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Women tech leaders: Marissa Mayer — Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer is a major figure in the tech industry. She started out at Google in as its first female engineer. Virginia M. Rometty is the chief executive officer and chairwoman of IBM. She was previously the head of eBay. Women tech leaders: Safra Catz — Safra Catz has been an executive at Oracle Corporation since April , and a board member since She is now chief financial officer and co-president of the company.

Sandy Carter serves as IBM's worldwide general manager, ecosystem development and social business and is one of the key leaders responsible for setting the direction for IBM's social business initiative. Women tech leaders: Angela Ahrendts — Angela Ahrendts served as chief executive of Burberry for many years.

Technology is feminism's friend and foe

In October , Apple announced that Ahrendts would join the company as a retail executive, overseeing the strategic direction, expansion and operation of both Apple retail and online stores. Imagine that Twitter existed when Gloria Steinem helped usher in the women's liberation movement of the s and s. How much louder a voice would she and other feminists of that time have had to bring attention to the unequal economic, political and social rights of women?

Would we be further along on that still incomplete path to equal rights if they had the technological resources we have today? Suppose the Internet were available in the developing world several decades ago; how much more aware would girls have been about the world around them? How much more attention would have been paid to the harsh treatment of many girls worldwide?

Human Liberty 2.0 Advancing Universal Rights in the Digital Age

Or what if groups of anonymous online activists, who have exposed sexual abuse against young women, were around 20 or 30 years ago? How many rapes would not have been swept under the rug? It's heady to think what modern connective technology could have done for women if it existed years ago and how it's empowering women and girls around the world today.

At the same time, some of the very technology that is moving us forward could also be setting us back by making harassment and exploitation of women easier. That intersection of technology and empowerment was the subject of a panel I was honored to participate in during this year's South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. More Videos Intel President wants more women in tech Smith: There's 'history of inherent bias' Meet the female Mark Zuckerberg Maggie Neilson is partner and chief executive officer of Global Philanthropy Group , an organization that helps charitable foundations, corporations and celebrities provide philanthropic services.

She cited as one example her company's work with Gucci last year, helping the company start an online platform called Chime for Change, which began as a global concert.

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The initiative, co-founded by Beyonce, Salma Hayek and Frida Giannini, an Italian fashion designer, helps bring together voices speaking out for girls and women around the world in the areas of education, health and justice. The impact of celebrities getting involved and putting the word out has led to extraordinary results, she said. We've had young women in the United Kingdom receive mentoring help," said Neilson, who added that these feats were accomplished because the technology existed to connect people. Photos: Famous women in history.

The historical analogs of brilliant women — Emmy Noether , right, is featured in the March 23, Google doodle in commemoration of what would be her rd birthday. The math wizard came up with an algebraic theorem that connected two fundamental laws of physics.


Noether's Theory is seen by some to be as important as Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. In fact, Einstein considered Noether to be the most significant female mathematician. Harvard professor Lisa Randall , left, researches theoretical particles and cosmology. By connecting the ideas about theoretical particles to the questions about the universe that physicists have yet to answer, she has developed new understanding about dark matter and extra dimensions in space.

Click through the gallery for more women pioneers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and their modern counterparts.

The historical analogs of brilliant women — Grace Murray Hopper, an American computer scientist and U. She also coined the term "debugging" in reference to fixing a computer. Hopper paved the way for other females in computer science, including University of California at Berkeley Professor Katherine Yelick.

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She is the co-author of two books and more than technical papers on parallel languages, compilers, algorithms, libraries, architecture, and storage. She led the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center from to -- a high-performance computing facility that helps scientists run tests. Now, nearly a decade and a half later, we are clearly losing the continuing battle between individual freedom and collective conformity that has marked the history of human society. The right to be left alone—to think, to experiment, to contemplate—has been essential to the development of individual personality.

How technology helps feminism and poses challenges - CNN

Do I exaggerate? Of course, none of this is a complete surprise. That defense came in a forceful affirmation of the right to privacy in a Har v a r d Law Journal article by future United States Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis in The freedom to be left alone, simple though it may sound, embodies the most basic of human rights.

If the individual cannot find sanctuary in his home and person, he is easy prey for avenging governments, rapacious mobs, and exploitive robbers. Some call it the right to privacy, which puts the emphasis on seclusion for personal activity, but the framers of the Constitution used the stronger concept of security, as in creating a strong barrier to the intrusions of outside power. Gradually the scope of these legal rights broadened.

Brandeis went on to join the Supreme Court, where his famous dissenting decision in Olmstead v. Thanks to advances in technology that Brandeis could not have imagined, the reach of government and private corporations now extends far beyond the whisper in the closet. Overhearing conversations that the participants are lulled into assuming are private, when they are anything but, is the advertising model of the Internet. Facebook, as far back as July , according to US A Today, had over million members who would upload more than 25 billion pieces of content each month.

Twitter has more than million active users, and the Library of Congress recently announced that it will be acquiring and permanently storing the entire record of public Twitter posts. That week, the NSA files leaked by Snowden revealed that the federal government has full access to all phone records and to the vast trove of presumably private personal data posted on the Internet.

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The most sacred tenet of American individualism, the right to be left alone, had been squandered, almost without notice. A new military-intelligence complex had come into its own based on the unprecedented power of spy agencies, unleashed by the urgency of a so-called War on Terror, fused with the previously unimaginable intrusion into private space wrought by the Internet revolution. It was a perfect storm. The snoopers, both state and corporate, now had the capacity for massive storage and search functions, able to move far beyond the level of surveillance ever deemed permissible, or even possible, by the constitutional framers.

The mainstream media had finally began to focus seriously on the loss of privacy, which was old news to a brave group of government whistleblowers who had attempted to sound the alarm and been severely punished for their efforts to hold their government accountable. President Bush signed the measure into law on October 26, Laws regarding wiretapping, searches of homes, examination of mail, the right to due process, and even freedom from arbitrary and secret arrest were suddenly neutered.

The power of the Patriot Act to undermine our freedoms was evident as a nagging thought even in the minds of some members of Congress who voted for its far-reaching provisions. In March , however, President Bush signed new legislation passed by Congress that reauthorized the most controversial provisions, and on May 26, , President Obama, while traveling in France, used an autopen to extend the reach of onerous provisions of the act another four years.

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