Technology is still overwhelmingly a male-dominated field. A recent report by PwC in the United Kingdom states that only three percent of women considered a career in technology, and only five percent of leaders in the tech sector are women. Even so, there are strong, knowledgeable and influential women in the field.
Last month, in response to numerous reader requests, we ran our list of 10 notable women over the age of 50 in the tech sector. You wanted to know who was doing ground-breaking work and what a woman’s career in tech can look like in her 50s, 60s and beyond.
We received so many nominations that we couldn’t profile them all in one go – there were just too many accomplished women with amazing bodies of work and who had made such an impact in their industries. With that, we bring you B2BNN’s next list of 10 top women over the age of 50 in tech.
Who she is: Kirsten Sutton, Managing Director of SAP Labs Canada and Global Head of Engineering for SAP Jam
The Managing Director of SAP Labs Canada and Global Head of Engineering for SAP Jam, Kirsten Sutton is responsible for inspiring innovation within the Canadian development organization and managing the company’s four research and development hubs across Canada. As Head of Engineering for SAP Jam, Sutton leads a team of 100 developers to deliver cutting-edge cloud collaboration software to more than 34 million subscribers worldwide.
With more than 20 years’ experience in the technology industry, Sutton previously served as managing director for SAP Labs Vancouver, the global director of technology development operations for SAP and global director of translation. She is the current Chair of the Minerva Foundation for B.C. Women and a director on the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s Board of Directors. She is also a member of the President’s Group, a network of B.C. business leaders committed to improving employment outcomes for people with disabilities.
Who she is: Kara Swisher, Co-Founder, Recode
Respected technology journalist Kara Swisher has written for The Wall Street Journal and was past co-executive editor of All Things Digital. In 2014, along with Walt Mossberg, she co-founded Recode, a tech website featuring the latest independent tech news, reviews and analysis by some of the most informed journalists in technology.
Swisher, who holds a Master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, has authored two books, including aol.com: How Steve Case Beat Bill Gates, Nailed the Netheads and Made Millions in the War for the Web and There Must Be a Pony in Here Somewhere: The AOL Time Warner Debacle and the Quest for a Digital Future.
Who she is: Karen Catlin, Speaker (Formerly CTO at Adobe)
A former vice-president of engineering at Adobe Systems, Karen Catlin spent 25 years building software products before becoming a speaker and advocating for women in the tech industry.
Through her company, Karen Catlin Consulting, the software engineer has spoken about women in tech, gender diversity and leadership. She has been a TEDx speaker, teaches public speaking and co-authored Present! A Techie’s Guide to Public Speaking. She also mentors young women.
Who she is: Deitra Jackson, Web and Cyber Security, Hyacinth’s Place
The web designer and web content management and security for Washington, D.C.-based Hyacinth’s Place – which provides affordable housing for women who are homeless and living with a mental health diagnosis – Deitra Jackson collaborated with the company’s executive director for the website’s redesign project.
Since July, Jackson, who holds a Master’s degree from the University of Phoenix, has been an intern at the Corpus Christi Army Depot of the U.S. Army, working on IT systems management on the base.
Who she is: Judy Faulkner, Founder and CEO, Epic Systems
A computer programmer, Judy Faulkner founded Epic Systems – America’s leading medical record software provider – in 1979, shortly after receiving her Master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Epic supports the medical records of over half the American population, and is used by top medical centres including Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic.
In 2013, Forbes named Faulkner the most powerful woman in healthcare. Among the world’s billionaires, Faulkner signed the Giving Pledge in 2015, promising to donate 99 percent of her fortune to philanthropic causes within her lifetime.
Who she is: Funke Opeke, Founder and CEO, Main One
An electrical engineer with a Master’s degree from Columbia University, Funke Opeke is the founder of Nigeria’s Main Street Technologies and Chief Executive Officer of Main One Cable Company.
Prior to founding Main One, Opeke worked as an executive director with the wholesale division of Verizon Communications in New York City, as the chief technical officer with MTN Nigeria and as chief operating officer of NITEL.
Who she is: Nadine Alameh, CEO, Snowflake Software
A leader in the geospatial information systems field, Nadine Alameh has more than 15 years of experience working with several sectors of her industry including aviation, emergency management, Earth observations and defense.
The CEO of Washington, D.C.-based Snowflake Software Inc., Alameh leads the company’s business operations in North America. Snowflake Software provides on-premise and cloud-based open data exchange solutions in the aeronautical domain. Snowflake Software is also a provider of Laminar Data, an award-winning cloud-based platform for managing, sharing, and monetizing aeronautical, weather and flight data.
Who she is: Lily Chang, VP Engineering, VMware
At Palo Alto-based VMware where she is Vice-President of Engineering, Lily Chang also leads the company’s business transformation office, focusing on organizational, portfolio and operational transformation. She is also responsible for the company’s strategic partnership for China markets, enabling formerly inaccessible cloud computing markets.
An leader in her field of engineering, Chang’s expertise includes collaboration, growing technology, innovations to main-street products, software defined data centre, embedded software, ecosystem engineering and partnership and has a track record of implementing key engineering infrastructure.
Chang is also on the board of Women Who Code.
Who she is: Solina Chau, Co-Founder, Horizons Ventures
Solina Chau co-founded Hong Kong-based venture capital investment firm Horizons Ventures with Debbie Chang in 2002. The company has invested more than US$470 million in more than 80 tech companies – many of them disruptive and technology-focused start-ups – in countries including the U.S., Canada, China, Germany, Israel, Spain, Sweden, and the UK – and the list is growing. Horizons Ventures has also funded include big names like Skype, Siri, Facebook, Waze, Summly and Spotify.
Forbes states Solina Chau continues to invest in tech ventures, including companies that address innovations in the global environment, food, infectious diseases, artificial intelligence and virtual reality and has named Chau one of Asia’s 50 Women in the Mix and one of the most powerful women in the world. Chau is also the director of the Li Ka Shing Foundation.
Who she is: Janet MacKinnon, Network Operations, Freedom Mobile
A senior wireless operations manager for Freedom Mobile, Janet MacKinnon is experienced in managing diverse technical teams and multi-vendor platforms.
At Freedom Mobile, MacKinnon manages a team of 30 people, including change management technicians who manage all network changes, implementation and back office activities, with the goal being minimal network impact.