Girls in Tech Appoints Ten Inspiring Executives to Its Board of Directors

IBM, Cisco, Samsung Electronics,, Intel, Blurb, EmbraceHer Health, Automattic, Diamius Multinational, and Axosoft among the amazing companies now represented on the Girls In Tech Board.

SAN FRANCISCO – Girls In Tech, an organization focused on empowerment, engagement, and education of women in technology, announces the appointment of ten new outstanding business leaders to its Board of Directors.  All ten members are CEO’s or Senior Executives in their field.

The new Girls in Tech board members are:

  1.   Monique Morrow, CTO, Evangelist New Frontiers Development and Engineering at Cisco
  2.   Fran Maier, Board Director of G.E. Capital Bank, Founder of TRUSTe, and Co-Founder of
  3.   Darrell Mockus, CTO, CPP Innovation Labs
  4.   Bev Crair, VP and General Manager, Storage Group, Intel
  5.   Elizabeth Davidson, Co-Founder, Diamius Multinational
  6.   Denise Terry, CEO and Co-Founder, EmbraceHer Health
  7.   Donna Boyer Chief Product Officer, Blurb
  8.   Lori McLeese, VP of Human Resources, Automattic
  9.   Lawdan Shojaee, CEO, Axosoft
  10.   Jonathan Abrams, CEO, Nuzzel

Their combined skills will be a major asset to the Girls in Tech Global Organization.  With their love for mentorship, high-powered executive tenure in the STEM space, successful entrepreneurship endeavors, major international relations, and most importantly, amazing life experiences to share, this group has a combined leadership resume’ that is unmatched.

“I am very excited to be a Girls in Tech Board member as I believe very strongly that we have the opportunity to be bold and to transform this world together for girls and women in technology,” says Monique Morrow, CTO, Cisco.

Here are some highlights of their accomplishments:

Monique Morrow – Top 10 influential women in I.T. (2014), holds 7 patents with more pending, has been in Engineering with Cisco since 2000, and has a degree in French

Fran Maier – Co/Founder at, Advisor to many amazing companies, Stanford Graduate, Former Executive Director, CEO, Board Chair & President at TRUSTe and Board Director at GE Capital Bank

Darrell Mockus- Former CTO at Samsung Accelerator, Senior Partner at Predictive Research Group, and former engineer at Live Nation

Bev Crair  – Has worked for Cisco, Sun Microsystems, and Unisys, now employed by Intel since 2010, holds a Pepperdine MBA, stand­ing mem­ber of the Dean’s Advi­sory Coun­cil at the UC Santa Cruz Baskin School of Engi­neer­ing

Elizabeth Davidson – Co-Founder of Diamius Multinational, member of Sir Richard Branson’s Advisory Counsel for the XTC Academy, which empowers visionary entrepreneurs, award-winning author of Funky to Fabulous: Surefire Success Strategies for the Savvy, Sassy and Swamped, and a featured Huffington Post Columnist

Denise Terry – 10x Startup Entrepreneur with 20 years experience leading product and marketing for disruptive technology companies and early stage startups across mobile, voice, cloud, consumer Internet

Donna Boyer – Worked at companies such as Yahoo!, Dig­i­tal­Think, Per­son­ify, Hype­r­ion, and Harvard Busi­ness School, Loves Ed Tech, holds over 21 years of Product Management experience

Lori McLeese – World traveler, B.A. in Early Childhood Education and M.A. in Teaching, Former Chief People Officer at Room to Read

Lawdan Shojaee – Currently helping build Arizona’s tech eco-system, Chair at A.T. Still University, holds a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, and has over 800 hours logged at the controls of a single engine plane

Jonathan Abrams – Co/Founder and Former CEO of Friendster, Socializr, and HotLinks, co/Founder of Founder’s Den

“We’re confident that our hand-picked selection of new Board members will carry our organization to new heights,” says CEO and Founder of Girls In Tech, Adriana Gascoigne, “Now more than ever, we’re focused on the future development of high-impact programming and curriculum to further enhance women’s professional aspirations in technology.”

Girls in Tech is entering a challenging and exciting time, as discrimination in education and equality in the workplace continues to be an issue and the demand for technological innovation continues to rise. We have a tradition of high-quality programming, curriculum and activism related to empowerment, and engagement and education of women working in technology.

“I can’t wait to put my energy and my efforts towards GIT, and together, help shift the perceptions of females in the industry. Together, we can help change the landscape for our next generation,” says Lawdan Shojaee, CEO of Axosoft.

These ladies will be bringing their skill sets and tenured expertise to the table– encouraging and enhancing current Girls in Tech programming, creating greater brand awareness, growing multiple chapters all around the world, helping drive fundraising campaigns, offering guidance on key operational management tasks, bringing major real time issues and opportunities within tech to the forefront, and of course, advocating the Girls in Tech brand and mission!

They will also support (4) main programs within the organization:

Lots of work ahead but nothing this group can’t handle.  Stay connected with Girls In Tech on Twitter @GirlsinTech Facebook /GirlsinTech/, and Linked In /in/girlsintech.

About Girls in Tech

Girls in Tech is the largest global organization in the sector, creating awareness of the need to recognize women’s contributions to technology and promoting women working in the workforce. With over 47 active chapters and approximately 22,000 members, the organization provides Global Classroom courses, coding and design boot camps, confidence-building and product development, entrepreneurial and leadership programming, business pitch competitions, hackathons, networking events, conferences, and sponsors young girls in high school and middle school to participate in STEM workshops.



Talk about a powerful chica! Laura Owen worked for Kansas State Office–Laura was the First woman to hold the position of Kansas Secretary of Office! Umnn…wow! …and this was just the beginning…Here’s more on Laura:

Q1: Who was your first female mentor and how did she help you?

My mother. Women like us who are go-getters, learn that first from their mom’s. It’s when you grow up without fear. What holds women back is lack of confidence and fear of failure. Have three older brothers, and a father who was so encouraging helped groom me perfectly for entrepreneurship.

Q2: You were the first woman appointed to the Kansas Secretary of Commerce. How did this impact your life overall (personally and professionally)?

Public office is very demanding. They need more people willing to put their necks on the line. The company culture tends to chew you up and spit you out. It holds others back who should be serving. It was pretty difficult. It was no different than a woman in any role who has a solid reputation in society.

Society still places home responsibilities with the woman. Thankfully, we have a great advantage today. When I got out of college, things were different. You didn’t dare talk about your husband or children in the workplace. I called it the GREAT LIE–it’s that stigma that suggested that “women can have it all!” One thing I always talk about is that there are trade off’s. If you, as a woman, go into your career and your life knowing this, then your time is more intentional. That balance is critical to being fulfilled and not living a guilty life.

Luckily, we have come a long way and we should now start to support each other. We have got to hold each other up. The more mature you become you start to realize what is most important and the thing you treasure the most which at some point is family. We need to continue the discussion around this, and support each other in our roles!

Q3: You are speaking at the upcoming Girls In Tech Catalyst Conference! Give us a glimpse of what you will be discussing.

That’s a great question! I’m excited because I’m offering a fun challenge! I’m going to share an idea with the women in the audience of how each one of them can be responsible for mentoring over 1 million women in one year, with minimal commitment of time. I’ll be discussing why this is important, as I hear a lot of women say, “I don’t have anything to share.” WE ALL have something to share!

No matter what age, or where we are in our lives, we are always (or should be) learning and growing. Because of this, we should always have, and BE mentors. Both roles should always be filled.

Another thing that is important to talk about as mentors is the mentorship relationship. We always tend to think of the mentee who benefits. On the surface yes, this might be true, but as mentor, you gain so much! Think about it this way, if I open my rolodex and share in strategic problem solving to help someone, if she actually applies what she learns, she will then gain a huge advantage in her career! The mentor is blessed big time in making difference in that other woman’s life! So it’s not just the mentee who benefits, but the mentor benefits more than they know.

The focus of my presentation is how to design a mentoring relationship that works. This can be a short relationship and be meaningful or sometimes it will be long term. I will clarify the “rules.”

Q4: I wish we had more professional mentors like you, Laura! On that note, how do you think we can motivate more women to join the STEM career movement?

That’s a great and important question. It goes back to what I was saying about exposure. There’s still something there that pushes girls from Science and Math. I believe it goes back to confidence thing. Girls don’t seem to think they can do it. I have to say I grew up thinking I was not good in Science and Math either. I had that mindset that helped me own and operate a number of companies.

We helped engineer mobile video cameras for police cars all over the world in 2001-2002. It’s around the time when cameras were going from analog to digital. I saw opportunities in law enforcement because there were so many limitations. At first I was intimidated and then I thought, I can do this! By a leap of faith I made it happen. So FIRST, I’m an entrepreneur, SECOND I learned the technology. It just took having the guts to move forward with my vision because the opportunity existed. I was fearful, but I still did it. This is an example of how we should teach women to capitalize on their strengths to help them embark into STEM careers.

Mentoring allows people to fast track their career in ways you can’t fathom! Nothing is more forwarding once you find the relationships that work. You can really advance.

I’m a strong advocate of mentorship and so are lots of my colleagues. Thanks for offering such great insight and we’re elated to have you at our Catalyst.GirlsInTech.Org Conference as a Speaker! #GITReady

Tweet Laura at @Ponscio on Twitter.