I well remember my first pitch after launching APPCityLife. I was invited to pitch our company at VentureBeat's first mobile conference, MobileBeat 2010. Of the twenty startup companies invited to pitch at the event, ours was the only woman-owned company - and I was the only woman backstage.
That was the first day I realized just how significant the gender gap was for women entrepreneurs in technology fields.
Today, APPCityLife is focused on the massive demand for scalable mobile solutions within government, making us a part of the rapidly expanding industry of Civic and Gov Tech, and I am still keenly aware of the need for more racial and gender diversity.
While the Governing Institute reported that 78% of states report that they are taking steps to promote diversity among companies seeking government contracts, their efforts are limited by the number of women within the industry, since only about 3% of the tech startup industry are led or founded by women.
But the gender gap goes further than entrepreneurship. A new report from NCWIT (National Center for Women and Information Technology) indicates that women hold roughly one fourth of all computing jobs in the U.S., with 1% of that segment being Latina, 3% Black and 5% Asian women. Within leadership, those percentages are even less, with women making up 7% of CIO roles.
It is for this reason that I was thrilled to discover that among Onalytica's recently published list of the top 100 influencers in GovTech, the top influencer was a woman. Six women from across the globe are among the top twenty influencers - myself included. Here are the top ten women on that list - with each of their voices bringing diversity of thought, experience and ideas to the industry driving the technical innovations and civic solutions being deployed in our cities.
Karen Hunter @karenhunter (No. 1), Pulitzer Prize winning journalist
Patricia Williams @patricia1954 (No. 9), Business Advisor
Noelle Knell @GovTechNoelle (No. 12), Editor of GovTech News
Anne Lochoff @Lochoffs (No. 14), Smart Cities Strategies Knowledge Aggregator
Mariana Mazzucato @MazzucatoM (No. 20), Professor in the Economics of Innovation at SPRU, University of Sussex
Honorable Judy Foote @judy_foote (No. 29), Minister of Public Services and Procurement
Megan Eskey @meganesque (No. 30), Open Government Consultant
Alice Lipowicz @AliceLipowicz (No. 32), Writer and journalist
Jacqueline Poh @PohJacqueline (No. 33), Chief Executive of Government Technology Agency of Singapore