Female leaders in tech are blazing a trail that girls growing up will want to follow.

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Monday, December 24, 2018

World's Top 50 Women In Tech 2018
By: Helen A.S. Popkin

Many of the top technologists working in the world today are women - and they're unwilling to rest on their laurels. The 2018 World’s Top 50 Women In Tech is rich with serial entrepreneurs who continue to hone their STEM skills, build businesses, promote innovation and mentor the next generation of change agents. From blockchain to biotech, this international list of role models are beating the odds by working at what they love.

Experience across multiple tech sectors is the main marker in this, the final list of the Forbes three-part series of the Top 50 Women In Tech. Candidates include members of the top tech women in Europe, which launched in October, as well as those included on the U.S. list, which premiered in November. The global list introduces 11 new inductees who hail from Kenya, Nigeria, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, China, Israel and the UAE, all of whom are influencing the world.

Radian Partners principal Jennifer Zhu Scott founded and sold one of the first education companies in China, before building her international reputation as an advisor to fintech communities. Her background in applied mathematics and computer science primed her for both the Artificial Intelligence and blockchain revolutions. Now, she leads an investment firm focusing on AI, blockchain and energy while sharing her insights as an inaugural member of the World Economic Forum Blockchain Council and serving as a consultant for the HBO show “Silicon Valley.”

See full coverage of Forbes Top 50 Women In Tech

Monique Morrow is another technologist who sees blockchain’s many possibilities. The former Cisco CTO launched The Humanized Internet to work towards using the technology to build verifiable identities for the billion-plus people in the world who have none. She is also a venture partner at Sparklabs Accelerator for Cybersecurity and Blockchain and advises multiple international tech companies and organizations.

Prior to cofounding Kaltura, and open source video platform with $166 million in funding, Michal Tsur sold her cybersecurity startup Cyota to RSA for a cool $145 million. And she knows her business. After earning a doctorate in the application of game theoretic models to law from New York University, Tsur was a post-doctoral fellow at Yale Law School's Information Society Project, where she focused her research on Open Source.

Marita Cheng, a roboticist and Forbes Under 30 alumni, cofounded two companies as well as Robogals, an international student-run organization that has taught more than 70,000 girls’ at robotics workshops around the world. Her latest company, Aubot, builds telepresence robots designed for kids with cancer to virtually attend school, and people with disabilities to attend work.

Like Cheng, architect Charity Wanjiku is using her skills and drive to solve big problems. Through Strauss Energy, the company she cofounded with her brother Tony, Wanjiku is bringing reliable and affordable power to customers with solar tiles. She also makes it part of her business to mentor young women and women entrepreneurs.

Worldwide, women make up less than a third of the research and development job market, according to a 2017 report from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. More than half the women who work in tech-intensive industries are likely to leave, compared to the more than 20% of men who do the same. Women are less likely to serve on boards of STEM-focused companies among those on the Forbes 2000.  But when they do, they’re twice as likely as men to have tech skills, which, like the women on our lists, makes them all the more impressive.


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