By Mary Lou Jepsen, Ph.D., CEO, PixelQi – Women of Vision Selection Committee Chair
There is a dearth of women in technology, yet there are very senior women in technology blazing new directions that can transform our world. We celebrate 3 of them this year as winners of the Anita Borg Institute’s Women of Vision Awards. I had the honor to chair the selection committee this year and am pleased to report there is no death of talent in the candidates for these awards. The selection committee and I agonized over the many astonishingly accomplished candidates to pick just three.
Before I reveal the winners, a short and topical sidebar. It can be difficult doing all this trailblazing. This week I was at a conference and Marissa Mayer asked if she could sit next to me. I won’t reveal the contents of our discussion – which has a good chance of being transformative for us both – but I will say it wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t in the same place at the same time. So I want to make a supportive plug for Marissa and her efforts to encourage more interactions like this. Being there is key and it’s not without many sacrifices. Each of our award winners has made many such sacrifices to be able to make these contributions to our world. We wish to celebrate their major contributions and successes.
And so let me introduce the winners:
- Dr. Maja Matarić is the Women of Vision Award Winner for Innovation.
She is a Professor at USC and chairs or directs several departments there. Her research focuses on developing robot-assisted therapies for children with autism spectrum disorders, stroke and traumatic brain injury survivors, and individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia.
- Dr. Genevieve Bell is the Women of Vision Award Winner for Leadership.
Bell is the Director of Interaction and Experience Research at Intel. She has fundamentally altered the way Intel envisions and plans its products so that they are centered on people’s needs rather than simply silicon capabilities.
- Dr. Vicki Hanson is the Women of Vision Award Winner for Social Impact.
Hanson is Professor of inclusive technologies at University of Dundee and emeritus at IBM Research. Her research examines the changing nature of technologies and the motivations and barriers to their use by populations in danger of digital exclusion, focusing on issues related to aging, cognition, and language.
A dinner and gala will be held May 9th 2013 in Santa Clara to celebrate these women and more broadly all women in technology. I hope you will please join us for this special evening and as Marissa says – use it as an opportunity to meet some new people and perhaps gain some new insights and ideas on where we can go next.