The brilliance and contributions of women are undeniable throughout the world's rich history. Is it any wonder that women have played, and they continue to play, a significant role in one of the most influential industries today - technology? Technology touches every area of our lives in profound ways. It has made life easier and more fulfilling. Technology has also made progress and exploration possible far beyond anything we have previously experienced as the human race. Women have been a part of these advancements from the beginning.
Let's discuss how women in technology are changing the world through innovation.
You might be surprised to see just how much artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and data science affect your everyday life. This field consistently breaks through with exciting innovations and applications for maximizing people's lives. Women like Fei-Fei Li, Kate Crawford, and Joy Buolamwini are training data sets to eliminate bias in AI algorithms, building user interfaces, and developing human-like interactions.
Dr. Fei-Fei Li is a Sequoia Professor in the Stanford Computer Science Department and director of Stanford's Artificial Intelligence Lab - the Human-Centered AI Institute. She has been a Vice President at Google, as well as served as Chief Scientist of AI/ML at the Google Cloud. Additionally, Dr. Li is the co-founder of a non-profit called AI4ALL. This organization promotes diversity and inclusion in the area of science.
Kate Crawford is the co-founder of NYU's AI Now Institute, a Research Professor at USC Annenberg, and a Senior Principal Researcher at MSR-NYC. She explores the sociopolitical ramifications and applications of AI and machine learning in the broader contexts of politics, history, our environment, and labor, as well as other sectors of society. She advocates for the respectful and mindful development of AI to avoid bias, negative impacts on labor due to automation, the potential for supply chain disruptions, and privacy concerns with increased surveillance.
We know that for all the potential good of AI, there are real concerns about bias. Joy Buolamwini is a computer scientist and founder of the Algorithmic Justice League. This group aims to illuminate the bias in AI algorithms and advocates for their correction. She speaks out about AI facial recognition algorithms that cannot easily recognize women or people of color, so that we can all benefit from more equitable and accountable technology.
Nanotechnology in Healthcare
Nanotechnology in healthcare takes nanotechnology and uses it to target specific cells or tissues. Medications or materials may be produced on a nanoscale and safely put inside the body. This has applications in diagnoses, imaging, and the delivery of drugs. Women like Jennifer Doudna and Nichole Steinmetz.
Jennifer Doudna is a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry and also a Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology at UC Berkeley. As a result of her research in RNA biology, she is the co-inventor of CRISPR, the gene-editing technique that will revolutionize medicine in the treatment of many illnesses. The CRISPR-Cas9 (Crystal Structures of Diverse Cas9) tool can make targeted changes to the human genome and has applications in bacteria, where adaptive immunity can be achieved.
Dr. Nicole Steinmetz is a Professor and Vice Chair of NanoEngineering at the University of California in San Diego and the founding director of the Center for Nano-ImmunoEngineering (nanoIE). The mission of the Steinmetz Lab is to explore medicine and bio-nanotechnology through the design, development, and testing of biologics and other materials derived from plant viruses. She is also the co-director of the Center for Engineering in Cancer (CEC).
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Accounting and Financial Tech
You may not naturally associate technology with finance, but the fintech (financial technology) industry is one of the fastest-growing and exciting tech areas. It is transforming how we assess and invest our money via mobile applications, software, etc. Although this industry, like most in technology, has traditionally been male-dominated, Sheri Larsen, Sallie Krawcheck, Anne Boden, and Maria Viviana Redondo are shaking things up.
Sheri Larsen is the Senior Vice President of Product Design & Delivery for Northern Light. She has experience and expertise in enterprise search, machine learning, and collaboration technologies. Larsen uses SaaS and hybrid cloud to break down big data for Fortune 500 companies. Using customer feedback and industry best practices for the beverage industry, she designs products that customers love.
CEO and co-founder of Ellevest, Sallie Krawcheck, designed this investment platform, especially for women. This outspoken advocate for women's wealth says, ' Nothing bad happens when women have more money!' With female finance experts from Wall Street, she has built a community of over 3 million women and a $53 million Series B funding round. Krawcheck, once a Wall Street executive, is passionate about gender diversity in finance.
Anne Boden is the founder and CEO of Starling Bank, which is changing the face of banking. Starling is a digital-only bank that's revolutionizing banking. Once a banker herself, Boden was determined to find a customer-focused banking solution that utilized innovative technology. This trained computer scientist wanted to offer people a smarter, fairer, and more human alternative to traditional banking.
BrewPlanner is production planning software that QA & business analyst Maria Viviana Redondo helps develop and manage. This software helps craft breweries plan and schedule the process of brewing, coordinate and communicate work schedules, manage their raw materials inventory, and create reports.
Women in Technology Are Changing the World
While many women's contributions to the multi-faceted technology industry, both past and present, have gone largely unrecognized in broader society, their significance can not be denied. Women like those named above and many others work diligently to take their energy, brilliance, and innovative thinking to make the world a better place.
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