Sitting through the “Big Get-to-Know-You,” a signature event at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, I’m struck by the number of women here who work for tech companies, or who are top tech executives as their corporations – or are top tech executives at tech companies (Vitria’s Jomei Chang, Intel’s Diane Bryant just to name two). There are women here from IBM (IBM), Dell, (SYMC), Symantec (SYMC), Apple (SYMC).
Ann Winblad, founder of venture firm Hummer Winblad is here, talking about her investments in enterprise software companies. Gina Bianchini, founder of Ning, is spreading the word about the evolving social networking scene. And Morgan Stanley’s Mary Meeker is armed with data to help explain the mobile Internet phenomenon.
There’s no shortage of smart women in tech, which makes some of the conversations we’re about to have here at the summit especially interesting. Marissa Mayer of Google (GOOG) — No. 44 on Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women list — will be leading a salon on making science cool for girls. ExxonMobil (XOM) has made a big push to mentor girls in careers in engineering. ExxonMobil says of the two million engineers in the U.S., only 200,000 are women.
The stats seem to suggest young girls need more tools and motivation to get them interested in fields such as engineering, computer science, and technology.
If young women are looking for inspiration they look need no further than the Big Get-to-Know-You. – Stephanie N. Mehta