Top 10 Women Leaders in Business and Technology to Follow in 2018

By Danni White - Published on March 8, 2018

The field of technology largely remains a male-dominated industry. While women account for approximately 50% of the entire U.S. workforce, they still only represent about 26% of the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce. Unequal opportunities to climb the ladder, unequal pay for the same skills and level of education, and gender bias are just three of the primary factors that seem to hold some women back from advancing in this field.

However, while slow, much progress has been made over the past few years. An increasing number of people are seeing the need to give platforms to women leaders in technology, and some women are putting their best efforts forward to create an environment in which all women can thrive and succeed. Thanks to the hard work, passion, and persistence of some, women everywhere have a lot to celebrate when it comes to progress in STEM-related fields.

On this International Women’s Day of 2018, we have compiled a list of 10 women leaders in technology, marketing, human resources, media, and finance who are not only admired executives in their companies and experts in their industry, but also are passionate, creative, and inspiring. They run some of the brightest companies, create some of the best products, and disrupt industries. There is still a glass ceiling but it is slowly cracking to create pathways for women and girls to learn, grow, create, innovate, and empower.


Padmasree Warrior is the Chief Executive Officer of NIO U.S., an electric and autonomous vehicle design startup company based in China, and the Chief Development Officer at NextEV Inc., a Chinese electric car company. Before that, she was Chief Technology and Strategy Officer at Cisco for over 7 years, a role in which she aligned technology development and corporate strategy to help the company lead 16 major market acquisitions. While at Motorola, she served as Corporate Vice President and Chief Technology Officer and was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 2004. Trained in engineering at Cornell University, she divides her time between running NIO and mentoring women in technology.
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Julie Larson-Green is the Chief Experience Officer at Qualtrics, a research and experience software company that aims to close the gaps in customer experiences through technology. Before joining Qualtrics at the beginning of 2018, Larson-Green worked at Micro41soft since the early 1990s, serving in a wide range of roles including Vice President and Executive Vice President of the Windows Division and Chief Experience Officer of the Applications and Services Group and the Office Experience Organization. She is deeply passionate about building technology that takes care of some of the tedious and time-consuming tasks and helps people focus on what they do best.
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Dara Treseder is the Chief Marketing Officer for GE Ventures, a division of General Electric that focuses on innovation, investing, new market development, and community transformation. She is passionate about the cross-sector of marketing and technology and believes problems existing in both the public and private sectors can be solved through technological innovation. Recognized as a thought leader and expert in marketing, she previously led marketing and growth efforts at Goldman Sachs and Apple. In addition to her work at GE, she sits on the board of the Public Health Institute and passionately champions women’s issues, public health, and diversity initiatives.
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Angela Ahrendts is the Senior Vice President of Retail at Apple, a role in which she is responsible for the strategy, real estate and development, and operations of all Apple stores including those online. Her career spans over three decades in the fashion industry. Before joining Apple, she was the Chief Executive Officer of Burberry, the British brand known for its luxury clothing and handbags. She led the company to a fantastic period of growth around the world. Prior to Burberry, she served as Executive Vice President of Liz Claiborne as well as President of Donna Karan International. Her thorough expertise in marketing has allowed her to become Apple’s highest paid executive for several consecutive years.
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Mary Meeker is a Partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in which she helps lead the firm’s Digital Growth Funds. After joining in 2010, she went to work focusing on digital practices and targeting internet companies that have achieved fast growth, adoption, and scale. Before moving to venture capitalism, Meeker worked for nearly 20 years at Morgan Stanley as a securities analyst and then as a managing director and research analyst. Along with being a well-versed writer of several industry-defining books including The Internet Report in 1995 and The Mobile Internet Report in 2009, she has focused on supporting companies through major growth phases and building relationships with entrepreneurs.
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Ruth Porat is the Chief Financial Officer at Alphabet and at its subsidiary, Google. An alum of Wall Street, she is known to be a cost cutter in her field of financial expertise. At Alphabet, she reined in excessive spending on several moonshot divisions, and for the first time in the company’s history, she established protocols for financial discipline. Her efforts saw revenue increase to $90 billion in 2016 alone. Prior to joining Alphabet and Google, Porat worked at Morgan Stanley, giving the United States Treasury advise about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and advising the New York Federal Reserve Bank about AIG.


Gabrielle Toledano is the Chief People Officer at Tesla. She has over 25 years of experience as a leader in Human Resources in the technology industry. In the early 1990s and 2000s, she served as Senior HR Business Partner at Oracle and Microsoft. She went on to work with Electronic Arts, Slack Technologies, Siebel Systems and several other companies in Human Resources. She has extensive experience in the gaming industry and in strategic talent development. As a result, she sits on the board of Glu Mobile, Jive Software, and Jhana.

Liane Hornsey is the Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer at Uber, a role she took in 2017 as the ride-hailing technology company was struggling through the waves of mismanagement issues among leadership and widespread harassment allegations. Hornsey has been able to help stabilize the company in the area of human resources, adding to the mix her massive experience in running an HR department at large, public company. Prior to joining Uber, she was the Vice President of Global People Operations at Google and the Chief Administrative Officer and Operating Partner at SoftBank. She is passionate about creating positive cultural change and a diverse, inclusive workplace.


Jessica Naziri is the Founder of, an online lifestyle brand and blog that is aimed at educating, entertaining, and empowering modern, digitally savvy women through technology. Naziri’s goal is to make technology news, reviews, and information as understandable and accessible as possible to millennial women around the world. Prior to launching her own brand and website, she worked as a technology news reporter for The Los Angeles Times,, and CNN. Her knowledge on apps, smartphones, social media, and everything in between has been published on, Yahoo!, Business Insider, and Mashable.
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Arianna Huffington is the Founder and CEO of Thrive Global, a media and technology company that is focused on behavior change through solutions based in science that lower stress, increase sleep, and enhance wellbeing and productivity in all aspects of life. Prior to forming Thrive Global, Huffington was the Founder, President and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post Media Group. While she serves on the boards of Uber and The Center for Public Integrity, she is perhaps equally as well-known for writing nearly 20 books including 2 international bestsellers, Thrive and The Sleep Revolution.
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For women everywhere, these 10 female leaders represent a microcosm of the potential that women have to make a difference in the world around them. There is plenty of progress to be happy about and plenty of opportunities to keep working toward the common goals of empowerment, inspiration, leadership, and service. #HappyWomensDay #InternationalWomensDay

Danni White | Danni White is the CEO of DW Creative Consulting Agency, a digital marketing firm specializing in elevating the visibility of small-to-midsize businesses and nonprofits. She is the author of 17 books and hosts the #Hashtags and Habits Podcast, which merges digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and personal growth.

Danni White |Danni White is the CEO of DW Creative Consulting Agency, a digital marketing firm specializing in elevating the visibility of small-to-midsize businesses and nonprofits. She is the author of 17 books and hosts the #Hashtags and Habits Podcast, which merges digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and personal growth.

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