The past two decades have seen a huge surge of women taking on key roles in the world of revolutionary and emerging cloud technology. When we decided to put together this list, we were thrilled to discover dozens of outstanding candidates, and we have picked the top 25 female thought-leaders, champions, and innovators in the field.1. Liz Centoni, VP/GM Service Provider Access at Cisco Systems, Inc
Ms. Centoni recently oversaw the development and release of Cisco’s Elastic Access portfolio, a suite of programmable and virtualization tools designed to help service providers add more more value to the applications and cloud services they offer.2. Cara Beston, Systems & Process Assurance Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers
Ms. Beston specializes in providing a wide variety of governance, risk and control assurance services to business leaders in the technology sector, and heads up PwC’s participation with the CloudNOW (Cloud Network of Women), Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), and FedRAMP (the Federal initiative for cloud computing certification).3. Margaret Dawson, VP of Product Marketing & Cloud Evangelist, HP Helion Public Cloud
Before her current role, Ms. Dawson was the VP of Product Management and Marketing at Symform, a peer-to-peer cloud data storage provider, and at Hubspan, a leading cloud B2B integration platform, and worked as a leader of product management for Microsoft and a director at Amazon.4. Kira Makagon, Executive Vice President of Innovation at RingCentral Ms. Makagon was appointed EVP of Innovation at RingCentral in 2010, leads product management, product strategy, operations and engineering, and has more than 20 years of experience in global technology management, product strategy, and senior leadership.
5. Vanessa Alvarez, Amazon Web Services
In her career as an analyst Ms. Alvarez was immersed in the rapidly-evolving world of convergence in networking and storage, advising enterprise companies on the competitive advantages of deploying and integrating emerging solutions such as the cloud, and has had quotes and articles in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, CNN Money, and Investor’s Business Daily.
6. Becky Swain, President and Co-Founder of Sublime Mail
Ms. Swain is recognized around the world for her thought leadership: she co-founded and authored the world’s first defacto cloud security standard, the Cloud Controls Matrix (which has been influential in the creation of ISO cloud standards) and is a founding member of the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA.)7. Lori MacVittie, Evangelist at F5 Networks
Previously an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, Ms. MacVittie now creates technical materials and is a vibrant presence in many industry standards organizations and community-based forums, spreading the word about the power of network virtualization.8. Michelle Munson, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of Aspera
Ms. Munson’s leadership has grown Aspera to its current status as an IBM company and leader in the field of high-speed data transport and has been recognized with national achievement awards and profiles from publications such as USA Today, Glamour Magazine, and the New York Times.
9. Jocelyn DeGance Graham, Founder and President of CloudNOW, SVP Market Development
Ms. Graham has spent most of her career advising Fortune 100 companies on the adopion of emerging technologies. She is the Founder of CloudNOW, a consortium of leading women in Cloud Computing, and serves on the Advisory Board for Cloud Connect. She was also named by the Everything Channel CRN as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in IT.10. Sramana Mitra, Founder of the 1M/1M Global Virtual Incubator
As a entrepreneur CEO, columnist for Forbes, and influential author, Ms. Mitra has made a career of thought leadership, and now she puts that incredible experience to work mentoring young companies to success. She writes about the challenges and triumphs of leading a company at her very popular blog.
11. Ellen Rubin, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearSky Data
Before founding Clearsky, Ms. Rubin founded Cloudswitch, which was acquired by Verizon: at Verizon, she ran the cloud products group, managing strategy and roadmap for all of their cloud offerings. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, and was named one of the top 10 Women in Cloud by CloudNOW.
12. Lori Williams, GM of European Operations at Appirio
Ms. Williams drives the company’s strategy for EMEA, running sales, marketing, customer service and team development for the entire region. Under her leadership Appirio has become the government cloud provider for the UK.
13. Nancy Pearson, IBM Cloud CMO
Before her current role at IBM, Ms. Pierson has held multiple senior executive and global marketing positions, and is a popular speaker at industry events. She has been recognized by Working Mother’s Magazine Hall of Fame and is the subject of a dedicated chapter in Karen L. Rancourt’s book Empowered Professionals: Making a Difference.
14. Carla Gentry, Founder of Analytical Solution
Ms. Gentry is a data scientist and much-followed analyst and writer with deep expertise in the fields of cloud computing and Big Data. She advises Fortune 500 and 100 companies on ways to draw intelligence from data chaos, and frequently speaks to packed rooms of IT professionals at major conferences.
15. Michele Chambers, President and CEO of RapidMiner
Ms. Chambers has many years of executive experience in the industry, and is a highly respected author, speaker, and blogger on the subjects of Big Data and cloud analytics. Before coming to RapidMiner she held roles at companies like Netezza, Revolution Analytics and MemSQL.
16. Kelly Hoey, Networking Strategist
In 2011, Ms. Hoey co-founded WIM (Women in Mobile) a startup accelerator for early-stage mobile technology ventures with gender-diverse founding teams. She currently has many roles, including investor, speaker, strategist, board member and CMO and has received many accolades for her thought-leadership, being named “1 of 5 Women Changing the World of VC/Entrepreneurship” by Forbes, and one of the “100 Most Influential Tech Women On Twitter” by Business Insider.
17. Danielle Newnham, Author and Founder of The Junto Network
Ms. Newman has written two books, Mad Men of Mobile, published in 2013, and Women on Top, due out this year. She is also the co-founder of the digital innovation studio We Make Play, and was on the founding team of the mobile apps agency ubinow, now part of Work Club Havas. In 2015, she will launch The Junto Network, a series of filmed interviews with tech entrepreneurs.
18. Hilary Mason, Founder, Fast Forward Labs and Data Scientist in Residence at Accel
Before founding her machine-learning company and advising clients on data strategy at Accel, Ms. Mason was the Chief Scientist at bitly. She also co-founded of HackNY, co-hosts DataGotham, and is a member of NYCResistor. In addition, Ms. Mason acts as mentor and advisor to many prestigious organizations and has been recognized in publications such as Forbes, Glamour, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Scientific American.
19. Monica Rogati, VP of Data at Jawbone
As a data scientist and highly in-demand speaker, Ms. Rogati specializes in the intersection of data and real life. Previously, she had a leading role at LinkedIn, where she devised, developed, and spearheaded many of their key products. She is often featured by media organizations such as Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, NPR and CNN.
20. Victoria Stodden, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois
A researcher, thought-leader, speaker, author and innovator, Ms. Stodden is the founder of the open source platform ResearchCompendia.org, a co-founder of RunMyCode.org, an open platform which connects data and code to published articles, and co-editor of the book Privacy, Big Data, and the Public Good.
21. Manjula Talreja, VP, Cloud Practice for Cisco Consulting
Ms. Talreja has over 25 years of experience in the IT world, much of it focused on the emergence of cloud technology. In 2009, Ms. Talreja launched the pivotal Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) coalition, a partnership between Cisco, EMC, and VMware aimed at data center virtualization and private clouds. She is highly sought-after as a speaker and advisor, and was named one of CloudNOW "2013 Top Ten Women in Cloud."
22. Lauren C. States, 2015 Advanced Leadership Harvard Fellow, NEU Executive-in-Residence
Ms. States has been the Vice President of Technology Strategy, Growth Initiatives and CTO for Cloud Computing on the IBM Corporate Strategy team, where she has worked since 1987. She is is a member of the Executive Leadership Council and serves on many influential boards, including the CloudNOW advisory board.
23. Susan Wu, Director of Technical Marketing at Midokura and Co-Founder of FunnelBeam Before taking on her current roles, Ms. WU worked in senior marketing positions for Oracle/Sun, Citrix, and AMD. Ms. Wu is a regular writer and speaker at cloud technology publications and conferences. She also serves on the board of directors for CloudNOW, which honored her in 2013 as one of the “Top 10 Women in Cloud.”
24. Jody Vandergriff, CEO and co-founder of WebDAM
Ms. Vandergriff bootstrapped WebDAM, a leading cloud-based asset management software company, until it was acquired by Shutterstock. She is a highly-sought after speaker on the subjects of emerging technology, entrepreneurship, and women in tech, and blogs about all these topics on her blog.
25. Kira Radinsky, Co-Founder and CTO at Salespredict
Before founding cloud-based data mining company Salepredict, Ms. Radinsky did pioneering work at Microsoft Research. This year she was named in Forbes 30 Under 30 in Enterprise Tech, and was recognized as one of “35 Young Innovators Under 35” by the MIT Technology Review in 2013. Ms. Radinsky is also a frequent presenter at conferences such as TEDx, WWW, and INBOUND. She writes about predictive analytics at her blog.
Congratulations to all the members of this list on their inspiring achievements. The brilliant women at the forefront of cloud technology are making real changes in the world, especially right in our own vertical of business VoIP being powered and driven by the cloud, and their influence deserves full attention. In positions ranging from engineering to marketing and through executive roles, these women are leading the way to the future.