Just a decade ago, mentioning “women” along with “Silicon Valley” would more likely conjure a crude joke, rather than an image of successful women in the technology sector. But the world is finally recognising that the electronic kingdom is no longer ruled exclusively by men. It’s still a cliff-like climb for gender equality, but there has been some headway. Reddit CEO Ellen Pao is doing away with salary negotiation at her company, while Rachel Haot, deputy secretary for technology at the state of New York, was the first woman to be named the 2014 Chief Digital Officer (CDO) of the Year by the CDO Club. As shown in the list on the right, wealth intelligence firm Wealth-X has finally compiled a ranking of the most affluent women in tech.
These are some hopeful sums for women looking to make a mark in the industry, but they are unfortunately still glaringly lower than what tech’s most successful men earn (see sidebar). But events like Women In Tech and crowdfunding competitions like Women Startup Challenge are doing their bit for a fairer world for the fairer sex.
The former head honcho of eBay made most of her money through selling her shares in the e-commerce company, which she led from 1998 to 2008.
She joined the social media giant in 2008, and has also written the well-received book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead.
Also known as Peng Lei, the Chinese businesswoman is one of the founders of China’s biggest e-commerce company. She was ranked No. 53 on Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list last year.
Wang Hsiueh Hong
Co-founder, HTC Corp
Her father, Wang Yung Chung, may be one of the wealthiest men in Taiwan, but she created her own success with the founding of the successful smartphone and tablet manufacturer.
President and CEO, Yahoo
Before she joined Yahoo in 2012, Mayer was Google’s first woman engineer, and was responsible for many of its most successful products, from Google Earth to Gmail.