Having largely been held back from the tech field at an institutional level for so long (barring emergency circumstances, such as those that came about during World War 2 at Bletchley Park), many women in recent years have discovered, much to their satisfaction, that this industry suits them exceedingly well for various reasons.
One of the core benefits of the digital world is that it can provide equal opportunity, robbing insignificant factors like gender or race of their significance in determining success. If you have the desire to forge an entrepreneurial career, you need little more than a stable internet connection and the talent and skill to deliver results — no one can stop you from achieving your goals.
Perhaps because they know what it is to struggle and be denied chances, female founders are building businesses that are achieving great things and are proving hugely inspirational, particularly when it comes to social issues. Let’s take a look at 5 tech-based and female-founded companies that are leading the way:
Founded by Jess Ladd, Callisto is a charitable organization that develops technology to identify repeat perpetrators of sexual assault, empowering victims to report attacks in a secure way while knowing that the information they provide may well help prevent more incidents.
Ladd has worked relentlessly to support sexual health and victims of sexual crimes, spending time as a public policy associate at the AIDS Institute as well as serving as an educator and researcher for myriad organizations. She detailed her hopes for the future in her 2016 talk.
Founded by Julia Kurnia, Zidisha is a peer-to-peer microlending service built to help entrepreneurs in developing countries achieve their dreams. Skipping any intermediaries, it simply connects forward-thinking investors with promising talents, allowing everyone to proceed efficiently and benefit greatly from the resulting success.
Kurnia founded the company because she wanted to help overcome the international wealth divide, and saw the digital world as the ideal solution, having realized the power of “using the internet to connect today’s internet-capable youth in developing countries with web-based marketplaces” — put community funding into the mix with powerful ecommerce solutions such as flexible payment gateways and localized expansion stores, and anyone (no matter their location) can have the tools they need to build an empire.
Founded by Tatyana Kanzaveli, the Open Health Network pursues the goal of ensuring that medical data is kept private while being shared by various healthcare providers, using blockchain technology to achieve secure HIPAA compliance. It serves as a middle ground between patients and providers, giving all parties involved what they need — something that’s desperately needed given the immense growth of the online health industry.
Kanzaveli has led a storied life, achieving incredible things over the years. She’s been a champion chess player, worked her way up from programmer to senior executive, and spoken at the United Nations, and is now innovating in the healthcare world through OHN (as well as serving as a mentor to other budding business founders).
Founded by Katherine Nammacher, RideAlong is a tool designed to help health workers and police officers deal with the areas they serve more effectively by equipping them with detailed information on how they can better meet the needs of vulnerable people. For instance, a police officer heading to deal with a domestic disturbance can check the system to discern if anyone present has a mental illness that needs to be handled delicately.
Nammacher explained her motivations to Techcrunch: “The thing about law enforcement is they are interacting with individuals who have been failed by the rest of society and social support networks. We want to help create a dialogue toward a more perfect future for people who are having some really rough things happen to them. Police officers also want that future.”
Founded by Shadiah Sigala, Kinside is a tool designed to help parents and guardians find, book and pay trustworthy childcare providers, all while ensuring that hired workers are properly incentivized with attractive benefits. With more and more women entering the workforce, it’s more important than ever that good childcare is accessible to all.
Having a newborn herself, Sigala — also the co-founder of client management software company HoneyBook — is understandably committed to making that vision of the future a reality, and the company seems set for even bigger things in the future.
Every one of these tech-based businesses is doing more than pursuing profit. These female founders are contributing to the world in inspirational ways, helping to protect people from violence, look after vulnerable people, keep data secure, support parents, and give entrepreneurs in the developing world better chances to do just that: develop.
Author: Kayleigh Alexandra (Microstartups)