- Nine women from the tech sector were named in Fortune's Most Power Women list, highlighting the impact female tech leadership has on the global economy. Other fields were represented by far fewer women, such as pharmaceuticals with only three winners.
- Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg came in at five, followed by IBM CEO Ginni Rometty at six and HPE CEO Meg Whitman at seven. Oracle Co-CEO Safra Catz made spot number eight with praise for leading Oracle's 2016 acquisition of NetSuite. Google CFO Ruth Porat came in at ten. Google's shares increased by 70% after she assumed the role in 2015, according to Fortune.
- The list is comprised of 51 women, including 26 CEOs who control a $1.1 trillion market cap. Fortune's editors selected the winners based on the size and importance of their respective organization, its ranking in the global economy and their own cultural influence.
Women in tech made up nearly a tenth of Fortune's list, emphasizing both the importance tech has on all industries and the influence held in such positions.
However, the scarce presence of women in tech overall plagues the industry; most leadership roles, in particular, are filled by men. A 2016 report of 1,000 U.S. companies found just 5% of women fill the CEO role and only 19% of CIOs are women.
Despite efforts to grow women's presence in tech, the gender gap remains. Less than 20% of the workforce in Silicon Valley-based companies such as Google, Intel and Apple are women. About 30% of leadership in major tech companies like Twitter, Amazon and Apple are comprised of women. There are exceptions like Cisco, where 42.8% of leadership roles are filled by women.
Initiatives are continuing to pop up to encourage young girls to become engaged with tech and fill leadership roles. Girls Scouts of the USA announced a partnership with Palo Alto Networks in June to create a cybersecurity badge. Rometty, a former Girl Scout, serves as a mentor for the organization.