Today is International Women's Day and I was thinking about the women who had influenced my thinking in the mobile industry over the past year. I have to say, I thought twice about writing this blog - I didn't want to patronise or embarrass the individuals mentioned in this piece and that certainly is not my intention. At the end of the day, I have decided to publish as they all deserve to be recognised as the movers and shakers they are in the mobile and/or web and internet security world and after all, the theme this year is "make it happen"!
|No more glass ceilings|
In alphabetical order, I have included their twitter handles where appropriate, so you can follow them:
Karen Barber, Independent Mobile Business and Startup Advisor
I first met Karen at the ForumOxford event in May 2014. She has advised many mobile startups and continues to do so, helping people to productise and bring to market new mobile applications and services. Dedicated, with great connections, she is generous with time and advice.
Anne Bouverot, GSMA
|Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/itupictures/8094137683/ (CC BY 2.0)|
As Director General of the GSMA, an association of over 800 member network operators and associate companies, Anne has a huge job to herd the cats of the mobile industry whilst negotiating with the governments of the world over regulatory and policy concerns. She is one of only two women on the Board of the GSMA (Mari-Noëlle Jego-Laveissière of Orange recently joined). Only this week she highlighted that:1.7 billion women in low and middle income countries don't own a mobile phone - a gender gap of 200 million.
Melanie Ensign, FleishmanHillard
Virginie Galindo, Gemalto
As Chair of the W3C's Web Crypto group, Virginie has one of the hardest jobs in the web world. The recent rise in interest of encryption on the web has made this activity all the more important. In an almost entirely male group, with some extremely volatile and passionate personalities, Virginie has shown incredible leadership, leading to a seat on the Advisory Board of W3C.
Helen Keegan, Independent Mobile Marketing Specialist
Dominique Lazanski, GSMA
Sue Monahan, Small Cell Forum
Marie-Paule Odini, HP
Natasha Rooney, GSMA
Nico Sell, Wickr
Let's Make it Happen
There are many other women across the past year that have influenced me and that I have not mentioned. Some of those don't have a public profile or keep themselves to themselves, but they're also often unrecognised by their own companies. I'm constantly impressed by many women that are often juggling parenting responsibilities with international travel and partners who are also in busy careers.
The simple fact that I'm writing this shows that world society still has a long way to go, even in the West. Most of the meetings I go to are still populated by white middle aged suits (yes, me too!). Whilst most people in my age group have moved on from old stereotypes, you still hear some pretty shocking stories of prejudice and public humiliation towards women by bosses and colleagues.
To the male readers of this blog - I see many meetings where "he who shouts loudest" seems to be the "successful" conclusion of a lot of email discussions and meeting decisions. Next time you're speaking in a meeting - stop and think: perhaps you should listen to someone else's view? That person may be the woman next to you who isn't choosing to engage in the usual testosterone-fuelled meeting argument.
The glass ceilings do still exist, but there are lots of rays of light and it is great to see so many of my friends and colleagues doing so well. Long may it continue until the point we don't need an International Women's Day.
If you want to mention a woman in the mobile, security or web world who has inspired you, please leave a comment below!
Edit: 08/03/14 - some small edits and tidy-ups, and to actually put them in alphabetical order!