Folks, I figure it's really important to highlight women who are really making positive changes across the tech sector. These people aren't often given the recognition they deserve. If you're able, please support 'em and follow them on Twitter. They're the real deal.
(Also, please note the five women to watch in 2015.)
While in high school, she started a freelance design company which grew into an international design and Web development firm, then founded Pixelkeet, the world's only "parakeet-run" graphic design and Web development firm.
More recently, Jessica co-founded CrowdMed, whose approach and healthcare innovation help people overcome obstacles and silos that exist within the medical establishment, empowering patients and assisting doctors who simply cannot know everything about every medical condition. CrowdMed helps diagnose medical issues faster and more accurately, not only improving outcomes but saving lives.
Alice grew up playing in her dad's robotics lab and made her first toy when she was only eight years old. When she asked her dad for a Barbie, he gave her a saw instead. So she made her own doll out of wood and nails! As a young girl, Bettina loved Lego and built cities filled with spaceships with her older brother. More recently, Bettina has conducted research on bionic contact lenses and worked as an electrical design engineer at Discera and KLA-Tencor.
Alice and Bettina are changing the way girls play and learn through Roominate, their innovative line of wired building toys for girls. Roominate is designed to get girls ages 6-plus excited about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). With Roominate, girls practice hands-on problem solving and spatial-skill development and get an intuitive introduction to circuits. Roominate blends creativity, engineering, design, and fun.
Rose is passionate about using the power of technology to create social change. She came up with HandUp after passing a woman sleeping on the street in the winter of 2012 and wanting to see a new way to give. Rose loves organizing the community and has been active in groups like Science Hack Day and Food Not Bombs.
HandUp is a direct donation system for homeless people and neighbors in need that lets you donate to a specific person via their web profile and SMS. Funds can only be used on basics like food, medical care, and housing. HandUp is currently in a pilot with 100 homeless people in San Francisco, in partnership with Project Homeless Connect.
Grace is obsessed with the idea that connecting people will change the world. Before she started working on Watsi, she studied post-conflict development in Ghana, lived in a hospital in India, did humanitarian advocacy in D.C., and launched a student outreach program at Kiva that generated over $5 million for entrepreneurs in its first year.
Watsi is a global crowdfunding platform that enables anyone to directly fund health care for people around the world. They're made up of a team of developers, doctors, and marketers building Watsi because they believe that everyone deserves health care.
Pooja was one of three women in her undergraduate computer science class at IIT Kanpur (India). She had grown up in an all-girls high school, and her 50 male classmates had grown up mostly in all-boys high schools. She said, "We were too shy to interact with one another."
Pooja explained that she started Piazza so every student can have that opportunity to learn from her classmates, whether she's too shy to ask, whether she's working alone in her dorm room, or whether her few friends in her class don't know the answer either. She wants Piazza to be a remedy for students who are not given the intellectual space, freedom, or support to fulfill their educational potential and desire for learning. Piazza is designed to connect students, TAs, and professors so every student can get help when she needs it -- even at 2 a.m.
Who would you like to see added to this list? Add your suggestions to the comments, and my team and I will take note. Thanks!