Editorial

Published on July 4th, 2018 | by Sunit Nandi

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Women Changing Tech in 2018

In a sociopolitical climate that becomes seemingly more polarized and hostile every day, it becomes important to empower and support women who are making waves in research industries. Despite several big name CEOs being women, females in the tech industry feel this pain severely. Who’s surprised, though?

“No industry congratulates itself more than tech,” wrote the New York Post earlier this year in a piece critiquing and reporting on the sexist culture of some of Silicon Valley’s most cherished innovation communities and companies. If women continue to be objectified against their will and choice, they will continually struggle to be taken seriously, despite the skills they have. Misogynists need to question their prejudices if we ever want them to change their viewpoints.

One of the best ways to help women in tech be taken seriously is to highlight the advancements they are making in tech. Without further adieu, here are just a few of the women making waves in tech in 2018:

Lauren Washington

Envato Tuts+ covered Lauren Washington for her KeepUp app, which is a cross-platform social media platform. Cross platform management programs are very important for businesses because there are so many essential social media apps and platforms to be kept up with. While the app is relatively new, it’s set up for great usability. It’s possible that future versions of this application could be the go-to social media management app. Not only does the app allow you to post across all platforms, but it compiles all of your social media notifications into one news feed rather than requiring you to go through each individual one.

According to the Tuts+ article, Laura Washington started the company with $250,000 she won in a 43North competition four years ago. She also runs Black Woman Talk Tech, a website dedicated to the encouragement and empowerment of other black women seeking to become entrepreneurs. In an interview with Female Entrepreneurs, she said she considers her best quality to be “resourcefulness.” Maybe it’s her determination to find solutions and knowledge of where to go for them that allowed her to become so versatile in her business endeavors — and led to develop an app that does the same.

Kristen Green

It’s always great to see women supporting other women, and Kristen Green is a prime example of that. Listed as one of Innov8tiv.com’s top 50 women in tech for this year, her company Forerunner Ventures backs women ran and built companies. Green knows when a company has something good going on — she was in fact an investor in both Dollar Shave Club and Jet.com! An eye for what sells is exactly what you need for a project such as Forerunner Ventures.

It is perhaps this attitude that has given Forerunner Ventures the determination to continually help female-ran organizations and companies throughout the business world. For instance, it was with the help of Green and co. that companies like Neighbourhood Goods secured $5.75 million in order to open their first store. Western Governors University wrote that for women to succeed in IT, they need to understand discrimination and not let it stop them. Green and Washington are both prime examples of women who not only did this but have used what they know as a means to help other women.

Louise Leolin

If you’re at all familiar with the video game industry or nerd culture in general, you know that sexism is extremely rampant in that community. It’s so common there’s an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to it. People like Louise Leolin are changing that not by mere involvement, but by becoming influencers. Leolin runs her very own game design firm, DinoByte Labs.

DinoByte Labs’ first game is in production still. Entitled Mildi, it was crowdfunded so the costs have been covered, however it will be a bit until it hits the gaming world. However that hasn’t stopped DinoByte from keeping its fan base updated via their blog. Nor has it stopped them from making their imprint on the gaming industry, with Leolin and her team offering consulting services as well.

Susie Adams

If you’re not aware, Microsoft actually works with quite a few federal agencies according to Fedscoop.com. They provide their cloud services to them, and the person behind such operations is Susie Adams. With three plus decades in the IT business under her belt, you don’t get a much more experienced person to work on something so important. This is a national level job with international repercussions, after all.

For Adams, it all started with using BASIC, she told FedScoop. From simply using technology to keep track of sports records, she advanced to pushed the envelope for women everywhere. Women like her have been pushing diversity and variety in IT for a long time. And if it weren’t for people like her, we may have an even longer way to go.

Edith Harbough

Another woman highlighted by Tuts+ was Edith Harbaugh, who is the brains behind LaunchDarkly. LaunchDarkly is a feature management program designed for software developers. Harbough and co. put together this program to more easily solve the problems software developers face while creating their websites and maintaining them. The bugs experienced in the process can be addressed and managed on the same platform than having to work through different servers individually.

LaunchDarkly was started by software developers for software developers. It especially caters to those business owners who work closely with their developers, hands-on style. See, even software giants struggle with development issues and solving problems on a large scale. Some of LaunchDarkly’s clients have been Microsoft, Trustpilot, and GoPro. This year only shows growth for Harbough and her company as she continues to change the landscape of the software development world around her.

Wang Xiaoyu

If you leave the company Google, you better be amazing at what you do and have a good plan. So Wang Xiaoyu must have known what she was doing when she quit Google to start Castbox. Castbox is an audio app that allows you to listen to podcasts, audiobooks, and on-demand radio. Essentially, spoken word audio — not music — is the name of the game here.

Castbox is a mobile app that works on Apple and Android. Rather than just the podcast app or going through Soundcloud, Audible, etc., Castbox puts all of those things in one place. Xiaoyu wisely recognized the need for this kind of thing, so listeners don’t have to bounce from app to app, wasting their battery and risking crashes should their devices be full of apps or unable to operate them all at once. Women innovators and entrepreneurs like her make room for future female minds to create and profit.

What are some of the women you’re inspired by in the IT industry? Let us know in the comments below!

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About the Author

I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.



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