Marilyn Nagle, the CEO of Watermark recently wrote a blog in the Huffington Post concerned names like Sheryl Sandberg, Marissa Meyer and Susan Wojciki are the only names appearing in a Google search "women in tech" (interesting they all worked/work at Google). Nagle then lists her "women in tech" in Silicon Valley you have never heard of. I was excited, waiting to see her list...but wait a minute...2 of her 3 examples although very accomplished and I am sure spectacular executives, are not technical...where are the technical women? In keeping with the number 3, here are my picks of 3 "women in tech" the mainstream probably hasn't heard of.
1. Radia Perlman. Known as the "Mother of the Internet", she is a Fellow at Intel Labs but is more well known for her work at Sun Microsystems and Digital Equipment Corporation. "She is most famous for her invention of the spanning-tree protocol (STP), which is fundamental to the operation of network bridges, while working for Digital Equipment Corporation. She also made large contributions to many other areas of network design and standardization, such as link-state protocols, including TRILL, which she invented to correct some of the shortcomings of spanning-trees."
2. Susan Landau. Although she is now at Harvard, her greatest contributions to technology occured at Sun Microsystems here in the Valley. "From 1999 until 2010, she specialized in internet security at Sun Microsystems. In 1989 she introduced the first algorithm for deciding which nested radicals can be denested, which is known as Landau's algorithm." Susan Landau is considered an expert on internet security and has been called to Congress to testify on issues of national security.
3. Fran Allen. I know...she lives in New York, but her career has been very connected with Silicon Valley working at IBM for over 45 years - so she has to be in the top three. "In 2007 Allen was recognized for her work in high performance computing when she received the A.M. Turing Award for 2006. She became the first woman recipient in the forty year history of the award which is considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for computing and is given by the Association for Computing Machinery."
Limiting the choices to 3 was very difficult. I left so many AMAZING women off this list whom I greatly admire and should be part of that Google search on "women in tech" so here is another 7 to make it an even 10: Barbara Liskov, Mary Lou Jepsen, Deborah Estrin, Judy Estrin, Duy-Loan T. Le, Justine Cassell and Helen Greiner and we could go on!
I want to hear your list. Who would you pick as the top 3 women in tech in Silicon Valley you have never heard of? Later this month, I will blog my list for India as well - stay tuned.
Let's develop these lists together so when women such as Ms. Nagle blog on "women in tech" they will have more technical women!
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