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Putting the sass in SaaS: Women in Tech

Published 03 Feb 2021 by Ellice Eadie, CANDDi
Read this in about 4 minutes

Staggeringly, when students were asked to name a famous female working in the tech industry, 78% of them couldn’t.

Females often overlook a career or interest in technology as they’re not given the resources to understand the sector in the first place.

If they’re not learning it, they can’t progress, creating a vicious cycle that has led to a divide between genders in tech.

But it doesn’t have to stay this way.

At CANDDi, we challenge the norms in all sorts of ways. So we thought we’d put together some of our favourite female bosses in the tech industry.

Not only does this give them the recognition they deserve, but will also show other females that a career in technology can be for them after all.

Female Leaders

1. Hande Cilinger

Hande Cilingir is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Insider, a growth management platform that helps digital marketers drive growth across the sales funnel. SImilar to CANDDi, Insider utilises AI and machine learning capabilities, to deliver personalised marketing journeys.

Insider has been recognised as one of Europe’s 100 Hottest Startups by WIRED Magazine, with CrunchBase ranking Hande as one of the top women CEOs outside of the US.

There’s no surprise her company works with some of the Fortune 500’s most prestigious brands, including Virgin, Samsung, Toyota, Burger King and CNN.

2. Edna Conway

Edna Conway is the Vice President of Global Security, Risk, and Compliance for Microsoft’s Azure.

She’s responsible for the governance of the company’s cloud supply chain. As of 2020, Microsoft Azure is the second biggest player in global Cloud Services, accounting for approximately 20% of the market.

Not only does she smash it with her commitment to her own work, but Edna is also a leading advocate for workplace inclusivity in the cybersecurity sector and beyond. Keep fighting the good fight!

3. Sue Black

Sue Black is the founder of #techmums, a platform offering learning programs to support mums become more familiar and confident when using technology.

This is a super important message, as women often feel they have to choose between their professional life and personal. But Sue is committed to training women in areas such as tech skills, digital safety and coding that can provide a roadmap into employment or even setting up their own business!

This year, Sue teamed up with Facebook to launch #techmumsTV, a web series that reached 300k viewers and won a coveted BIMA Award.

And when she’s not busy with all of that, Sue acts as a Government Advisor, an associate at the all-female tech consultancy DSRPTN, and a mentor at Google Campus for Mums.

4. Anne Boden

Anne Boden is the founder and CEO at Starling Bank, the mobile banking app used by 275,000 British customers. Anne has never shied away from hard graft, having previously held a string of top positions such as Head of EMEA at RBS and COO at Allied Irish Bank.

But she doesn’t keep all of this knowledge to herself. Anne now sits on the FinTech Delivery Panel for the UK’s Tech Nation and can often be found speaking at key events in the financial industry.

None of this has gone unnoticed of course, as she has recently received an MBE for her services to FinTech. Congrats Anne!

5. Patricia Scanlon

Patricia Scanlon is the founder of SoapBox Labs, an AI tool that specialises in the development of automated speech recognition for 2-12 year olds. I guess you can call it a type of Siri, but for kids.

Patricia has been listed 6th on Voicebot’s list of global leaders, ranking amongst the founders of companies such as Amazon and Google. (Which are male, by the way).

She also works as an AI advisor to TechIreland, as well as being a mentor at the Founder Institute where she helps other entrepreneurs launch their start-ups. You guys will be in safe hands!

6. Reshma Saujani

Not only is Reshma Saujani a New York Times bestselling author, but she’s also the force behind the famous “Teach girls bravery, not perfection” TED talk.

Her success came after she lost her running for Congress. Instead of feeling defeated, she wanted to inspire other women to take chances. So she created opportunities for them.

That’s when she started nonprofit, Girls Who Code, with the aim of increasing the number of women in the computer science field.

7. Susan Wojcicki

There’s not a list of female tech CEOs without Susan Wojcicki on it.

Starting her career as Google’s first marketing manager, Susan contributed to the development of Google Images and AdSense as she worked her way up.

She later became the initiator of Google’s acquisition of YouTube, becoming YouTube’s CEO in 2014.

Known for paving the way for women in the field, Susan has recognised that tech is a growing force for change, and if women aren’t involved, there’s going to be a problem. Preach it!

8. Kimberly Bryant

Similar to Reshma Saujani, Kimberly Bryant wants to evoke change in tech through her Black Girls Code nonprofit.

This stemmed from her struggle to find a diverse computer programming course for her daughter, but Kimberly has big dreams of teaching 1,000,000 girls of colour how to code by the year 2040.

Her pursuit for diversity and inclusion in coding has brought Kimberly a long list of well-deserved accolades. She has been named a Champion of Change by the White House, as well as receiving the Ingenuity Award in Social Progress from the Smithsonian Institute.


So, the tech industry may be dominated by men numbers wise, but there is no denying the abundance of strong, inspiring women that are ready to change the narrative.

Hopefully this list (which by no means is exhaustive) proves and inspires women to see themselves in a position like these great women, as well as showing men that we’re hot on their heels. Don’t underestimate us!

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