5 Women Inspiring Next-Generation Software Developers

Despite the fact that women make up only around a quarter of the computing workforce in the United States, according to recent research, they often receive less pay than their male counterparts. In recognition of the rapidly expanding and talented female force driving the industry forward, we have created a list of some of the leading female developers, tech executives, entrepreneurs, influencers and CEOs in the tech industry. These female pioneers and entrepreneurs are at the helm of some of the most successful IT companies and promising startups, paving the road to the future we desire.

Although there are countless noteworthy female leaders in the tech industry today, we have curated a list of women who currently hold significant sway in their respective domains, commanding a large following. Please note that this is not an all-inclusive list.

  1. Elizabeth Churchill, Director of User Experience at Google

    Elizabeth Churchill has had an illustrious academic career, receiving top honours in her Bachelor of Science in Research and Experimental Psychology and Master of Science in Knowledge-based Systems from Sussex University. She went on to earn her Ph.D. at the prestigious University of Cambridge.
    Churchill’s career began at the FX Palo Alto Laboratory, which later became the renowned Palo Alto Research Centre. From there, she went on to hold positions at some of the world’s largest technology companies, including eBay, Yahoo! and Google.
    Currently, Churchill serves as Google’s Director of User Experience, leading research initiatives to improve the user experience through the application of computer science, design, psychology, ethnography and analytics.
    Natalie Churchill, Vice President of the Association of Computing Machinery, has achieved a successful career in academia, with over 50 patents granted or pending and more than 100 articles published in the fields of psychology and computing.
  2. Fei-Fei Li

    Dr. Fei-Fei Li, co-director of Stanford’s Human-Centred AI Institute, was born in Beijing, China, and moved to the US at 16 to attend Princeton where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Physics. She went on to earn a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the California Institute of Technology.
    Since 2009, Dr. Li has held various roles as a professor of engineering and computer science at the University of Illinois and Princeton. She was director of Stanford’s AI Lab from 2014 to 2018 and currently serves as co-director of Stanford’s Human-Centred AI Institute.
    Dr. Li’s research is focused on machine learning and cognitive and computational neuroscience, with the ultimate aim of advancing AI technology, especially in the field of image recognition. From 2017 to 2018, she was the Vice President at Google and the Head Scientist of AI and Machine Learning at Google Cloud.
    In collaboration with a doctoral student named Olga Russakovsky, Dr. Li founded AI4ALL in 2017, a non-profit organization that works to increase diversity in the field of artificial intelligence.AI4ALL recruits, mentors, and provides training to students from historically underserved communities, encouraging them to pursue educational and job opportunities within AI and related fields.
    AI4ALL has partnered with many institutions including Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Black Girls Code, and Girls Who Code to develop summer programs available in sixteen US locations. These programs have expanded AI4ALL’s reach significantly, enabling more individuals from diverse backgrounds to explore how artificial intelligence can transform our world.
  3. Bria Sullivan

    Bria Sullivan is an entrepreneur, game developer, and former Google software engineer. She is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tech Stack’d, a non-profit organisation aimed at equipping minority software engineers and non-technical entrepreneurs with the requisite resources to enhance their professional development. Tech Stack’d offers seminars, courses and a supportive network, catering to individual needs and empowering underrepresented individuals to realise their full potential.
    While working full-time as a software engineer at Google, Bria founded Tech Stack’d. She also founded Honey B Games, a mobile game development studio that specialises in creating Boba Fett-inspired games (Bubble Tea themed games).
  4. Valerie Phoenix

    Valerie Phoenix is a senior software engineer and founder of Tech By Choice. Born and raised in California, she completed her undergraduate studies in psychology and art at California State University, Northridge. Valerie began her professional career in data entry and customer service at Estify, a small business based in Los Angeles.
    After years of hard work and dedication, Phoenix founded Tech By Choice, a non-profit organisation that aims to enhance diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Tech By Choice provides low-cost or free skill-building events and virtual gatherings worldwide to support underrepresented communities in improving their skills and knowledge of technology. Since its inception, Tech By Choice has experienced a steady rise in demand as it continues to positively influence underrepresented individuals and create opportunities for them in STEM.
  5. Hadiyah Mujhid

    Founder and CEO of HBCUvc
    Hadiyah Mujhid achieved two milestones in her education, earning a Master of Business Administration from Drexel University and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, both prestigious Historically Black Universities.
    In 2018, Mujhid garnered recognition as a SOCAP Scholar and one of Essence magazine’s 100 Most Woke Women. She then established HBCUvc, a non-profit organisation devoted to promoting racial equity in venture capital and technology.
    HBCUvc provides students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) with funding, mentorship, culturally affirming curricula, and paid internships at tech and venture capital firms to help them advance their careers in technology and venture capital.
    Mujhid has an astounding background in software development, including coding for satellite launches and founding several businesses and non-profit organisations. Her work has been commended by notable media sources such as Forbes, Blavity, TechCrunch, Business Insider, Black Enterprise, and Handelsblatt. HBCUvc has grown into a global community of over 10,000 members.

Celebrating Women’s Empowerment in Technology

Our extensive search of the world’s leading information technology corporations, universities, and charitable organizations has led us to recognise a group of outstanding female leaders who have made significant and commendable contributions to various fields, including information technology, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and cybersecurity. Furthermore, these women have endeavoured to promote greater equity and accessibility for females in the technology industry.

These exceptional leaders are a source of inspiration and instill hope in us for a brighter tomorrow.

In addition to the aforementioned five inspirational leaders, numerous other women are blazing trails and leading the way for the next generation in the technology industry.

We encourage you to share the names of any other outstanding female leaders you know in

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