They say that women in technology are different. There are no ‘understood’ requirements for outfits or pantsuits. Jeans are common and business relationships are formed while going for a walk or a bike ride. Everyone is strictly authentic, and they lay it all on the line. They are not afraid to speak their minds. They are there to work in business, not to run a popularity contest. They are my celebrities, my heroes.
Today the big name for women in tech has definitely been Sheryl Sandberg.
She has taken the world by storm as the COO of Facebook, earning rankings as one of the top influential women in business. She personifies everything that I admire in my favorite celebrities. She is smart, business savvy, down to earth, and is able to accomplish all she sets her mind to. Her ability to affect culture through social media is far greater than what we see from the ‘celebrities’ that are plastered across People magazine. This celebrity is real.
Even with these famous female names floating in the professional business world, there is no mistaking that women still have a long way to go. Women might make up 47 percent of the labor force, but they make up only 14 percent of the executive officers of Fortune 500 companies, and only 3 percent of the CEOs. Women face numerous stereotypes and are often faced with double standards. When a man might be seen as persuasive, a woman will often be seen as pushy. The celebrity women who are smashing barrier after barrier in the world of technology and business are overcoming these negatives by excelling in what they do and refusing to take no for an answer.
A good example of a woman doing whatever it takes to get the job done would be Melissa Mayer of Yahoo. Mayer caught some serious flack for getting rid of the liberal telecommute and work from home policies the company once had, but she saw a struggling company, made a decision about the best way to resolve it, and executed it. It didn’t matter what anyone else said. It is this attitude that got her to the position of CEO.
Women have contributed and continue to contribute an enormous amount to the business arena. It is an exciting world to be a part of. Like a young girl running up to her favorite Disney princess in Disneyland, I get excited when I realize that in many ways I am now a part of my heroes’ world.