/ by Hannah Cairns
Today marks International Women’s Day, a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Find out more about the campaign.
At LoopMe, our workforce is 51% women. When we look to our senior management, the split is again 50 / 50.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the norm. In London, the Tech London Advisory council found that in almost half of technology companies, less than 25% of senior management roles are held by women. And in the US, research from Silicon Valley found just 11% of women hold executive positions.
Encouragingly, there are women making great strides. We crowd-sourced through the office to pick some of our most inspirational women in technology, media and advertising. We’d also like to acknowledge other influences for our team here – Nicola Mendelsohn at Facebook, Claire Valotti who’s GM at Snap, Karen Blackett, Chairwoman at Mediacom UK, Susan Gianinno, Chairman at Publicis Worldwide and many more.
Here’s to these trailblazers and trendsetters.
1) Ada Lovelace. Ada is a favourite in the LoopMe team, so much so that we named one of our offices after her. Her friendship with mathematician Charles Babbage, the inventor of the Difference Engine (a calculating machine) saw her translating some work for him from Italian to English. While she was translating she found that she understood the plans for the computing better than Babbage himself. She is often referred to as the first computer programmer and is regarded as a symbol for modern women in tech.
2) Kim Perell. CEO and President at Amobee. Before joining Amobee, Kim was the CEO of Adconion Direct, a global digital marketing company, which was acquired by Amobee in 2014. Forbes covered her amazing boom to bust story in a profile, and her career and achievements have gone from strength to strength ever since.
2) Barbara Liskov is a computer scientist at MIT. She was one of the first women to be granted a doctorate in computer science in the USA and won the Turing award in 2009 for her pioneering work in the computer programming. As our Technical Account Manager, Ezgi put it: she created a programming language that became the base of current programming languages we use.
3) Sheryl Sandberg. COO of Facebook and founder of Lean In. After graduating from Harvard, she worked at the World Bank and for the Clinton administration, before joining Google as VP for Global Online Sales and Operations. While her business acumen is hugely impressive, her best selling book ‘Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to lead’ has sold over one million copies and has been instrumental in creating global pockets of ‘Lean In’ groups to help women achieve their goals.
4) Joan Clarke, Betty Web and Mary Every. Bought to mainstream attention in The Imitation Game, this trio (although they didn’t know each other at the time) worked as code breakers during World War Two in Bletchey Park, UK. It’s estimated that their work saved thousands of lives and shortened the war by two years. Read more about their work here.
5) Mitchell Baker. Executive Chairwoman of the Mozilla Foundation, the non-profit organisation that exists to support and lead the open-source Mozilla project. She helped to pioneer open source internet applications. The Internet Hall of Fame praised her for proving ‘that the web should not belong to one company and one operating system.’
6) Denise Coates. You may not know her by name, but she’s been named Britain’s highest paid businesswoman. She started out working in her father’s betting shops before training as an accountant and taking over these shops. Coates bought ‘Bet365.com’ and spend a year creating it prior to official launch in 2001 as the .com boom was taking off. Now it’s one of the world’s largest online gambling companies, and she’s the majority shareholder.
7) #ThisGirlCan. Americans, if you haven’t seen this ad, then why not! After bursting onto our screens in 2015, the This Girl Can campaign was watched almost 100 million times, won more than 50 awards and helped convince nearly 3 million British women to become more active. Its second advert released in 2017 shows women exercising, but this time targets those who aren’t just concerned about appearance and athletic ability and face other barriers. Watch the ad here.
8) Katherine Johnson. Another person propelled to further fame via film (Hidden Figures), Johnson is a physicist and mathematician. She worked as a ‘computer’ for NASA, calculating the trajectory for the first American space trips. John Glen refused to fly on his orbit around earth until Johnson verified electronic computer’s calculations. Johnson co-authored 26 scientific papers, all the while working in a state with federal workplace segregation, where Johnson and the other African-Americna women were required to work, eat and use restrooms separate to those of their white colleagues. In 2015, aged 97, Katherine Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s higher civilian honor. The non-profit, Black Girls CODE are supporting #FutureKatherineJohnsons. Learn more here.
9) Kathryn Finney is an author, tech entrepreneur and TV correspondent. In 2012 she used personal funds to found digital undivided (DID) a social enterprise which finds, trains and supports innovative leaders and entrepreneurs. She also launched the FOCUS Fellows, a program for black female founders of developed (but at early stages) tech companies. 80% of new women led business are founded by Black and Latina women, yet they receive just 0.2% of venture funding. Since 2013 they’ve impacted over 2000 people and helped to raise $15MM in investment. Find out more.
We hope you’ve learnt about a few more people who have changed our industry. Let us know your suggestions over on Twitter @LoopMe.