To conclude National Women in Science and Technology Month, we’re looking at the most powerful women in technology. There are many successful, inspirational female role models out there in the tech world, and they have great advice to offer us.
She’s currently the chief operating officer of Facebook, and in the past has been the Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google as well as the Chief of Staff for the Secretary of the Treasury. She was named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in 2012, and now has a net worth reportedly over $1 billion. Sandberg has also written a popular book called “Lean In,” which encourages female professionals to achieve their goals.
Her best advice: “Women need to shift from thinking ‘I’m not ready to do that’ to thinking ‘I want to do that — and I’ll learn by doing it.’”
Virginia (Ginni) Rometty
Rometty is the current Chairman and CEO of IBM. She has been named to the Fortune “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” list, the Forbes “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women,” Time’s most influential list, and the Bloomberg Market “50 Most Influential.” At IBM, she is striving for major revenue growth and major tech innovation.
Her best advice: “Don’t let others define you. You define yourself.”
Not only is Burns the current Chairman and CEO of Xerox, but she’s also the first African-American woman to head a Fortune 500 company. Like other powerful women in technology, she made the Forbes list of powerful women in 2009. She moved up within the ranks at Xerox, starting as an intern in 1980. Now, as Chairman and CEO, she is working to bring in more revenue specifically from IT services.
Her best advice: “Find something that you love to do, and find a place that you really like to do it in. I found something I loved to do. . . . Your work has to be compelling. You spend a lot of time doing it.”
Whitman is the President and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, though she has jumped around a lot in her career by working for Disney, DreamWorks, Procter & Gamble, Hasbro, and eBay. Impressively, she was named by the New York Times in 2008 as one of the women most likely to become the first female President of the United States. At HP, Whitman has worked to “clean up” past mistakes and give the company a brighter future.
Her best advice: “Remember that you can do anything you want to do. Don’t let anyone say, ‘You’re not smart enough…it’s too hard…it’s a dumb idea…no one has done that before…girls don’t do that.’ My mom gave me that advice in 1973. And it allowed me to never worry about what others were saying about my career direction.”
As an executive at Oracle since 1999, Catz is usually cited as the highest paid female executive. She was named to Fortune’s list of the 50 most powerful women in business in 2011. Since 2011, Catz has been the Co-President and Chief Financial Officer at Oracle. According to Forbes, her deal making skills have led to billions in acquisitions for her company.
Her best advice: “The best advice I can give to women is to go out and start something, ideally their own businesses. If you can’t see a path for leadership within your own company, go blaze a trail of your own.”
Feeling inspired by these women? Check out some other posts inspired by National Women in Science and Technology month: find out how you can get more women in tech, read about career advice, and check out why it’s a great time for women in technology.