August 26th is Women’s Equality Day, which commemorates the anniversary of the 19th amendment extending voting rights to women in 1920 – so in honor of this important occasion, we here at Lifesize thought we’d take the opportunity to salute the many accomplishments of women working in our particular field: the tech industry! A lot has changed in the forty-odd years since trailblazing congresswoman Bella Abzug introduced the legislation creating Women’s Equality Day in 1971, and nowhere is this more abundantly clear than in the workplace. There’s certainly still room for improvement, but we’re headed in the right direction, thanks in no small part to the contributions of the women listed below.
Image credit: femgineer.com
While the tech world in particular is frequently portrayed as something of a boys’ club, the women below have debunked that stereotype. Not only are women working at every level of the industry, from programming to sales to the executive boardroom, but they’re excelling as well. Here are a few of the amazing women who are making the tech sector an increasingly diverse – and successful – industry:
Cher Wang, co-founder and chairperson of HTC. The Taiwanese-born Wang co-founded global smartphone and tablet giant HTC in 1997 with H.T. Cho and Peter Chou, helping guide the company into a $6 billion business. Forbes Magazine called Wang “certainly the most influential woman in wireless,” and noted that she was responsible for the company’s long-term vision, helping grow HTC’s portfolio and building it into Apple Inc’s biggest rival.
Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox. Burns first joined the company as a mechanical engineering intern more than 30 years ago, eventually coming on full time and working her way up the corporate ladder. The first African American woman to serve as CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Burns’s signature achievement thus far has been the $6.4 billion purchase of Affiliated Computer Services, the largest acquisition in Xerox’s nearly 110-year history.
Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard. While it’s too early to know if Whitman’s sweeping reforms will be enough to turn things around at HP, the rest of her resume is incredibly impressive. Whitman bounced between executive positions at a number of major companies throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s before settling in as president and CEO of eBay in 1998, eventually growing the company’s annual revenues from $86 million in her first year to $7.7 billion by the time she left a decade later. And as if that wasn’t impressive enough, she was Jerry Brown’s Republican opponent in California’s 2010 gubernatorial election.
Amy Downs (VP of Customer Care & Happiness) and Megan Lueders (VP of Global Marketing) at Lifesize. No Lifesize list of amazing women in tech would be complete without Amy Downs and Megan Lueders making an appearance. Downs is responsible for ensuring that clients are more than satisfied with their Lifesize products, designing and implementing the company’s support, service, training, and renewals programs in order to reach that goal. Lueders has been with Lifesize for nearly a decade now, and has helped make it the company it is today, by first understanding what it is that potential customers need from their videoconferencing solutions and then developing honest content and programs to show those customers how Lifesize can meet their needs. Without the contributions of these two amazing women, Lifesize would not be the market leader it is today.
So happy Women’s Equality Day, everyone! It’s important to remember that there’s still a long way to go in ensuring that women receive the equal treatment they deserve, both in and out of the workplace – but thanks to the continued contributions of women like the ones listed above, we’re closer to achieving that goal than ever.