Last month, a film was released that took a closer look at the history of women engineers in the United States. The movie was based on a true story surrounding a team of 3 African-American females that provided NASA with key mathematical data used to launch the program’s first successful mission in space during the late 1960’s. As this motion picture shows, historically, engineering has been known as a ‘boys only’ club. However, like other predominantly male-dominate fields, we see the ladies taking on crucial roles. Check out this list below that breaks down a few favorites to watch in 2017.
First up on our list is no stranger to the world of engineering. Diana Greens is known as the woman tasked with transforming Google’s cloud business. An avid sailor, Greene began her career as a mechanical engineer building boats and windsurfers. She has used her background in this industry to see data sharing for the revolution that it is/will be and believes that the key to understanding data can be found in new techniques like machine learning. Although far from a novice in the engineering world, we cannot wait to see what all Greene has in store for us throughout the year.
The next superwoman on our list was recently named one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 in 2017 Young Innovators Transforming Enterprise Tech and, also received the prestigious 2016 Women in Open Source award for her work as Director of Engineering and Chief of Staff to the Vice President of Engineering at Dropbox. McKellar began her career as an intern with VMware before eventually co-founding Zulip which was later acquired by Dropbox. A mindset that McKellar developed and implements daily is to constantly be open to learning, as well as teaching all that there is to know about programming. With such an impressive resume already built, we are excited to see what she does this year and in the years ahead.
The third professional on our list has such an impressive background we don’t even know where to begin! From teen mom to three MIT degrees, Noramay Cadena is no stranger to hard work and determination. As cofounder of Make In LA, her goal was to build the epicenter of hardware startups. While boys are welcome, this hardware accelerator and early state investment fund is predominately female-driven. Cadena recently said, “[One of] our goals is to attract the best entrepreneurs and startups from around the globe and help them build successful tech-enabled hardware products.”
Last but not least, our final standout engineering female to watch in 2017 started to really make a name for herself last year. As co-owner, Head Engineer and Financial Director at Highwire, Elizabeth Rickard loves to see the shock on individual’s faces when she tells them that she is an engineer. Due to her love for art and literacy, she often has to remind others that engineers come with numerous talents reaching far outside the traditional field. Rickard is sure to bring us even more great things in years to come.
Whether a beginner or pro, our top women engineer picks for 2017 are sure to make an impact. Who are some of your favorite leading ladies of engineering?