Women in Tech: Changing Technology, Changing Small Business

Question: What do Ada Lovelace, Jean E. Sammet, and Marissa Mayer have in common? The answer–they have all helped to shape technology as we know it today.  Ada Lovelace, for instance, wrote the world’s first algorithm and is known to be the world’s first computer programmer. Jean E. Sammet developed the programming language FORMAC and wrote the 1969 book Programming Languages: History and Fundamentals. And what about Marissa Mayer? She was the first female engineer at Google and is now the CEO at Yahoo.

In essence, women have been an influence in technology since the 1800s, and despite the current gender gap, some women are continuing to push their way to the top. We wanted to shed light on a few women who are changing the world of technology and small business today.

Sheryl Sandberg

Forbes called Sheryl Sandberg the most powerful woman in technology in 2015, and describes her as “One of the nation’s most influential female executives.” She has also been deemed one of the most powerful women in the world – she is a woman to watch.

Influence in technology

In 2008, Sandberg became the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and is the first woman to serve on the company’s board of directors. She has been responsible for expanding the company’s userbase from 70 million to almost 845 million in only three years and has increased the company’s revenue significantly.

Before her success at Facebook, Sandberg was the Vice President of global online sales and operations at Google, where she developed and managed profitable online advertising programs. She also served as the chief of staff for the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.

Influence on women

In 2013, Sandberg wrote the international best seller Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead in which she touches on topics like feminism and gender bias and empowers women and gives them advice on how to achieve their goals. The book has created what Inc.com calls the Sandberg Effect, “Women are getting raises, starting businesses, and running for public office.”

Influence on small business

When speaking on the topic of small business, Sandberg says it’s her favorite topic because “It’s the source of economic growth.” She says, “We [at Facebook] really focus on them [small businesses]. Are we meeting your needs? Are we growing your sales? Are we helping you attract new customers? When we can serve them, it grows our business in turn.”

Sandberg’s focus on small business has brought the company unprecedented success and growth as more than 60 million small businesses now use Facebook.

Susan Wojcicki

In 1999, you may have known Susan Wojcicki as the 16th employee of Google, or as the woman who allowed Google to be formed in her garage. But today, she is called one of the most powerful women in the world. In 2015, Forbes Magazine listed her at the second most powerful woman in technology, only one spot behind Sheryl Sandberg.

Influence in technology

Susan Wojcicki joined Google in 1999 as their first marketing manager and later became the company’s senior vice president of advertising and commerce. Handling two of Google’s largest acquisitions, Youtube and DoubleClick, in 2014, Wojcicki became YouTube’s first female CEO.

At Google, she has also been responsible for creating AdSense, which allows companies to make money by displaying Google ads on their websites and blogs. AdSense has generated billions in revenue for Google.

Influence on small business

When you look at technology like YouTube, it provides countless opportunities for small businesses to reach people that may need their products or services. Additionally, it helps businesses build trust and establish themselves as an authority in the industry. Concerning YouTube, Wojcicki says, “We are incredibly proud that YouTube gives everyone a voice, bring them together and shows them the world.”

Keep watching women in tech as they continue to shape the sites we visit and the technology we use.