2010 has been an interesting year in terms of technology. We’ve seen tablets become an everyday part of living (though we’re still not sure of their purpose), 3D viewing advance dramatically, and augmented reality took off, thanks to the rise of compatible mobile applications. Alongside these tangible products, there has been much advancement in the backend of science and technology with talented scientists researching medicines, creating programs and extending their knowledge of the virtual world. Many of these projects were spearheaded by women, and I’d like to draw your attention to the top thirteen women who have impacted technology in 2010.
Some names you’ll know, and some you won’t, and this is by no means a conclusive list, so don’t get all shouty when Ms X or Mrs X isn’t in there – tell us why they’re great in the comments section.
So here you have it, the top thirteen women in technology in 2010 (in no particular order).
Alicia Navarro, CEO of Skimlinks
Alicia Navarro has made a big name for herself in the fashion and beauty world, as the service she provides makes affiliate linking a doddle. For those not in the know, affiliate linking is one way that online publishers make money, as every hyperlink that directs you to a store earns them commission if you purchase. Creating the links tends to be a rather time consuming process though, and often looks a little ungainly. Alicia created Skimlinks, a service which integrates seamlessly with your website and creates unobtrusive affiliate links- without you having to do ANYTHING! They do this without creating annoying pop up boxes, and users don’t even realize they have been redirected via an affiliate link when they click away. This service has been well received by all major UK and USA publishers, and her accolade list ranges from fashion aggregator Osoyou.com to technology site T3.com.
Alicia has been involved in the technology scene for over 10 years and holds a Bachelor of Information Technology and the University Medal for Computing Sciences from the University of Technology, Sydney. Her focus on the fashion and beauty world shows she understands the current market demands and her vision in this marketplace continues to grow, with Skimlinks continuing to roll out new products. Despite her success she remains reassuringly down to earth- as seen in her cheeky charity pose for last year’s London Nude Tech calendar. (Yes, really).
Katie Stanton, International Strategist for Twitter
Katie Stanton has impressively long names of companies in her resume. They include the White House, Google Inc, and her latest addition is Twitter. Her remit is working on Twitter’s international strategy and her experience in social media will be a key asset to the company. Katie has a history of working in technology, and her knowledge of departmental laws will help Twitter work alongside government agencies, as she’ll be spearheading the free information approach, especially after the Wikileaks incident.
Stanton has been a key player in the techsphere for some time, and this extends to her private life. Following the Haiti disaster she worked with a group of engineers to create a free texting service to help those in need and she is constantly in demand as an expert in both social media and government policy.
Professor Sophie Scott, UCL Neuroscientist
Neuroscience is not the easiest subject to understand for those without a BSC, but Professor Sophie Scott has managed to make this field accessible to people of all backgrounds. Her friendly approach to the subject matter and her easy way of communicating with the public make her a science icon, someone to treasure and emulate.
Her current work revolves around project in the neural basis of human speech programming and she looks at how this relates to non-human primates. She’s also working on a rehabilitation study of reading after stroke. She’s not averse to getting emotionally involved in her work- as seen by her public disclosure of a scan of her brother’s brain as part of her investigations, and this makes this impressive lady more human and approachable.
She holds a BSC in Life Sciences and a PhD in Cognitive and has won numerous grants and awards for her work. I like how she makes science seem so relevant to the everyday person, and she has a very warm and personable approach to it.
Jenny Rohn, Cell Biologist and Science Writer/Author
Jenny Rohn is what we like to call an all rounder/ someone who makes us feel woefully inadequate. A published science author, editor of LabLit (a fiction site for science) and blogger, she is also a full-time cell biologist at University College London and regularly gets involved in scientific debate with the likes of the Guardian and the BBC.
Jenny holds a BA in Biology and a PhD in Microbiology. She has dabbled in start up ventures, working on a start up Biotech Company in the Netherlands, before committing to full-time work at UCL, and has an impressive array of papers and awards to her name.
I especially love her fiction website, www.LabLit.com as it aims to promote the use of scientists and laboratory culture in mainstream fiction, which hopefully also means accurate science reporting, which gives people a better understanding of how lab life actually works, away from the glamorous veneer shows like CSI have imparted us with. Find out more on her website.
Lisa Kelly, Ice Trucker
Lisa Kelly isn’t fond of stereotypes- least of all those which suggest women should prance around in high heels afraid to do anything lest it break a nail. But she has always been fond of driving, working as a school bus driver for a year before applying to a trucking agency for a job. Since then she has gone on to bigger and better trucks, and is one of the Ice Road Truckers on the History Channel, driving a mean machine through all kinds of landscape. Recent exploits have seen her coast through the Himalayas on History’s IRT Deadliest Roads. On the show, she not only had to deal with switchbacks, dangerous washed out roads and rock slides, but she also also had to constantly contend with sexist men ogling her and trying to break into her truck. However, in the end she persevered and was the only driver to complete all of their routes, while her male co-truckers ultimately floundered.
Her hobbies include dirtbiking, skydiving and hang gliding and anything adrenalin filled, and we can’t help but envy her devil maycare attitude and her lust for new experiences. She’s a great role model for young women- showing how tenacity and drive really can take you everywhere and that you never need to compromise who you are. Ok, so she didn’t exactly impact technology for 2010, but she is helping “pave” the way for more women to pursue careers in male dominated fields.
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