4 women making waves in the tech world right now
If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely the type of person who gets hyped up by seeing other women in tech thrive. Well, we’ve got your regular dose of inspiration and motivation right here.
As we continue to weather the storm of 2023, these are just a few shining lights we’ll be following the movements of over the coming 12 months.
Aicha Evans – CEO, Zoox
Aicha Evans is the CEO of self-driving car company Zoox. Prior to this position, she worked as part of Intel for 12 years. During her time there, Evans led a huge range of wireless technology projects, and their communications and devices division, before being promoted to CSO in 2017.
Evans has been with Zoox since 2019, when she became the first Senegalese-American female CEO of an autonomous vehicle tech company. In 2020 she led her company’s acquisition by online marketplace giant Amazon for a cool US$1.3 billion.
In very recent and exciting news, Zoox announced their automated taxis have been authorized by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles to operate autonomously on public roads.
Interested? We’d be surprised if you weren’t! You can listen to Aicha talk about the current state of autonomous driving tech and the concept of robotaxis in her TED Talk here.
2. Rachana Kumar, CTO at Etsy
In January of 2023, Rachana Kumar moved from her role of VP in Engineering to CTO for online marketplace Etsy.
During her previous 8 years with the company Kumar worked across product development, buyer growth and mobile and app penetration. Since joining the company in 2014, her work has supported the phenomenal growth of the Etsy buyer community from 20 million to 88 million.
“We are a marketplace for creative goods that connects buyers and sellers. But at the heart of it, at the core of it, we are also really a big data and machine learning company which makes the 60 million unique listings accessible to our 40 million-plus buyers.”
Rachana Kumar, Etsy
You can listen to Rachana discuss her time at Etsy, her leadership learnings and some of the fascinating projects she’s been part of during her time, in this IT Visionaries podcast episode.
3. Kate Crawford, co-founder of the AI Now Institute
Kate Crawford is a principal researcher at Microsoft and co-founder of the AI Now Institute.
Her academic writings on the impacts of social media, devices, big data and AI on society are highly regarded, highly relevant (and awarded!) industry and cultural commentary. Her work with the AI Now Institute is focussed on researching the social impacts of artificial intelligence now to ensure a more equitable future.
Crawford is seen as a critical figure in the realms of Ethical AI, advising global policy makers from the United Nations and the White House.
Her Anatomy of an AI System, co-created with artist Vladan Joler, is housed at New York’s Modern Museum of Art. You can also view the artwork and accompanying essay online here.
4. Melanie Perkins, Co-Founder and CEO of Canva
Melanie Perkins came up with the idea for Canva in 2007 at the age of just 19. As she guided her peers through the excessively complicated and expensive design tools that were available at the time, the idea for today’s $40billion tech unicorn, began to grow.
In recent months Canva acquired tech visualization company Flourish, and opened their very first European HQ in London.
“From creating world-class data storytelling features, to building truly magical product experiences through AI, our teams across Europe play a critical role in making incredible things possible for our global community.”
Melanie Perkins, Canva
For a Canva deep dive and an insight into the tech entrepreneur journey of Perkins and her co-founder and partner Cliff, click here.