August has been an exciting month for SpaceX, which launched its 10th Starlink Mission last week. That launch added 57 more satellites to the Starlink fleet (bringing the total number to 595) and ended a busy week that started with the return of two NASA astronauts to Earth, as well as the first low-altitude test flight of SpaceX’s next-generation Starship.
And, did you know that the President and Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX is a woman? In this article, we celebrate Gwynne Shotwell, who this year was named the 55th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. We also look at four other amazing women who are helping propel us into the future through their work in technology. They show us that the future will be shaped by those who are willing to step up and be a part of something big!
Gwynne Shotwell has done some amazing work in the tech industry, including helping to design spacecraft and rockets that improve possibilities for space exploration. When SpaceX started in 2002, Shotwell was one of the first employees, and since then, she has become the company’s president and hopes to help SpaceX develop a transportation system that will take the first humans to Mars. What an inspiration!
Susan Wojcicki got her start in a rather odd way—she rented out her garage to Google’s cofounders in 1998, becoming their 16th employee in 1999. However, before that, she went to university to study history and literature at Harvard, but once she took an introductory computer science course, her path changed. Years later, while working for Google, Wojcicki pushed for the company to buy YouTube, where she is now the successful CEO.
Ginni Rometty got her start in technology in 1981, when she began working for IBM. She found great success at IBM, and in 2011, she was selected as the company’s first female CEO. Rometty helped IBM develop their capabilities in many areas of technology, and, just as importantly, she promoted diversity and inclusion at IBM. This year, she decided to step down as CEO, but she remains one of the most influential women in the field of technology and a great inspiration for women everywhere.
Amy Hood didn’t study technology. Instead, she focused on studying business administration and economics. However, that didn’t stop her from becoming a leader in the tech industry. Hood joined Microsoft in 2002, and only eleven years later, she became the company’s chief financial officer, a position that has helped Microsoft continue its impressive growth path.
Sheryl Sandberg has been part of the tech industry since 2001, when she joined Google to manage its ad program. She worked there until 2008, when she decided she needed a new set of challenges and began to work for Facebook as its chief operating officer. Besides her work in tech, she is an advocate for women’s equality and founded an organization called Lean In with the mission of helping women achieve their ambitions and work to create an equal world.
Each of these women is living proof that we are all are capable of becoming leaders in whatever field we are interested in. If we are willing to push ourselves and overcome obstacles, we can do what we love and find success.