The world of technology is male-dominated and women have not been given their dues for their contributions. From Katherine Johnson whose calculations made NASA’s first space exploration possible, to Mary Wilkes who helped develop the first personal computer, there is so much that women have done in tech, which is exactly why we need to talk more about them.
Susan Wojcicki, the longest-tenured CEO in YouTube’s history; Dr Lisa Su, President and CEO of AMD; Peng Lei, one of the founders of the Alibaba group; and Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder of Bumble, are a few names that you don’t want to miss.
Let us look at some everyday applications that were developed by women:
The inspiration to start PregBuddy came when Sivareena’s cousin underwent a miscarriage in her fourth month.
This incident had a huge impact on her which resulted in PregBuddy. Sivareena started a WhatsApp group of 200-plus expectant mothers and observed the conversations happening in the group for more than five months. Once the group crossed 100,000 conversations a month, she decided to go full-time with the idea. PregBuddy is a peer-to-peer reassurance platform for mothers based on their trimester, language, region, location, medical conditions, etc.
Jo Aggarwal launched ‘Stay Close’, an app that helps people fight loneliness. She soon realised that the market wasn’t ready for a product like that.
After she had to drop the idea, she slipped into depression, which is when she got the idea for the development of Wysa, an AI-enabled life coach for mental and emotional wellness. The app has helped over two-and-a-half million people. The completely anonymous app was recommended as the best app to handle COVID-19 stress and anxiety. The app is completely research-backed, is based on techniques like CBT, DBT, yoga, meditation, etc, to help its users with depression, anxiety, sleep, and a range of mental illnesses.
Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder and CEO of Bumble, was named as one of Elle’s Women in Tech, in 2016. The dating and social app has more than 100 million users across the world. Bumble is a female-friendly app as it allows women to make the first move. Herd became the Vice President for Marketing at Tinder, and is credited as the one behind the name of the app.
She majored in International Studies, and she first showed signs of entrepreneurship when she started a bamboo tote bags business to help areas affected by the BP oil spill. In 2020, Forbes listed Herd at number 39 in its list of the top 100 “America’s richest self-made women.” In 2018, she was named in the TIME 100 list.
Payal Kadakia’s ClassPass is a boutique fitness membership platform launched in 2013. After its Series E funding round this year, the company is valued at $1 billion. In 2011, she started a dance company called Sa Dance, instead of going to a business school. The idea for ClassPass germinated when she was trying to find a ballet class. The membership platform allows users to attend a fixed number of classes per month. The app has more than five million classes available each month, and has tie-ups with 30,000 partner studios and gyms.
It is one of the biggest social networking apps for women where they can share their interests through videos and apps. Women can get free health and legal advice, get work from home opportunities, learn about online businesses, and so on. They are even offering loans for women at cheap rates. Sairee Chahal, Founder and CEO of SHEROES, aims to solve the problems of gender disparity in India. More than a million women have been deeply impacted by SHEROES.
Sairee has an MPhil from JNU and a PGDBM from IMT Ghaziabad. She is also the convenor of The SHEROES Summit. She is a recipient of many awards, including the Femina Achievers Award, Cartier Award, Editor’s Choice for L’Oreal Femina Women’s Award, Business Today, etc.
(Edited by Kanishk Singh)