If you were to glance over the covers of Wired magazine, or read through the Fortune 500 list, you might be excused for thinking that most hardware entrepreneurs were male.
In fact though, this really isn’t the case, and there is no shortage of female hardware enthusiasts in the industry. It’s surprisingly hard to find hard data on this matter, but what is much more forthcoming is the huge list of big names in the space right now. To name a few, there’s Jenny Lawton (president of Makerbot), Ayah Bdeir (founder and CEO of LittleBits), Amanda Peyton of Grand St, Monisha Perkash of Lumo BodyTech… and the list goes on.
In fact, the list literally goes on. Read on to see some of the biggest female over-achievers in hardware today. Here is a list we put together to showcase some of the top female entrepreneurs currently in hardware:
Cher Wang is the co-founder of HTC, along with Peter Chou. HTC, of course, is one of the leading manufacturers of smartphones, largely responsible for the popularity of Android, and recently the brand behind the immensely successful series of HTC One flagship phones. Cher has been taking an increasingly active role in the company lately, and was a key player in the launch of that aforementioned smartphone.
Gisele Bundchen is a polymath extraordinaire, not only being a highly successful supermodel, but also launching her own line of perfumes. It’s her incredibly successful range of flip flops though, that puts her on this list! Oh and to round it off, she’s also an active philanthropist, and is heavily involved with both the Rainforest Alliance and the UN Environment Program.
Gisele is a particularly versatile name on this list with her finger in many pies. This is something that entrepreneurs from either side of the gender divide can learn from – don’t pigeonhole yourself!
Caroline Pugh is co-founder and COO of ‘VirtualU’, a company that will debut the first 3D fitness scanner in 2015. The scanner is a miraculous piece of engineering that promises to show users how their body changes as they workout and lose weight. She was named ‘Most Likely to Build Virginia’s Next Generation of Science, Technology and Energy Companies’ by Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology.
Sara Blakely is the woman behind a line of shaping underwear called ‘Spanx’. Catchy name aside, Spanx has grown from its humble $5,000 investment, to turnover more than $250 million each year. Blakely’s innovative design has made her currently one of the world’s youngest self-made entrepreneurs.
Stephanie Parker scratched her own itch when she devised her innovative ‘Zipadee-Zip’ pajama suit. It’s a simple item of clothing she used to help get her child off to sleep, and it has gone on to raise over $1 million for her new company ‘Sleeping Baby’. Solving your own problems like this is a particularly effective way to come up with new hardware ideas and it’s why there’s always space for more people in this industry.
Weili Dai co-created a semiconductor company, and became president in 2013. Under her leadership, the company, Marvell, enjoyed a 7% increase in revenue to $3.4 billion, resulting in Weili earning the Gold Stevie Award for ‘Woman of the Year in Technology’ that same year.
Bridget Hilton founded ‘LSTN Headphones’, which donates hearing aids to children overseas for every set of headphones sold. It’s a fantastic idea, and the model has proven popular. Over 19,000 people have already been helped by the initiative, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down!
As you can easily see then, there is just as diverse and varied a range of female hardware entrepreneurs as there is male. If you’re struggling to find your niche within the market, why not take a leaf out of one of their books? You can juggle multiple passions like Gisele Bundchen, or you can try to make life easier for women the world over like Stephanie Parker.
Of course, this is a very incomplete list, and there are millions more women making waves in hardware and tech today. Sign up for our newsletter to get regular updates on the latest news in the hardware industry!