Sexy and technology aren’t always two words you hear together. In fact women and technology aren’t two words you hear together that often, unless it’s highlighting the overwhelming lack of the former within the latter. That said, these ten women represent high-powered entrepreneurs, executive, artists and techies who are defying statistics, pioneering the industry and making a name for themselves. From ecommerce to marketing to blogging, spanning from corporate to indie, our top ten have taken the high-tech industry by storm, and quite frankly, they look good doing it!
Cyan Banister, Entrepreneur & Artist
Cyan was born into a family of artists and grew up around paint, photography and music. From these beginnings, she developed a life-long appreciation for the arts that eventually inspired the Zivity platform, an ad-free social network for models, photographers, and video artists. This platform she created is a new way for artists to profitably connect directly with their fans in the rapidly changing digital media landscape.
Cyan has held many leadership roles throughout her career, from leading technical operations teams in an enterprise software company to helping women master technology as CTO of a nonprofit organization. She is also an angel investor and has invested in Facebook, EQAL, Mimoco, OtherInbox, Thumbtack, Tagged, Hot Potato, Powerset, Topsy and others.
Cyan is also an event and portrait photographer and enjoys jugglers and magicians.
Heather Meeker brings over 13 years of experience working in communications, marketing and sales for technology companies. She started her career working in public relations for EarthLink and held similar positions at start-ups including Stamps.com and Homestore.com. After Sept 11, Meeker transitioned into an entirely new career in pharmaceutical sales at Pfizer, selling blockbuster drugs including Zithromax, Lipitor and Viagra. Despite success, Meeker decided her passion was communications and took a role as PR Manager for Yahoo Search Marketing followed by Manager of Burson Marsteller’s Consumer Technology Practice. Today, she holds the position of Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications for geo-location start-up Pelago – makers of Whrrl. In addition, she volunteers as an Advisor for the LA Chapter of Girls in Tech.
Melissa Salas is the Marketing Director at Buy.com. That’s right. The Director. Of Marketing. At Buy.com. Talk about a power player. She has also been the host of BuyTV for four years. She is the recipient of the 2008 Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award Winner for Affiliate Manager of the Year. She joined Buy.com in 2000 & manages various online marketing campaigns as well as their Affiliate Program. Born & raised in Southern California, she attended Long Beach State University & graduated with a BA in Communications & minored in Interpersonal Communication & Business Organization. She lives in Orange County & her hobbies include traveling, kickboxing, dance, going to live shows, concerts, the beach, Angels, Lakers, Chargers and of course USC FOOTBALL games! Check out Melissa on Twitter: @MelissaDSalas
Jolie O’Dell, Social Media & Tech Reporter
Jolie O’Dell is a journalist and startup veteran with a decade of experience in writing and editing the news. Formerly a writer and community manager for ReadWriteWeb and a freelance writer for tech blogs and various print publications, Jolie now writes on social media and technology for Mashable. She graduated from Shenandoah University with a B.A. in Media Studies in 2004; as a student journalist, she won state and national awards, helped teach and manage a team of reporters, and made it out alive with high honors.
Veronica is a technology and gaming-centric video host based out of San Francisco. Currently her projects include Qore (a monthly interactive magazine about the PS3 for Sony) and Tekzilla (a weekly tech help and how-to show on Revision3.com). She has also written for Slate, DoubleX, MaximumPC and PC Gamer. Veronica initially made her mark as a producer and on-air talent for CNET Networks (now CBS Interactive). She worked on such shows as Buzz Out Loud, MP3 Insider, Crave, and Prizefight. In 2007 she left CNET to host the eclectic video show Mahalo Daily, which was named one of the top new podcasts in 2008 on iTunes. An avid gamer and social-networking junkie (with over 1 million Twitter followers), Veronica often speaks about her interests at conferences and panels. She has also been the emcee at events for companies such as gdgt, Boxee, MacHeist and RiffTrax. In her spare time, she co-hosts the science fiction and fantasy podcast The Sword and Laser with Tom Merritt. She lives with one technology writer and two cats (and too many gadgets). Veronica graduated from Emerson College, B.A. in Audio/Radio, focus in New Media studies.
Deirdre K. Breakenridge is President, Executive Director of Communications at Mango! Marketing. Deirdre is the author of four Financial Times books. Her most recent book, “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations,” co-authored by Brian Solis and published in March 2009, is available in major bookstores and online. She has also authored: “PR 2.0, New Media, New Tools, New Audiences,” “The New PR Toolkit” and “Cyberbranding: Brand Building in the Digital Economy.” Deirdre is an adjunct professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey where she teaches courses on Public Relations and Interactive Marketing for the Global Business Management program. Deirdre speaks nationally and internationally on the topics of PR and social media communications.She was named Woman of the Year in 2009 by the National Association of Professional Executive Women (NAPEW). Deirdre is a contributing editor of TechConnect, PRSA’s technology newsletter. She blogs about PR 2.0 strategies and is the co-founder of #PRStudChat, a dynamic Twitter discussion scheduled monthly for PR students, educators and PR pros.
Jenn’s a search technology geek, artist and musician. She is the CEO and founder of Rtist.com, a free, real-time, no-commission online marketplace and social meeting place for artists, art lovers and everyone else who enjoys immersion in a positive, humanistic art experience. Artists and art lovers are free to buy, sell, make conversation, chat, critique, ask questions, make recommendations, discuss art and artists, list shows/events, identify favorite artists, art buyers and art enthusiasts; and search for art by artist, rating, price, keyword and tags such as medium, color and texture. Rtist.com – basically a utopia for artists. When you think of sexy what comes to mind? How about someone who is rocking the web right now with a site that is only 8 weeks old? How about someone who is confident and self motivated? Jenn Allen is an entrepreneur and not just any entrepreneur either. She is the Sexiest Female Entrepreneur of 2010 according to getyourbizsavvy.com (if you don’t already know).
Joanna Lord is the co-founder and CMO at TheOnlineBeat, a comparison job search site and job resource. Joanna is a PPC expert and well versed in Internet marketing, SEO, social media and traditional media. She is a regular fixture at industry conferences and from what I can tell she can drink any guy under the table. She also must be really great at product development, as she listed it twice in her LinkedIn profile under specialties (ha). She “sleeps rarely and caffeinates often.” It also appears that Joanna has been known to sing a song or two on karaoke.
Leah Culver was a co-founder and the lead developer of the social network and micro-blogging website Pownce, which was acquired by blog juggernaut Six Apart in November 2008. While creating the Pownce API she co-authored both the OAuth and OEmbed open API specifications and now maintains the popular Python OAuth library. Leah promotes open source, APIs, and the Django web framework on her blog at leahculver.com. In her free time she likes to play around with new technology and try new restaurants near her home in San Francisco.We recommend checking out her official blog.
Amy McInerney is the co-founder and C.E.O. of Social Focus Marketing, Inc., an Internet marketing company specializing in social media and search engine marketing. After spending two years at the helm of the marketing department at Pearse Street Consulting, Inc., a social network software development company, Amy spearheaded Social Focus as a sister company (literally, her sister-in-law is the C.E.O. of Pearse Street) and since then, has been launching her clients’ online campaigns to the top of Google searches and driving traffic through innovative social media marketing strategies. In her rare down-time, Amy enjoys wine, concerts and spending time with her niece and nephews.