We already knew the deck was stacked against women in tech — 2017 just made it abundantly clear how bad things still are. No industry went untouched by stories of sexual assault and harassment long covered up this year, as women and men alike came forward to expose predators in positions of power. The outrage didn’t come from a place of surprise, but from the fact that this behavior has been not just allowed, but actively enabled for decades.
We don’t know if things will change after 2017, but at the very least, this year has made it clear that predators can and should expect to be held to account for their actions. If that scares them, then they only have the smallest taste of what they’ve inflicted on the people around them.
But, we don’t want to leave 2017 with just anger. Despite the gender disparity in tech, and despite the emotional and psychological barriers that have to be overcome to accomplish anything, some women in tech are not only finding success, they’re doing so while making the world around them a better place. There are, of course, too many to list, but these five women are the ones that have left the deepest impression on us this year.