Check out this list of successful female leaders in the tech industry in 2023.

Successful Female Leaders in the Tech Industry 2023

Are you currently working for a tech company led by a male CEO? How actually common is it for women to hold CEO positions in tech?

Despite growing awareness and efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the tech industry, women remain seriously underrepresented in key roles and leadership positions. Did you know only 19% of senior vice presidents and 15% of CEOs in the tech industry are women?

Yes, the statistic is discouraging, yet numerous successful women leaders in the tech industry exist. Canva, OpenAI, Anthropic, General Motors, and Shippo these successful companies are united by one thing - they all have C-level executives who are women. Today, we will explore the reasons for the underrepresentation of women in tech and showcase the accomplishments and contributions of some of the most successful female leaders in the tech industry.

Let's kick things off.

Exploring bias and systemic issues behind the gender gap in the tech industry

According to the most recent data from the largest tech companies in the U.S., women comprise only 34.4% of the workforce, with even lower numbers in engineering jobs at just 15%. In computing and mathematical careers, women hold only 28% of positions, highlighting the gender gap in the industry.

The current statistic can be a result of a complex issue that is influenced by several factors, including bias and systemic issues. Bias can manifest in various forms, such as

  • Gender stereotypes that associate technical skills with masculinity or assumptions that women are not as committed to their careers because of family responsibilities. Besides, gender bias is viewed as a barrier to career advancement by 39% of women in the tech industry;

  • Systemic issues also play a role, as women often face barriers to entry and advancement in male-dominated industries. For example, the lack of female role models and mentors in tech can make it difficult for women to envision themselves succeeding in the field;

  • The prevalence of male-dominated networks and hiring practices can limit opportunities for women to enter and advance in the industry;

  • Discrimination can occur based on a person's race, sexual orientation, disability, or other identity factors, as 25% of women with disabilities and 23% of LGBTQ+ women have faced criticism for their demeanor.

"As I was progressing through my career, people kept telling me I needed to have 'executive presence.' And what they really meant was I needed to look the part. I needed to have the right clothing, I needed to look feminine enough. That was always a challenge for me because I didn't follow the typical feminine dress code." shares in the ¨Women in Tech¨report, a white woman, senior manager, lesbian.

  • Little or no support from managers. According to studies, only 44% of women have managers who display interest in their professional growth and development.

According to the latest McKinsey&The Company report, Women in Tech, the initial step towards senior leadership is where women encounter the most significant challenge. Only 87 women for every 100 men were promoted from entry-level to manager, and the number is even lower for women of color, with only 82 promotions for every 100 men. Consequently, there is a noticeable disparity between men and women at the managerial level.

Successful female leaders in tech

The tech industry has traditionally been male-dominated, with women facing numerous barriers to entry and advancement. However, more and more successful female leaders have emerged in the tech world in recent years, breaking barriers and paving the way for future generations of women. Companies such as Front, Canva, Intercom, OpenAI, Anthropic, Algolia, General Motors, Shippo, and Amazon are just a few examples of companies with female leaders at the C-level.

These women have significantly contributed to their respective companies, driving innovation and success in a highly competitive industry. Despite the underrepresentation of women in tech, these successful female leaders continue to inspire and prove that gender is not a barrier to achieving greatness in the tech world. Let's take a closer look at successful women in the technology field and explore their paths to success along with the challenges they met.

Melanie Perkins, CEO and Co-founder at Canva

Melanie Perkins, who became the CEO of Canva at the age of 26, achieved unicorn status just five years after the company's launch, making her one of the youngest female tech unicorn founders at the age of 30. As Canva continues to grow and set ambitious goals, its valuation rapidly increases, making Perkins the most successful founder in Sydney since Atlassian. Today, Canva is worth $25 billion, becoming one of history's earliest and most successful startups.

Despite not even having a college degree, Perkins persevered through barriers like long years of pitching to various investors, multiple rejections, young age, and not having any connections in Silicon Valley, and showcased her strength to break through in the design industry. In 2021, she was considered one of the wealthiest women in Australia, with a net worth of $6.5 billion, and was honored with induction into the 30 Under 30 Hall of Fame in 2022. She was later featured on Forbes' Billionaires list for 2023.

Mathilde Collin, CEO and Co-founder at Front

Mathilde Collin is a French entrepreneur, co-founder, and CEO of Front, a cloud-based team communication platform. She founded Front in 2013 along with her co-founder Laurent Perrin, and the company has since grown to serve thousands of businesses globally, including Dropbox, Shopify, and Airbnb.

Collin began her career as a consultant at McKinsey & Company before founding Front. She has been recognized for her entrepreneurial achievements, including being named to Forbes' 30 Under 30 list in 2017 and Inc.'s Female Founders 100 list in 2019. As the CEO, she carries a significant mental burden, which Mathilde experienced firsthand when she burned out in 2016. However, she now emphasizes the importance of maintaining a work-life balance and prioritizing mental health.

Mira Murati, CTO of OpenAI

Mira Murati, OpenAI's Chief Technology Officer, is a remarkable role model for women across the globe. Breaking the stereotype that AI is a male-dominated industry, she has demonstrated that women can excel in any field. With a notable career spanning Goldman Sachs, Zodiac Aerospace, and Tesla, Murati has established herself as a seasoned professional in the industry.

At Tesla, she served as a Senior Product Manager for the Model X, showcasing her skill in product management. After three years at Tesla, she joined Leap Motion as a VP of Product and Engineering. Murati has significantly contributed to the field, including creating groundbreaking technologies such as ChatGPT-3 and DALL-E. Her achievements and perseverance inspire everyone in the tech industry to aim high and strive toward their aspirations.

Daniela Amodei, Co-founder and President of Anthropic

Daniela Amodei has come a long way from her start as a Business Development professional in 2010 before becoming co-founder and president of Anthropic. She obtained many different positions at various companies, including well-known Stripe and OpenAI, where she made a significant impact.

When Daniela joined Stripe as the Lead Technical Recruiter, she rapidly expanded the team from 45 to 300 people. Her hiring rate was over 75%, and she managed to recruit 92 engineers across 11 teams. Daniela climbed the career ladder and became the Risk Program Manager, where she analyzed more than 7,000 cases, including potential fraud, credit, and policy violations, with a remarkable 90% quality rate and a 97% customer satisfaction rate. These experiences shaped Daniela's understanding of the importance of safety, which later motivated her to create a product where safety is a top priority.

After working at Stripe, Daniela joined OpenAI, where she held several positions, including Engineering Manager and VP of People, leading two technical teams for two years and three months.

In 2021, she and her brother Dario Amodei started a new entrepreneurial journey, establishing their own company, Anthropic, inspired by their passion for artificial intelligence and driven by their vision to make the world safer. Daniela's hard work, expertise, and dedication have made her a respected figure in the tech industry, and she continues to inspire many with her entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to innovation.

Laura Behrens Wu, Founder and CEO at Shippo

Laura Behrens Wu was very much motivated to start her own business and began by creating an online store. However, her excitement was soon overshadowed by the daunting task of shipping her products. As she began to receive orders, she quickly realized that shipping was a major challenge that threatened to undermine the success of her online store.

To address this issue, she founded Shippo, which helps small and medium-sized businesses facilitate their e-commerce shipping. With a customer base of over 120,000, Shippo has grown to employ more than 300 people and is now expanding into new markets, including Europe and Australia, while also opening additional offices in North America.

Forbes magazine included Wu in its "30 under 30" list of top young entrepreneurs in the enterprise technology field in 2017. She was also recognized as one of Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business in 2020. In 2021, Laura Behrens Wu was named to Fortune's 40 Under 40 list in the technology category.

Bottom line

Women have proven that they are equally competent to hold C-level positions and become CEOs as they bring valuable problem-solving skills to the table.

Take, for instance, Melanie Perkins and Laura Behrens Wu, who founded their own companies with a mission to help people genuinely and solve existing problems. On the other hand, Mira Murati and Daniela Amodei who are passionate about AI development and have prioritized safety. Some women in business prioritize the well-being of mental health of their employees, like Mathilde Collin. The success of these female leaders in the tech industry proves that nothing can stop you if you have talent, passion, dedication, and perseverance.