Crashing The Silicon Ceiling: Introducing HuffPost's "Women In Tech" Series

07/06/2011 01:33 pm ET Updated Sep 05, 2011

The tech sector has traditionally been a boy's club. But a growing number of women are disregarding the "No Girls Allowed" sign and are not only infiltrating the tech world -- but, increasingly, influencing and leading it.

This crashing of the silicon ceiling is cause for celebration -- and the launch of a new HuffPost series, "Women in Tech." Over the next few weeks, with a sponsorship from Dell and Intel, our Tech section will be spotlighting some of the most skilled and innovative women having an impact on today's tech scene.

Through exclusive interviews, video, slideshows, and Q&As, "Women in Tech" will provide a glimpse into the lives and minds of these game-changers -- from their big-picture thoughts to their favorite gadgets, apps, and people to follow on Twitter.

Among those we'll be profiling are Marissa Mayer, Google's brilliant young vice president of location and local services (not to mention the company's first female engineer), and Susan Lyne, chairman of Gilt Groupe, whose aim of recreating the excitement of a sample sale online is a close cousin to HuffPost's goal of giving readers a sense of occasion when they come to our site. Alexa von Tobel, who has previously shared her advice with HuffPost readers about launching a company during a recession, will fill us in on LearnVest, the online personal finance resource for young women she founded just a few years out of Harvard (where she lived in the same dorm as another budding techie: Mark Zuckerberg). We'll also turn the spotlight on Jennifer Hyman, CEO of Rent the Runway; Beth Simone Noveck, former White House deputy chief technology officer; Twitter's Erica Anderson; and NASA astronaut, Tracy Caldwell Dyson, among others.

Above and beyond their professional successes, these women embody the spirit of Biz Stone's declaration that Twitter "is not a triumph of technology, it's a triumph of humanity" -- and the growing consensus that success includes doing well for others. For example, Maja Matarić who, as founding director of the University of Southern California's Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems, has channeled her technical expertise into making a difference, creating robots that help victims of strokes, Alzheimer's, and autism.

HuffPost Tech has always promoted the accomplishments of women innovators, such as Ada Lovelace, the woman sometimes called "the Founder of Scientific Computing" -- and has featured the work of an array of amazing female bloggers, including Sheryl Sandberg, Ellen Miller, Danah Boyd, Susan Landau, Esther Dyson, Lisa Stone, Lee Woodruff, Marlo Thomas, and Esther Wojcicki.

Nevertheless, "Women in Tech" is built on the knowledge that there's more progress to be made. Marissa Mayer estimates women still only account for 15 to 17 percent of engineers in Silicon Valley.

By celebrating the accomplishments of those women currently blazing trails in tech, we hope this series will inspire more women to consider a career in the field. But no matter what gender you are or your place on the tech spectrum -- from Luddite to programming whiz -- "Women in Tech" will introduce you to some incredible women and their insights into this indispensable aspect of all our lives. Check out the first installment here.