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.

Despite the numerous remarkable female tech leaders in the world today, this list is comprised of women who currently command a broad following and wield considerable influence within their respective fields. It is important to note that this is by no means a comprehensive list.

  1. Elizabeth Churchill, Google’s Director of User Experience

    Elizabeth Churchill achieved academic excellence during her studies, graduating from Sussex University with a Bachelor of Science in Research and Experimental Psychology and a Master of Science in Knowledge-based Systems. Subsequently, she furthered her education by obtaining a Ph.D. from the renowned University of Cambridge.
    Winifred Churchill relocated to Palo Alto, California to work at the FX Palo Alto Laboratory. This laboratory would eventually become the renowned Palo Alto Research Centre. Subsequently, she gained employment with some of the largest technology companies in the world, including Yahoo!, eBay, and Google.
    Churchill is currently employed as the Director of User Experience at Google, where she is responsible for improving the user experience by undertaking research in the fields of computer science, psychology, design, analytics, and ethnography.
    Natalie Churchill is the Vice President of the Association of Computing Machinery. She has established a successful academic career, amassing over 50 granted or pending patents and publishing more than 100 articles in the fields of psychology and computing.
  2. Fei-Fei Li

    Stanford’s Human-Centred AI Institute co-director
    Dr. Fei-Fei Li was born in Beijing, China, and immigrated to the United States at the age of 16. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Physics from Princeton University and went on to achieve her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the California Institute of Technology.
    Professor Li has been a professor of engineering and computer science at the University of Illinois and Princeton since 2009. In 2014, she was appointed director of Stanford’s AI Lab, a position she held until 2018. Currently, Professor Li serves as co-director of Stanford’s Human-Centred AI Institute.
    Dr. Li’s research is centred around two main fields: cognitive and computational neuroscience, as well as machine learning. Her ultimate objective is to advance Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, specifically in the area of image recognition. From January 2017 to September 2018, Dr. Li held the role of Vice President at Google and acted as the Head Scientist of AI and Machine Learning at Google Cloud.
    In 2017, Li and Olga Russakovsky, a doctoral student, founded AI4ALL – a non-profit organisation with the mission of increasing diversity in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI4ALL works to achieve this goal through various initiatives such as recruiting, mentoring, and providing training to students from historically underserved communities. AI4ALL’s programs are designed to encourage and equip students to pursue educational and career opportunities in AI and related fields.
    AI4ALL has partnered with leading universities such as Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Black Girls Code, and Girls Who Code, and has now developed summer programs which are available in sixteen different locations across the United States. This initiative represents a significant expansion of AI4ALL’s reach and impact, as more individuals from diverse backgrounds have the opportunity to explore the field of artificial intelligence and its potential for transforming our world.
  3. Bria Sullivan

    An entrepreneur, game developer, and former Google software engineer
    Sullivan is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Tech Stack’d, a non-profit organisation committed to providing minority software engineers and non-technical entrepreneurs with the resources they need to further their professional development. Through seminars, courses, and a supportive network, Tech Stack’d is dedicated to helping individuals from underrepresented backgrounds realise their potential and reach their goals.
    Emily Sullivan founded Tech Stack’d while she was employed full-time as a software engineer at Google. Additionally, Emily is the founder and Chief Technology Officer of Honey B Games, a mobile game development company which specialises in creating Boba Fett-themed games, also known as Bubble Tea.
  4. Valerie Phoenix

    Senior software engineer and Tech by Choice founder
    Valerie Phoenix was born and raised in the state of California, where she completed her academic studies in psychology and art at California State University, Northridge. After completing her studies, Valerie started her career in the professional world by taking on a data entry and customer service role at Estify, a small business based in Los Angeles.
    After years of hard work and dedication, Phoenix eventually founded Tech By Choice, a non-profit organisation committed to developing diversity in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Since its establishment, Tech By Choice has seen a constant growth by providing low-cost or free skill-building events and virtual gatherings to communities around the world.
  5. Hadiyah Mujhid

    HBCUvc’s founder and CEO
    Mujhid achieved two prestigious educational milestones by obtaining a Master of Business Administration degree from Drexel University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, both of which are distinguished Historically Black Universities.
    Mujhid was honoured in 2018 as a SOCAP Scholar and was recognised by Essence magazine as one of the 100 Most Woke Women. Following this recognition, Mujhid established HBCUvc, a non-profit organisation that is devoted to promoting racial equity in venture capital and technology.
    HBCUvc is committed to providing students from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) with the resources they need to succeed. Our program offers funding, mentorship, a culturally affirming curriculum, and paid internships at tech and venture capital firms. We are dedicated to helping these students gain the skills and experience needed to advance their careers in the technology and venture capital industries.
    Hadiya has an impressive background in software development, having written code for satellite launches, and setting up multiple businesses as well as a non-profit organisation. Her work has been commended by some of the most influential media sources, such as Forbes, Blavity, TechCrunch, Business Insider, Black Enterprise, and Handelsblatt. This non-profit organisation has grown to be a global community of 10,000 members.

More power to women in technology

After conducting a comprehensive search of the world’s largest information technology corporations, universities, and charitable organisations, we have identified a selection of female leaders who have made noteworthy contributions to the fields of information technology, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, cybersecurity, and more. Additionally, these women have made strides towards ensuring that the tech industry is more equitable and accessible for female participants.

Above all, these extraordinary leaders inspire us to believe in a brighter future.

Aside from these five inspiring leaders, several other women are paving the way for the next generation in the world of technology.

Please add any other inspiring female leaders you know to this list in the comments section below.

Join the Top 1% of Remote Developers and Designers

Works connects the top 1% of remote developers and designers with the leading brands and startups around the world. We focus on sophisticated, challenging tier-one projects which require highly skilled talent and problem solvers.
seasoned project manager reviewing remote software engineer's progress on software development project, hired from Works blog.join_marketplace.your_wayexperienced remote UI / UX designer working remotely at home while working on UI / UX & product design projects on Works blog.join_marketplace.freelance_jobs