Women in IT: A seat at the table

10 female IT leaders who have pioneered a path to the C-suite

By , ITworld |  IT Management, Carly Fiorina, Carol Bartz

Meg Whitman

Meg Whitman speaks at the Tech Museum in San Jose, CA February 17, 2009. Photo by Max Morse.
Image credit: megwhitman2010/flickr

Current: Member of the board of directors at HP, Zipcar, Teach for America, and Proctor & Gamble

Former: Republican nominee for Governor of California; CEO, eBay; various executive positions at The Walt Disney Company, DreamWorks, Proctor & Gamble, Hasbro

Impact: When Whitman joined eBay in 1998 there were thirty employees; when she left in 2008 there were 15,000. She structured the company for growth, tweaking and growing the management ranks to accommodate the site's fast climb in popularity and eventually taking the company public. She was named one of the Top 5 Most Powerful Women by Fortune Magazine more than once.

Padmasree Warrior

Image credit: Joi/flickr

Current: CTO, senior vice president and general manager of enterprise, commercial and small Business, Cisco

Former: CTO, Motorola

Impact: Warrior leads a team of 10,000 engineers at Cisco that focus on the networking vendor's core architecture development. When she took the role of CTO at Motorola in 2003, she marked the first time that a woman made it to the executive ranks at that company.

Kim Polese

Image credit:silent-penguin/flickr

Current: Advisor, ClearStreet

Former: CEO, SpikeSource; co-founder and CEO of Marimba; product manager at Sun Microsystems

Impact: Polese made her mark on the technology industry early on in her career by convincing colleagues at Sun to change the name of its programming language from "Oak" to "Java." Polese went on to start Marimba and led the company through its IPO and acquisition by BMC Software for $239 million. She later became CEO of SpikeSource, an open source software tool maker, which last November was acquired by Black Duck Software for an undisclosed amount.

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