In recent years, emerging technologies have vastly improved and reshaped the way people live and interact with one another. They also have great potential at impacting the livelihoods of people across all sectors and demographics.
Currently, women only hold 20% of all roles in large technology companies. But with the industry holding a lot of sway in shaping the future, it is essential women are an increasing part of the technology sector and benefit from the booming industry.
Using information from our database, interviews, company websites and other public domains, The Org has identified women in emerging tech companies to watch.
Known to be one of the most senior executives on Wall Street, Sallie Krawcheck is the Co-founder and CEO of Ellevest. Unsurprisingly, Krawcheck has served in multiple senior leadership positions in the financial services industry. Including Sanford C. Bernstein & Co, Smith Barney, Citibank, Merrill Lynch and Pax Ellevate Fund. Other than her job at Ellevest, Krawcheck currently sits as Chair on the board of global professional women's network, Ellevate Network.
Anna Fabrega joined Freshly as its first Chief Commercialization Officer in March this year. A Panama native, Fabrega has over 20 years of experience across various industries, including food, retail and e-commerce. After graduating from Northwestern University, Fabrega worked as an Operations Manager at logistics and supply chain company McMaster-Carr. She has also held leadership positions at prominent tech companies including Microsoft and Amazon. In her current role at Freshly, Fabrega focuses on innovation across food, brand and customer services.
Co-founder and COO at Gatheround, Lisa Conn's professional experience is nothing short of impressive. Conn has a bachelor's degree from NYU and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management. Before co-founding Gatheround, she worked as Head of Common Ground + Polarization at Facebook and as a Product Manager for MIT Media Lab. She co-founded community engagement and team bonding platform Gatheround in 2018. The company has since raised $4 million in its seed and pre-seed rounds of funding.
"My advice to aspiring women entrepreneurs: have your own standards. Growing up, my parents often told me: ‘You have to have your own standards.’ By this, they meant that it doesn't matter what other people think, value, or do — it matters what you think, value and do," Conn told The Org. "As a founder, the satisfaction and certainty of knowing not only how you're doing but also what to do, It just doesn't exist. We're charting a new path. It's hard. But as we learned in the League of Their Own, ‘it's the hard that makes it great.’"
Allyson Kapin is the Founding Partner of Rad Campaign, W Fund and Women Who Tech. A serial entrepreneur, Kapin has built a network of over 65,000 engineers, entrepreneurs, investors and industry leaders. She sits on the board of directors for the League of Women Voters and has also sat on the boards for Anita Borg Institute, Tim O'Reilly's Gov 2.0 Expo and NTEN's NTC Committee. Kapin started her career in marketing and public relations and has a MA from American University, where she majored in multimedia and internet marketing.
Technology leader with more than 25 years of experience with startups, Sarah Leary is the co-founder of social network company Nextdoor, an app that brings neighbours together by connecting them with local businesses, services, news, recommendations and even garage sales. Under Leary's leadership the company has raised almost $450 million in funding. The Harvard Business School graduate has previously served as a Product Manager at Microsoft and VP of Product and Marketing at eBay. She is currently an Entrepreneur in Residence at Harvard and a Venture Partner for Unusual Ventures.
Human resources executive Vanessa Mcllwaine has been in the industry for more than 20 years. She now serves as the SVP People at content management platform Contentful, where she oversees the company's global HR arm. Mcllwaine started her career as a Human Resource Manager at renowned architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), and has since held leadership roles at multiple companies including online credit marketplace Lending Club, content delivery network Fastly and carsharing platform Getaround.
Dunyelle Rosen is the General Counsel and CCO at investment company Atreides Management. A graduate of Clark University, Suffolk University Law School and Boston College, Rosen has many years of experience in the regulatory space. In the early days of her career, Rosen worked as a Compliance Officer at management consulting company Bain. She held leadership positions at Natixis Investment Managers, Numeric Investors and Frontlight Capital before joining Atreides Management.
Serial software entrepreneur Bettina Hein has built technology companies across Europe and the United States. Most notably she founded advertising platform Pixability in 2008. After stepping down as CEO from Pixability in 2018, Hein now sits on the board of the company. In 2020 she founded her third software startup Juli Health, which is designed to help people manage complex chronic conditions. Hein was an MIT Sloan Fellow and has a Masters of Science in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Former downhill ski racer Stephanie Lampkin is the CEO and founder of Blendoor, a diversity analytics and hiring software that helps companies attract and retain talent. Lampkin has spent more than 18 years in the technology industry, having founded two startups and previously working in prominent companies including Microsoft, Lockhead, Deloitte, Northrop Grumman and TripAdvisor. She holds a BS in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management, and she has been named 40 Under 40 by Fortune magazine.
“As a former slalom ski racer, I see barriers as gates, not walls; I go around them or through them, but not finishing is not an option,” Lampkin told The Org. “As such I have committed my entire life to eliminating market inefficiencies that limit opportunities for talented people and innovative firms.”
Mada Seghete is the co-founder of deep-linking company Branch. The company has so far raised more than $360 million from investors including NEA, Founders Fund and Playground Ventures. It is the mobile growth platform of choice for over 50,000 apps and has 2 billion monthly users around the world, and it is one of Silicon Valley's fastest-growing Unicorns. Seghete is also an Investment Partner at XFactor Ventures and has previously sat on the Board of Application Developers Alliance. Originally from Romania, Seghete came to the U.S. to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Cornell University. She now also has a MS and MBA from Stanford.
"As for my advice for aspiring women leaders in tech, it is to never give up, never stop trying and turn every failure into an opportunity," Seghete told The Org.
"Branch was our fourth product idea and we failed a lot but didn't give up. Same with business school, when I applied the first time I didn't get in, but I tried again, I didn't give up, and not only did I get in the second time, but I met my co-founders."
Abadesi Osunsade is a creative technologist, with many years of experience working in product and technology related roles. She currently serves as the VP of Global Community & Belonging for consumer intelligence company Brandwatch and runs a career advancement community called Hustle Crew. Osunsade is a graduate of the London School of Economics, where she majored in economics and government. She has previously worked at companies including Groupon, Amazon, HotelTonight, ProductHunt, BackedVC and Ada Ventures, just to name a few.
Egyptian-American computer scientist Rana el Kaliouby is on a mission to bring emotional intelligence to the digital world. She founded Affectiva in April 2009, and has since grown the company to one of the leading firms in the emotion AI industry. El Kaliouby is the author of Girl Decoded, a book that follows her personal journey moving from the Middle East to making it in the United States. She has a BS and MS from The American University in Cairo, a PhD from The University of Cambridge and Post-Doc from MIT.
Shivani Siroya is the founder and CEO of mobile technology and data science company Tala. The app aims to understand its customers' finances using data on their devices. Siroya is a graduate of Columbia University, where she majored in Econometrics,Quantitative Economics and Health Economics. She has worked as an analyst for multiple large financial services firms including Credit Suisse, UBS, PwC and Citigroup. Prior to founding Tala she was a Financial Consultant at HealthNet. Siroya is also a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum.
Microsoft veteran Margaret Arakawa has spent a significant amount of her career building brands and growing businesses. In her 20 years with Microsoft she was responsible for building product strategies and, most recently, she led the company's U.S. Windows & Surface business. Arakawa now serves as the CMO of Outreach, a Computer Software platform that leads B2B sales engagement. The Wharton and Kellogg School of Management graduate is also an avid fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Firefighter Stairclimb.
Fay Rotenberg is the CEO of Firefly Health. She joins the company with a wealth of leadership experience. She previously worked at Premji Invest and focused on healthcare initiatives; she has also served as CEO of healthtech company Mymo, where she was the co-founder. Prior to Mymo, she was a Partner at LG's venture fund. She currently sits on the Board of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Cornell Tech, Phillips Academy Andover, Masschallenge, Girls Who Code and the Young Presidents Organization (YPO).
"Since becoming CEO, my goal has been to expand Firefly’s mission, aiming to provide half-priced health care that's twice as good both clinically and emotionally," Rotenberg told The Org.
Sheila Marcelo is the co-founder of healthcare company Care.com. From 2006 to 2020, she was the Chairwoman and CEO of the company, where she served more than 25 million people across 20 countries. She now works as a Venture Partner at New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and serves as the Chairwoman for The Wing, a growing workplace startup that focuses on providing spaces for professionals and entrepreneurs. Prior to founding Care.com, Marcelo was VP of Product Management and Marketing at Upromise. She received JD and MBA degrees with honors from Harvard University and was the youngest recipient of the Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award.
After having worked as a Professor at MIT for more than two decades, Rosalind Picard decided to start her own company Empatica, an FDA cleared smart watch for medical use in epilepsy. She currently sits as the company's Chief Scientist and Chairman. Despite starting her own company, her work at MIT did not stop; Picard is presently the Director of Affective Computing Research and the Co-Director of Advancing Wellness at the University. She has earned a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering with the highest honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Master's and Doctorate in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.
Originally from Mexico City, Mariana Matus moved to the United States to complete her PhD in Computational and Systems Biology at MIT. There, she met her co-founder, Newsha Ghaeli, and the duo decided to build Biobot, a company focused on using data to make public health more proactive and equitable. Matus analyzes sewage data to tackle the challenges of infectious diseases and drug abuse.
"Our vision is that one day, every city and town in the U.S. and globally will be collecting wastewater epidemiology data to inform their response to new public health threats, both natural and man-made," Matus said in an interview with The Org.
Newsha Ghaeli is the co-founder of Biobot Analytics, a company she started with Mariana Matus who she met when she was completing her research fellowship in urban studies and planning at MIT. Ghaeli is a trained architect, having completed her Master in Architecture at McGill University and collaborating with the World Economic Forum's Council on the Future of Cities, the UN Climate Change Summit, the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. territorial governments on the design of coastal resilient communities.
After being sexually assaulted as a student at Pomona College, Jess Ladd found the reporting experience to be even more horrific than the assault itself. Ladd has since graduated and has focused much of her energy on supporting sexual assault victims. This is how Callisto came into existence. The nonprofit organisation is focused on creating technology that can detect repeat sexual assailants. Ladd has previously founded Sexual Health Innovations and was the Co-founder and President of The Social Innovation Club.
Chicago-based Allison Robinson always knew she wanted to build a business. She was out on maternity leave with her first child while at Procter & Gamble when she learned that an estimated 43% of highly skilled women leave the workforce to become mothers. Imagining a future where women wouldn't have to choose between family and career, Robinson founded The Mom Project in 2016, an online talent marketplace that connects women with companies for rewarding employment opportunities.
"Tech is solving the biggest problems we've encountered as a society including education, transportation, housing, healthcare and work. Women must be at the forefront of designing solutions in these massive categories so that we can fundamentally improve the lives of future generations," Robinson told The Org.
Carly Leahy is the Co-founder and CCO of Modern Fertility, a femtech company that is making personalized fertility information and support more accessible. Prior to founding Modern Fertility, Leahym was a Senior Creative Strategist at Uber, where she scaled the UberEATS product and launched UberRUSH and UberHEALTH. She also has experience working at Google as a Creative Lead and at Digitas as a Creative Strategist and Copywriter.
Afton Vechery is the Co-founder and CEO of Modern Fertility. Vechery was inspired to build Modern Fertility as she was curious to learn more about fertility (despite not trying for children at the time). She quickly realized that fertility was a lot more complicated than she had initially expected. The company is now backed by Forerunner Ventures, First Round Capital, Y Combinator, Maveron, Union Square Ventures, Sound Ventures, #angles, SVAngel and Box Group. Prior to founding the company, Vechery was a Product Manager at 23andMe she has also worked as a Strategy and Finance Consultant for Willow Pump.
FutureFuel was founded by Laurel Taylor to help American students optimize their repayment plans by automating the management of their student loans. The company is backed by investors from Salesforce Ventures, Fiserv, Rethink Impact, Vulcan Capital, Reach Capital, Financial Health Network (JPMC) and the Impact Engine. Prior to starting FutureFuel, Taylor was the Head of Industry, Health at Google and CRO and EVP of architecture and planning company TEECOM.
Lisa Skeete Tatum is the Co-founder and CEO of Landit, a personalized career pathing platform that aims to support women and diverse groups in the workplace. To date, the company has raised almost $19 million in funding. Previously Tatum was a General Partner with Cardinal Partners. She has also worked for Procter & Gamble, GE Capital and once founded her own consulting practice, STI Inc. She is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Cornell University.
Carolyn Witte is the Co-founder and CEO of women's healthcare platform Tia. Focused on providing personalized healthcare for women, Tia was founded by Witte and Felicity Yost in 2017 and has since raised over $32 million in funding. Witte has previously worked at Google Creative Lab, where she led designers, writers, filmmakers and engineers to develop and grow Google's core mobile consumer products. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University.
Felicity Yost is an experienced product manager who is the Co-founder and COO at Tia. Yost and Carolyn Witte had originally hoped for Tia to be an information app on female health, but soon realised the potential of starting their own clinic. Tia opened its first physical clinic in New York City, with 15 physicians, physician assistants, registered nurses, therapists and other healthcare providers. Yost is a graduate of Cornell University and has previously worked at Owler as a Product Manager.
Experienced software engineer Clara Vu is the Founder and CTO of VEO Robotics, an industrial automation company that is transforming manufacturing through computer vision, 3D sensing and AI. Vu currently leads the engineering teams at the company that has raised $28 million in funding since its launch. She has previously served as the People Operations Lead for Formlabs and was the Co-founder of Harvest Automation, a material handling company. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Yale.
Experienced software engineer Cadran Cowansage is the Founder and CEO of Elpha - a community for women. A graduate of Columbia University's Department of Biomedical Informatics, Cowansage started her career as a Technology Analyst at Merrill Lynch. She later left the company to join Princeton Consultants. Most recently, Cowansage was the Engineering Lead at startup fund and program Y Combinator.
Passionate about fixing the healthcare industry, Star Cunningham founded 4D Healthware, a company focused on providing virtual health management for patients by connecting them with a clinical care team. Cunningham is also the VP of Innovation at VC CANN Capital Partners and sits on the board of Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) Chicago Chapter. Prior to stepping into the healthcare world, Cunningham worked at IBM in management consulting. She has an NBA from Northwestern University and a BS in Computer Science from Heidelberg University.
Experienced software engineer Leah La Salla designs and develops machine learning driven applications. She is currently the CTO at Wallbreakers, a company dedicated to finding, training and qualifying computer science majors from universities across the United States. La Salla has previously founded Astral AR, an AI company that uses drones to stop bullets. She was a software architect at luxury jeweller IceTrends and has a Computer Science degree from National American University.
Navigating mortality just became more simple with Cake, a company founded by Suelin Chen. Dedicated to using internet technology and human-centered design to simplify end-of-life planning, Chen founded Cake after working in the health industry for multiple years. She currently sits on the board of the Hospice & Palliative Care Federation of Massachusetts. She has a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT and a BS from the same university.
Kate Ryder is the Founder and CEO of Maven, a virtual clinic for women's health founded in 2014. Since then, the company has raised $92 million in capital from investors, including Sequoia Capital, Oak HC/FT and Icon Ventures. Prior to founding Maven, Ryder was a venture capitalist and journalist, she has written for The New Yorker and the Economist. In 2009, she worked with former U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, helping him write his memoirs about the financial crisis. Ryder received her BA from the University of Michigan and her MSc from the London School of Economics.
Gina Bianchini is the CEO and Co-founder of a premiere SaaS platform that helps creators, brands and businesses build communities where they can run events and teach courses online. Mighty Networks is not the only startup that Bianchini has worked on; she previously founded Ning, which had a similar concept. Bianchini has a BA and MBA from Stanford, and she has previously worked as a Financial Analyst for Goldman Sachs.
On a mission to get more people outside and protect nature, Alyssa Ravasio is the founder and CEO of Hipcamp, a company that partners with private landowners to help people explore new places to camp. Ravasio is a graduate of UCLA, where she majored in Digital Democracy and Complexity Science. She has previously worked at the U.S. Department of State in International Information and Communication Policy and was the Director of Sales and Marketing at Revel Systems. Ravasio currently sits on the board of The Outdoor Industry Association Recreation Advisory Council.
Alice Zhang is the Founder and CEO of Verge Genomics, a company using human genomics to transform genetic medicines. Zhang founded the company to develop therapeutics that have higher probabilities of clinical success. She currently sits as a member on the company’s Board of Directors. Zhang has a PhD and MD from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she studied the use of integrative genomics to accelerate peripheral nerve regeneration. Zhang was also a Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA) Fellow at the National Cancer Institute and a Research Assistant at Princeton University.
Monica Abarca is the Co-founder and CEO of qAIRa, a Peru-based startup using robotics and big data analytics to monitor air quality. The company uses real-time maps to understand contamination. qAIRa is not the only company that Abarca has founded. She is also the Co-founder of BloomerTech, a company that uses biometric sensors in day-to-day clothing to collect data on women's heart health. Abarca has previously been a researcher in Robotics at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.
Freight tech revolutionist Alexandra Griffon is the Co-founder and CEO of BlueCargo, a company on a mission to transport goods in a more cost-effective way. The UC Berkeley visiting scholar has previously served as a Sales and Stock Analyst for cosmetics company Guerlain, and she has also worked as an M&A analyst for Lazard.
Maxeme Tuchman is the Co-founder and CEO of Caribu, a company making interactions between grandparents and grandchildren more fun. Considered an 'education family entertainment' platform, Caribu allows grandparents to draw and play games with their grandkids. A Harvard graduate with an MPP and MBA, Tuchman has previously worked as a High School Government/Economics Teacher through Teach for America. She later became an Executive Director in the Miami Dade Region.
A graduate with a BA from Washington University in St Louis, Morgan DeBaun now runs one of the leading news companies for Black millennials and Gen Z's in the U.S., Blavity. She launched the company in 2014, and has since grown her audience to over 30 million users a month. She sits on the boards of American Airlines, technology and business process modernization provider CES and the Black Economic Alliance. She was previously a Business Development and Product Manager and Intuit.
The French Co-founder and Chief Executive Office of Front, Mathilde Collin built her company to help companies more meaningfully connect with their customer. The San-Francisco-based executive has so far raised an impressive $138.8 million in funding for her startup, and in its most recent Series C round in January 2020 the company raised $59 million. Prior to founding Front, Collin was a Project Manager at Concord. She graduated from HEC School of Management with a Master's Degree in Entrepreneurship in 2012.
With many years of experience in sales and marketing, Susan Kuo is a mobile marketing and analytics expert. She is the Co-founder and COO of Singular, a marketing intelligence platform that simplifies marketing data. Prior to founding Singular, Kuo was the SVP of Sales and Business Development at Onavo, which was acquired by Facebook. Before that, she was the Head of Marketing in North America for marketing cloud InMobi and the VP of Sales at Booyah. Kuo has a bachelor's from UC Berkeley, where she majored in Mass Communication and Media Studies.
Jesse Genet started working on Inkodye, her first company, from her parent's basement. Inkodye created sunlight-activated fabric dye that she went on to sell at more than 1,500 retail stores worldwide. After the success of her first company, Genet began working on building the future of the packaging supply chain through her new company Lumi, which designs tools that simplify complex workflows, data, and language of packaging, to help brands and manufacturers can work better together. So far the company has more than 50 employees and has raised almost $10 million in funding. Genet has earned a BS from the Art Center College of Design, where she majored in product design.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Meredith Ruble is an experienced financial service and M&A executive. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Ruble started her career as an Associate for CMS companies. She went on to become a VP at Legg Mason (that was later acquired by Franklin Templeton) and left to join Stifel Financial Corp, where she stayed for seven years. Before joining the education startup Noodle, Ruble was the CFO for iD Tech, a summer tech camp for kids and teens.
Founder and CEO of planning app Cobble Jordan Scott wanted to create a way for couples to make decisions faster and more effectively. Scott is a graduate of NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She began her career as a news associate at CBS This Morning, but quickly realized that it wasn't quite her passion. After just six months at the show, she left her job and began focusing on building Cobble. Since then, the executive has raised over $3 million in seed funding for her company and has hired over 20 employers.
Rasha Katabi has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. She started her career as a Corporate Finance Analyst at TD Bank in 1995 and has since made her way into the global financial markets. She joined CIBC World Markets from 1999 until 2002, and later became Managing Director and Group Head of the Strategic Solutions Group at Merrill Lynch, where she stayed for more than a decade. She later founded Brim Financial, a state-of-the-art credit card infrastructure and digital platform.
Wes Kao is the Co-founder of Maven, an education management startup. The platform offers live, online courses with instructors that aim to help transform careers. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Kao has previously worked at L'Oreal, Gap, Bare Minerals and Flite (which was acquired by Snapchat). She is a mentor at WeWork Labs and Backstage Capital.
Building the future of notebooks at Notable is Michelle Ufford. Ufford is a technology and computer science industry veteran. In the earlier days of her career Ufford was the Director of Technology Distribution & Packaging at Sataria. After more than five years with the company, she left to join website and content building platform GoDaddy, where she stayed for almost nine years. Most recently, Ufford was an Engineering Manager at Netflix.
Harvard University graduate Roxanne Bras Petraeus is the CEO at Ethena, a company dedicated to providing and simplifying compliance training for teams. Ethena's customers include major companies such as Netflix and Zendesk. Petraeus has a MA in Philosophy from Oxford University and was once an Engineer Officer and Civil Affairs Officer for the U.S. Army. Prior to being CEO of Ethna, Petraeus was an Associate at management consulting firm McKinsey.
Canadian native Anna Bediones serves as the Director of Strategy, Womens at sneaker community startup SoleSavy. Bediones has more than ten years of experience in the creative industry, focusing specifically on art and brand strategy. She has been a creative freelancer for more than 12 years, working with big-name brands including Nike, Shopify and Jordan Brand.