After Parag Agrawal’s recent appointment as Twitter CEO, everyone is talking about the long list of Indian-origin CEOs who have headed large tech organisations and still are. The list is illustrious, no doubt, but there’s something stark that should catch your eye - the gender disparity.
The list of Indian-origin CEOs heading big tech firms in the US includes only three women - Vimeo’s Anjali Sud, Flex’s Revati Advaithi, and Arista Networks’ Jayashree Ullal.
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the tech industry is booming and the first quarter of 2021 saw global venture investments touch $125 billion, a 94 per cent year-on-year increase. And as a report from WEF points out - “If a rising tide lifts all boats, why has the inclusion and participation of women in tech not also shot up?”.
The latest Global Gender Gap Report states that it is going to take 135.6 years to cover the gender gap worldwide. The average distance completed to parity is at 68 per cent and this is a step back by -0.6 percentage points since 2020. “These figures are mainly driven by a decline in the performance of large countries,” the report explained.
As founder and CEO of FinMkt Luan Cox points out, it is important to get more women into tech and more women leaders in tech. “It needs to start with changing the perception of what qualifies ‘a founder’ within our global culture: This begins by teaching and coaching young people that successful entrepreneurs are not classified or limited by gender. If young males are taught early that females can be impactful leaders and entrepreneurs, they will be more supportive and better able to recognize success. Young women should learn that they are equal to men, and can and must dream big: women must know that they can be even better business builders (especially in technology, life sciences and finance),” Cox said.
Additionally, venture capital firms and angel investor groups would do well to create and invest in mentorship and training programmes in their communities that provide tools and guidance that encourage more young females to start their own companies knowing they are supported by an inclusive network,” she added.
“Firstly, we have to stop celebrating hyperbolic visions of founders and value different metrics of progress and success. Women will have a tendency to downplay or be more cautious in their projections, but are equally capable of building great ambitious companies. Secondly, we need to normalize the combination of family life with entrepreneurship. Many women will hesitate to start a company because of the perceived all-consuming lifestyle of a start-up founder and expectations of investors. In reality, a good founder will lead a ‘sustainable’ lifestyle that allows to build a company over five-10 years, and this should include the possibility of having a family,” said Mikela Druckman, Co-founder and CEO at GreyParrot.
It’s clearly a work-in-progress and while we wait for better days, here are 11 women CEOs and 2021 technology pioneers who are working on bridging the gap"
Anjali Sud is the CEO of Vimeo and has been working with the company since 2014. She had initially joined Vimeo as the Head of Global Marketing. Sud has a BSc in Finance and Management from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Revathi Advaithi is the CEO of Flex. She also serves as an independent director for the board of directors of both Uber and Catalyst.org and is a member of the MIT Presidential CEO Advisory Board. Advaithi has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science and an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Jayshree Ullal is the CEO of Arista Networks and was appointed in 2008. She has earlier worked with AMD, Fairchild Semiconductor, and Cisco. Ullal has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the San Francisco State University and Master's degree in engineering management from Santa Clara University.
Amena Ali is the CEO of Airside. Airside’s Digital Identity Network helps provide secure digital identity management to protect personal information while also abiding with privacy regulations.
Luan Cox is the Founder and CEO of Finmkt.io. FinMkt is working on revolutionising point-of-sale (PoS) consumer lending through its omni-channel, multi-lender, software-as-a-service platform.
Mikela Druckman is the co-founder and CEO of GreyParrot. GreyParrot is a company that provides AI-based computer vision waste recognition software to monitor, audit and sort large flows of recyclables at scale.
Maria Carolina Fujihara
Maria Carolina is the Founder & CEO of SINAI Technologies. SINAI Technologies’ focus is on mitigating climate change and the company is working on this by enabling organisations with digitised tools for intelligent carbon emissions measurement, reporting, and mitigation option assessment.
Priya Lakhani is the Founder and CEO at CENTURY Tech. CENTURY develops AI-based learning technologies and its team of teachers, neuroscientists and technologists develop AI tools for schools and colleges, as well as for learning and development environments.
Nita Madhav is the CEO of Metabiota. Metabiota works on helping governments and businesses around the world mitigate and transfer the health and economic risks posed by infectious disease with the help of data science, analytical tools, and hands-on support.
Ruth Poliakine Baruchi
Ruth Poliakine Baruchi is the Founder and CEO at Myndyou. MyndYou is an AI-powered virtual care assistant that focuses on population health and patient care management.
Jutta Steiner is the CEO of Parity Technologies. Parity Technologies is a core blockchain infrastructure company that is creating an open-source creative common that will enable people to create better institutions through technology.
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