Behind Every (Really) Successful Company Is A Woman

Perhaps not yet, but considering the statistics and research with respect to how companies with diversity in the boardroom outperform their peers, there should be.

A recent TechCrunch article authored by VC Aileen Lee (@AileenLee) from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers makes a compelling case as to why your next board member should be a woman. While Ms. Lee focused on the financial benefits associated with a more gender-diverse board, the same studies cited a correlation between diversity of gender on boards with a variety of less quantifiable measures such as innovation, reputation, and a healthier mix of women at all levels of corporate leadership.

Higher success rates. More innovation. Higher profits. Better reputations. What’s not to like?

For cloud-focused companies, what’s not to like is the dearth of skilled professionals at all levels necessary to maintain the evolutionary rate at which it is moving. A January 2012 CRN article noted, “The cloud computing market is evolving at such a pace that while the number of job postings is skyrocketing, the talent isn’t there to fill the positions.”

So if it’s difficult to attract talent because of overwhelming demand, how might one attract the admittedly fewer women in technology to your organization?

Poornima Vijayashanker, the first female engineer at Mint and now CEO of BizeeBee, stated it plainly in a New York Times article last year, “If we want more women to be in tech, then we have to have a set of role models.” That sentiment is echoed by entrepreneur turned venture capitalist Cindy Padnos, who suggests more companies, “demonstrate, by bringing women into senior roles, that they have an opportunity to succeed here.”

And if such a strategy is applicable to start-ups, it’s likely applicable within the cloud computing industry as well.

The problem then becomes finding the right person – one who is a woman in technology may be difficult enough, but one who is also a leader in cloud computing? That’s a more daunting task. So we’d like to follow Ms. Lee’s lead in offering up a list of top female talent for consideration in the board room with a list focusing on top female talent specifically in cloud computing, each of whom was recently recognized by CloudNOW as one of the Top Women in Cloud:

• Padmasree Warrior, CTO, Cisco
• Lauren States, CTO of Cloud Computing, IBM
• Vanessa Alvarez, Analyst, Infrastructure and Operations, Forrester Research
• Jamie Dos Santos, President of Terremark, a Verizon company
• Jill T. Singer, CIO of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)
• Becky Swain, Founder of the Cloud Security Alliance
• Lori MacVittie, Senior Technical Analyst, F5 Networks
• Ellen Rubin, Founder of CloudSwitch, Terremark, a Verizon company
• Dawn Leaf, Senior Executive for Cloud Computing, NIST
• Jamie Erbes, Cloud Labs Director, HP Fellow, HP

CloudNOW chose to honor these specific women, but this is just a sample of the great female talent available to the industry. Whom else would you recommend?

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