"You can't be what you can't see." How many times have you heard or said this? We keep repeating it because this idea resonates deeply, especially for women in the tech world. For too long, women in tech have been on the sidelines, their talents and contributions often overlooked. But when we shine a light on their achievements—both within their companies and across the industry—it sparks a chain reaction. It inspires other women to pursue their tech dreams and encourages everyone to value and appreciate the diverse talents women bring to the table. Recognizing women in tech isn’t just a nice gesture; it has the potential to transform the entire industry.

2023 Women Tech Awardees, Grand America, October 11, 2023. Photo credit: Laura Kinser of Kinserstudios.com

Visibility for women in tech helps break down the gender barriers that are so prevalent in the industry. Recent studies still show that women face an uphill battle when entering and progressing in their tech careers. Women make up about 50% of the workforce, 60% of college students, only 26.7% of tech-related jobs and are 48% less likely to get promoted to manager than male colleagues. Even in “more-inclusive environments,” men are still 15% more likely to get promoted to a management position.” With these abysmal statistics, it is not surprising that nearly half of women in tech drop out of their careers by the age of 35. These numbers underscore the urgency of increasing visibility and representation to achieve gender parity and harness the untapped potential women can have in tech.

For women in tech, industry recognition is about more than accolades; it’s about proof points that propel momentum and ensure that their ideas and insights are embedded as a critical part of how innovation is built and used to solve big problems. When tech leaders highlight achievements and contributions of the women in their organizations, they provide proof that they recognize womens’ impact. This visibility changes the trajectory and opportunity for other women in the company and industry, women see role models, career paths and opportunities they might not have imagined. This creates a cycle of inspiration where visibility begets aspiration, leading to both greater inclusivity and greater innovation. The path to developing strong leaders really does begin with visibility.

Carlisha Robinson receiving the Product Leadership Award, October 11, 2023. Photo credit: Laura Kinser of Kinserstudios.com

I’ve seen the meaningful career acceleration visibility provided in the careers of talented women because once leaders shine a light on talent others take notice and doors open. The data shows that 90% of women who have been recognized in the Women Tech Awards see career acceleration within 6 months of highlighting their talent and impact. This has included everything from promotions to the C-suite, to securing major partnerships, raising capital, strategic partnerships, deals for acquisitions, meetings that could not be previously secured to deciding to finish a tech college degree - very meaningful opportunities that otherwise would not have happened at the speed and trajectory that they did. 

What does this tell you? An important way to change the landscape of technology is to highlight and recognize role models and talent at every level of career development. As we look to a future that needs and equally demands the talent, perspective and problem solving from women to drive innovation and solve the next biggest problems the world faces we need more women leading and driving in technology. 

To continue this important change in tech we have an opportunity as a community to recognize the talent of this year’s Women Tech Award finalists, they are an important catalyst in the tech industry, challenge current industry trends and stereotypes and inspire the next generation of women innovators. Recognizing this talent also sends a powerful, science-backed message that gender diversity fosters creativity and drives success. 

Join our community on October 3, 2024 for the 2024 Women Tech Awards, now in our 17th year, and be part of the movement to accelerate the economic impact of our technology ecosystem. 

  • Alexandra V. Passi, PhD VP Data Science and Analytics, Zartico
  • Amy Larson President, SeekWell
  • Ashlee Cowley SVP Professional Services, Entrata
  • Atim Ette Enyenihi, PhD Strategic Industry Advisor for Technology and Innovation, Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development
  • Audra Yocom Teacher, Computer Science and Information Technology, Pleasant Grove High School, Alpine School District
  • Bharathi Rajan VP Enterprise Data and Applications, Swire Coca-Cola USA
  • Bonnie Brinton Anderson, PhD Distinguished Professor of Information Systems, Associate Dean of Marriott School of Business, BYU
  • Chandana Haque Executive Director, Altitude Lab and Recursion
  • Dana Ware Chief Creative Officer, ARound
  • Diane Acevedo SVP Operations and CX, Gabb Wireless
  • Jami Hughes SVP Deputy Chief Information Security Officer, Zions Bancorporation
  • Jessica Curran VP Data Science and Analytics. Health Catalyst
  • Jessica Elwell Chief Operations Officer, OxEon
  • Jessica Gelman CEO, Kraft Analytics Group Investor & NWSL Board Member, Utah Royals
  • Karen Peterson Chief Marketing Officer, Chatbooks
  • Kat Judd, JD Chief People Officer, Lucid Software
  • Margaret Woolley Busse Executive Director, Utah Department of Commerce
  • Marissa Saunders, PhD Sr Director, Data Science, Recursion
  • Misty Dawson Owner and Principal Consultant, The Jupiter Group
  • Shey Samson Vice President Engineering, Goldman Sachs
  • Xinru Page, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, BYU 
2023 Women Tech Awards, Grand America, Salt Lake City. Photo credit: Laura Kinser of Kinserstudios.com
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