Women in the technology field are still an anomaly, but the few female leaders who have taken the tech world by storm are proving that gender bias has no place in this fast-paced and quickly evolving field.
Tune into Full Frame on CGTN America at 5:00 pm ET on January 21, 2017. Or watch the live stream of the program at www.cgtn.com/america/livenews.
This week on Full Frame, conversations with women who are out to smash barriers and pave new paths for women in business and technology.
Yasmin Belo-Osagie: Women business leaders in Africa
According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rate of female entrepreneurship in the world. As of 2012, 27% of women were taking part in entrepreneurial activity. Now, industry leaders around the world are helping to fuel this momentum.
Yasmin Belo-Osagie is the co-founder of She Leads Africa, a social enterprise that supports the growth of African female entrepreneurs. The group provides women with career and business resources to foster a community of ambitious tech leaders.
They focus on younger women with mentoring as the key component. They give the entrepreneurs access to experts in the field via Twitter Chats and Google Hangouts and allow them to book one-on-one sessions with various business coaches.
A former management consultant, Yasmin and her team are working to show the world the innovative spirit of Africa’s brightest women – a spirit often born out of a necessity, but one that is now thriving and making an impact across the continent.
Yasmin Belo-Osagie joined May Lee from Boston, Massachusetts to discuss the cultural and business challenges faced by female entrepreneurs in the developing world.
Jenny Lee: Chinese women in tech
The worst kept secret in Silicon Valley is that tech firms have a major gender diversity problem.
Men dominate the top jobs and very qualified women are still fighting to break that thick glass ceiling in the tech world.
In China, it’s a very different story.
In fact, according to official statistics, China’s tech start-up scene has boomed in the past two years, with more than 4.8 million companies registered since March 2014 to May 2015.
And women founders were behind more than 10% of these new ventures.
As one of the world’s top-ranked venture capitalists, Jenny Lee is at the forefront of China’s tech boom.
She became a managing partner at GGV Capital in 2005 and has been a key player in some of the company’s most successful deals – including investing in Xiaomi, one of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers.
She’s also the only woman among the top 10 on the 2015 Forbes Midas list – meaning the tech startups she chooses to invest in, all “turn to gold.”
Jenny joined May Lee from Shanghai with her message that success in the tech world isn’t about gender — it’s about passion.
Connect with Jenny Lee on Facebook
Sophia Viklund: The rise of women coders
Even though women make up nearly 50% of the workforce in the United States, they hold less than a quarter of STEM jobs – jobs in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Sophia Viklund has made it her mission to change that statistic.
She is a tech entrepreneur who began coding in her college dorm room. Since then, Sophia has co-founded New Sun Technologies, a Silicon Valley-based tech innovation company. Her work has not only paid off, it’s also garnered some serious attention. In 2012, she was named a “Female Founder to Watch” by Forbes Magazine and in 2013 she made their list of “12 Gaming Women to Watch.”
Sophia Viklund joined May Lee in Los Angeles to discuss the impact of women in STEM jobs and her hope for aspiring female tech leaders.
Ayanna Howard: A robot for everyone
Designing robots that can think and rovers that explore Mars for NASA are just a few of the projects that Georgia Institute of Technology Professor Ayanna Howard has checked off her To-Do list.
But when she is asked about her proudest achievement, she doesn’t mention the numerous degrees or awe-inspiring inventions. She beams about the female students who are now following in her footsteps and points out that diversity in the science and technology field is no longer the stuff of sci-fi stories.
On this week’s Full Frame Close Up, we meet Ayanna Howard, a dynamic teacher, leader, explorer and innovator — a woman in technology who’s really making a difference.