“Count Her In”: Celebrating Our Top 10 Industry Leaders Empowering Women in Tech This IWD

This year, the theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) is as powerful and as timely as ever:

Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress.

“Count Her In” will examine the pathways to greater economic inclusion for women and girls all over the globe, recognising that, when women are given equal opportunities to earn, learn and lead, entire communities thrive.

It’s no secret. We’re a long way from a gender-equal world and many women still face significant obstacles to achieving equal participation in the economy.

However, this 2024 IWD, it’s important to look at the progress being made by some of the most incredible female technologists and feminist change makers. That’s why we’ve decided to showcase our top 10 leaders, recognising those working to empower other women in the tech sector, and progress diversity and inclusion.

1. Sally-Ann Williams FTSE

Sally-Ann Williams is leading Australia’s deep tech revolution as the CEO of Cicada Innovations: an incubator for start-ups and scaleups working to address global challenges in MedTech, Clean Energy, and beyond.

As the chair of the Pathway to Diversity in STEM, Williams is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion, acknowledging that structural and cultural change are a must to better empower women in tech.

2. Dr. Catriona Wallace

Dr. Catriona Wallace, an eminent figure in tech and AI, is celebrated for her advocacy in empowering women in the technology industry.

As the founder of the Responsible Metaverse Alliance, Executive Chair of Boab AI, and a Shark on the TV show Shark Tank Australia, Dr. Wallace is pioneering initiatives that are designed to foster gender diversity and inclusion in the tech sector to shape a more equitable future.

3. Robyn Denholm

As chair of Tesla since 2018, Robyn Denholm is a prominent and inspiring figure in technology. She also became one of a handful of female sports-team investors in Australia after her family bought a 30% stake in the owner of men’s basketball team Sydney Kings.

In a speech as the chair of the Tech Council of Australia, Denholm called for “new strategies to improve the participation of underrepresented groups in tech jobs, and in particular, women.”

4. Roisin Parkes

Roisin Parkes is a dynamic technology leader with a diverse background spanning from Runway Model to Chief Technology Officer at Gumtree and her current role as a Director of Engineering for Google.

As a Project F Advisory Board Member, Parkes advocates for diversity and inclusion in tech, investing in and empowering women by emphasising the importance of mentorship and sponsorship to combat the horribly high industry-wide attrition rates.

5. Inga Latham

Inga Latham is a seasoned product management professional, executive leader and the current Chief Product Officer at Shippit, a multi-carrier shipping technology company.

Acknowledging that “there are still many systemic hindrances impacting the natural progression of a woman’s career in tech”, Latham works to empower women in STEM through insightful writings, mentoring initiatives, and advocacy for diverse pathways into the industry.

6. Melanie Silva

Melanie Silva, Managing Director of Google Australia and New Zealand, is a prominent figure in the Australian tech scene and her success is paving the way for future women in tech.

As a current Board Member of the Business Council of Australia, Silva uses her platform to advocate for more women, diversity and inclusion in Tech and has helped many Women enter the industry by launching a Google careers certificate with 50% of graduates working full time upon completion.

7. Dr Catherine Ball

Dr Catherine Ball is a Scientific Futurist, Tech Influencer, Author, Champion of Diversity, Drone Expert and Associate Professor at ANU.

As a global business pioneer, Catherine wears many hats, from company director, to podcast host and she works across a wide range of global projects. She is a champion of diversity and inclusion, believing “Diversity and success are two sides of the same coin.”

8. Deanna Hood

Deanna Hood, is a visionary robotics engineer currently leading the development of Vexev Wave, a medical imaging robot aimed at revolutionising cardiovascular health monitoring.

True to the theme of IWD 2024 and in what she describes as her most impactful work, Deanna uses her story to inspire the next generation of women engineers as a keynote speaker for UTS’ outreach programs and also influences how STEM is taught in schools by liaising with teachers and other STEM ambassadors.

9. Kirstin Butcher

A five-time founder in Australia, Hong Kong and Indonesia, Kirtsin Butcher is the current CEO of Genvis, building modern tools for public safety teams.

When she isn’t advocating for greater economic opportunities for Women in tech, Butcher is using the power of AI for good, working with organisations like the WA Police Force to build technology to protect domestic violence survivors.

10. Jacqui Kernot

Jacqui Kernot is a seasoned cybersecurity expert with over 20 years of diverse experience across a number of industries in Australia, the UK, and Europe.

As the current Security Director at Accenture Australia and New Zealand, an Advisory Board Member at UNICEF, and Chair of Females in IT and Telecommunications, Jacqui is also a prominent advocate for diversity and inclusion in cybersecurity.

11. Emma Jones

A plus one to this list is Project F’s Founder and CEO, Emma Jones. With three decades of expertise in talent management and people strategy, and a particular focus on the technology sector, Emma Jones recognises the systemic barriers hindering Women’s advancement in tech careers.

In response, she founded Project F, an initiative designed to address diversity challenges by offering a unique Diversity Equity Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) accreditation program tailored to the tech industry. Project F not only helps organisations improve their DEIB performance but also encourages community engagement through events, advocacy and support groups.

Are you looking to get involved in this International Women’s Day?

Join the movement on March 8th, 2024, and help us advocate for more pathways to greater economic inclusion for women in tech and other industries all over the globe. Find out more about IWD, here.

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Further reading

How to build a genuinely diverse and inclusive tech workforce without underestimating women’s abilities and potential.
By prioritizing Diversity and Inclusion, startups can tap into a multitude of benefits that will propel their success. Let’s explore.
Uncover the differences between traditional and progressive HR and how the latter is essential to build diversity and inclusion in the tech industry, especially on the verge of the fifth revolution.