At StartHer, we know that women are still a minority in tech, but still we struggle to understand when people tell us that they can’t find a qualified female for certain tasks or roles. This is why we launched our annual “women to watch in tech” list – in order to highlight a number of talented women in tech that may simply be less visible but who deserve recognition for their contributions to entrepreneurship, innovation, diversity and technology.
In order to showcase a maximum number of profiles, we strive to identify and highlight new women each and every year – therefore, if someone has previously made the list they cannot make the list again. Since 2014, the list has contained 10 different names every year. However, we are seeing a dramatic shift with regards to gender diversity and therefore feel that we can no longer limit ourselves to just 10 names. Therefore, this year we are doubling that number and revealing 20 women to watch.
We’d like to thank everyone for their nominations – this was the first year that the public was able to make suggestions. We also encourage you to see the lists from previous years: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Lucie Basch, Founder of Too Good To Go
Lucie is becoming a key figure in the anti-waste revolution with her company Too Good To Go. With over 10,000 businesses and 5 million people using her product, To Good to Go is currently present in 13 different countries.
Elina Berrebi & Alice Albizzati, Partners of Gaia Capital Partners
With a fund of €200 million dedicated to supporting a new generation of responsible entrepreneurs in European tech, Alice and Elina will definitely be a team to watch.
Coralie Chaufour, GM France of Entrepreneur First
Founded in 2011 in the UK by Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck, Entrepreneur First brings together highly skilled people to create some insanely ambitious companies. With over 200 companies founded to date, their French operation is run by Coralie Chaufour and is definitely one to watch.
Clémence Coursimault & Clémentine Guyon, Cofounders of Karamel
Last year, a lot of attention was given to the dire situation concerning funded female-founded companies. All-female teams tend to have a much harder time raising funds than mixed or male teams – but not Karamel. Clémence and Clémentine cofounded Karamel, an app to help parents find activities for their kids, and secured funding with some prominent investors (Kima Ventures, Thilault Elziere, Oleg Tsheltzoff and more) and very quickly. Definitely a team to watch.
Valentine de Lasteyrie, investor
Partner and Investment Director at Fiblac, business angel and more, Valentine is gaining more and more momentum in the investment space. She’s also part of the founding team of Sista, another organization we can’t help but love that is promoting gender diversity in our ecosystem.
Charlotte de Vilmorin, Cofounder of Wheeliz
Tetraplegic from birth, Charlotte de Vilmorin started out as a blogger, sharing stories from her life in a wheelchair on her blog Wheelcome. However, since 2015, she’s been running Wheeliz, a site that rents handicap-friendly cars between individuals and currently counts over 10,000 users.
Angélique Gérard, Director of subscriber relations at ILIAD
Angélique is well overdue to be on our women to watch list. She was part of the first 15 employees at Free, having been recruited when she was just 23. Today she oversees subscriber relations, is part of the executive committee and is also an active investor. She also is heavily involved in the discussion on gender-diversity, having recently published a book called “Pour la fin du sexisme ! Féminisme dans l’ère post #Metoo“. We can’t wait to read 🙂
Joanne Kanaan & Anna Shirinskaya, Cofounders of Omini Labs
Another all-female team but this time in the biotech space and with a crazy ambitious project. Joanne and Anna are cofounders of Omini Labs, which develops point-of-care lab-on-chip devices for immediate blood tests.
Elham Kashefi, Professor of Quantum Computing
She’s one of the few women making leeway in the quantum computing space, having made contributions to quantum cryptography, verification of quantum computing and cloud quantum computing. Today she is a Professor at the University of Edinburgh and a CNRS researcher at Sorbonne University.
Stéphanie Leplus, Chief Data Officer at LeBonCoin
Stéphanie is one of the few rare female Chief Data Officers we know. She currently manages a team of 40 people at one of France’s best known classifieds sites.
Madeleine Morley & Paola Tuelières, Cofounders of Tomojo
Another all-female duo, Madeleine and Paola are tacking a big problem with regards to both the environment and the future of food. Their company Tomojo, develops natural, insect-based dog biscuits, and is definitely one to watch.
Sandrine Murcia, Cofounder of Cosmian
Sandrine’s startup Cosmian is tackling a huge topic in the privacy space by developing a solution that can analyse encrypted data. The company recently raised €1.4 million with Elaia Partners, Fiblac and some prominent business angels including the founder of Dataiku.
Laure Némée, CTO of Mangopay & Leetchi Group
Although it’s becoming more common, female CTOs are still quite rare. It was even more rare in 2010, the year that Laure became CTO of Leetchi Group (Leetchi had less than 5 employees when she joined). Today, Leetchi ranks among France’s best known fintech companies – we highlighted Celine Lazorthes (Leetchi’s founder) in our first list in 2014. We feel it’s time we highlight Laure’s immense contribution as well and believe she will inspire many other female CTOs to come.
Maeliza Seymour, founder of CodistAI
We see too few female developers and perhaps even fewer females that are building tools for developers. Maeliza is the founder of CodistAI, a company that helps developers explore and navigate source code.
Morgane Sézalory, Founder of Sézane
Sézane is often considered more of a fashion brand than a startup, however the company founded in 2013 is born online and is nothing shy of an ecommerce success. And founder Morgane Sézalory is potentially the only European female founder to receive funding from General Atlantic alongside the likes of unicorns Klarna and Doctolib.
Ersilia Vaudo Scarpetta, Chief Diversity Officer at European Space Agency
Ersilia has been working at the European Space Agency since…1991! Whatever we could write here would hardly do justice to her contribution and career in the field over the years and in various countries.