aerospace Corporation for more than 10 years. During that time, she became chief engineer of an MLV-class satellite program and completed an analysis of space policy for NASA’s investment in space transportation. Not only have her professional roles earned accolades, but she helped raise over $1.4 million for STEM education programs nationwide. It’s no wonder Shotwell made Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” list in 2020 and was inducted into the Women in Technology Hall of Fame.
If you’ve ever searched Google Images or spent time browsing videos on YouTube, then you have the tech genius, Susan Wojcicki to thank. She was one of the original employees at Google and the current CEO of YouTube. As a Harvard graduate, Wojcicki worked in Silicon Valley in 1998 where she rented out garage space in her home to Google Inc. (officially the tech giant’s first headquarters). She also advocated for parental leave, as a mother herself. She initiated parental leave for both men and women at Google that offers mothers 18 weeks of paid leave and fathers 12 weeks.
As a strong advocate for women, Reshma Saujani is the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a non-profit with a mission to increase the number of women in the computer science field. She is also an international bestselling author of Brave, Not Perfect, and her TED Talk, Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection has over five million views. Saujani fights to close the gender gap in the tech world and has most recently advocated for policies to support moms impacted by the pandemic. Additionally, she was the first Indian American women to run for U.S. Congress.
Women are stepping into more roles in the predominantly male-dominated tech world, and studies predict that large global tech firms will reach close to 33% overall female representation in their workforce this year. We’re excited to see the gender gap in tech close even more, and we celebrate with those who have paved the way in this industry and look forward to the advancements to come. Here at Victra, we’re grateful to have many women leaders who encourage and empower all our team members to break barriers and lead with confidence.