Good news, according to a report released by the Center for American Progress:

The number of women-owned firms in the US grew by 59 percent from 1997 to 2013 — 1.5 times the national average.

Women of color are the majority owners at close to one-third of all women-owned firms in the nation.

African American women are both the fastest-growing segment of the women-owned-business population and the largest share of female business owners among women of color, at 13 percent.

Recently, I asked my folks to contribute names of impressive women in the STEM field who really have their boots on the ground. We got some really good responses, and have compiled an abbreviated list in no particular order. (You can read the full list here.)

1. Bindu Reddy, CEO and Co-Founder of MyLikes

Before starting MyLikes, Bindu was at Google and oversaw product management for several products including Google Docs, Google Sites, Google Video and Blogger. When she first started at Google, Bindu was a Product Manager for AdWords, where she improved the AdWords bidding model by introducing Quality Based Bidding and Quality Score for keywords. She was also in charge of Google’s shopping engine — Google Product Search and designed and launched Google Base.

Before Google, Bindu founded AiYo — a shopping recommendations service. Earlier in her career, Bindu was the Director of Product Management at eLance and a Computational Biologist at Exelixis.

2. Edie Stern, a distinguished Engineer and Inventor at IBM Edie has more than 100 patents to her name, and has been awarded the Kate Gleason Award for lifetime achievement. She received the award for the development of novel applications of new technologies. The 100 patents to her name represent her work in the worlds of telephony and the Internet, remote health monitoring, and digital media.

3. Ellen Spertus, Research Scientist at Google & Computer Science Professor at Mills University

Ellen’s areas of focus are in structured information retrieval, online communities, gender in computer science, and social effects of computing. She was a core engineer of App Inventor for Android, which enables computing novices to create mobile apps. and she co-authored a book on App Inventor.

Ellen has been working to bring more women into computing for decades now. In 1991, while studying computer science at MIT, she published a paper titled, “Why are there so few Female Computer Scientists.” And Ellen tells girls: “I’m sorry to tell you that Hogwarts isn’t real — but MIT is.”

via Women in Tech You Need to Know | Craig Newmark.

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