CEO and Co-Founder, National Center for Women & Information Technology; Bell Labs FellowView Slides
Technology innovation is changing the world in a wide variety of ways—smart homes, smart cars, smart health, smart education, smart cities, and so much more. Computing is a field unique in its societal impact, as computational advances impact everything from scientific discovery to energy, war, and security.
Despite women’s early participation in computing, the expansion of women’s career choices into many fields that were not traditional for women, and women’s increasing participation in the private sector, today only 19 percent of all software developers are female. Of that 19 percent, very few are found in technology leadership roles that would enable them to make truly innovative contributions. While ample evidence exists to support the benefit of diverse thinking in computing innovation, numerous social and cultural influences impede women’s contributions to technical innovation teams. Hence, women are essentially “absent” from technology innovation—absent because of low participation, absent because the world doesn't experience their potential contributions, and absent because when women do make a technical contribution, they are often ignored, not recognized, and not given credit for their ideas.
Recognizing women as innovators requires explicit, conscious effort. This talk explores the influences negatively impacting women and technology innovators and describes adoptable practices that can mitigate these impacts.