Women still only account for a small percentage of CEOs and founders in HR tech companies. It is significant, though, that many women sitting at the top of these companies have built great products and services and have grown their respective startups into groundbreaking HR technology companies.
We’ve created a list of 35 successful women who currently hold top positions in the HR tech industry.
You can find Part 1 here:
1.Kirsti Grant, Populate
Hailing from New Zealand, Kirsti and her co-founder Lance Hodges launched HOP Ventures, a company dedicated to building more great companies, in 2015. However, their intention was also to build their own product, so in April 2016 they launched Populate, a tool to help companies plan their headcount in a better way than by using traditional spreadsheets.
Prior to HOP and Populate, Kirsti was the Vice President of Talent at Vend, an online retail platform, and helped their team to grow from 37 to 250 staff around the world.
Now CEO and co-founder at Populate, Kirsti is an Independent Director on the board for another New Zealand HR platform – Weirdly.
2.Kathryn Minshew, Melissa McCreery, and Alexandra Cavoulacos, The Muse
These three ex-McKinsey consultants launched The Muse in July 2011. It is a career platform used by over 50 million people every year to find a job, learn professional skills or advance in their careers, and by hundreds of companies looking to hire or grow their employer brand.
Prior to founding The Muse, Kathryn was the CEO and co-founder of PYP, a content platform, community and career tool for professional women, while Melissa was an Executive Editor of The Harvard Crimson, where she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Physics.
Alexandra is also the co-author of “The New Rules of Work: The Modern Playbook for Navigating Your Career”.
3.Joanna Riley, 1-Page
Joanna is an entrepreneur, advocate and mentor for women in technology. She is the President and co-founder of 1-Page, a Silicon Valley technology company transforming the way companies find their best next hires using artificial intelligence.
Joanna began 1-Page based on a book authored by her father, which argued that job-seekers should be evaluated on what they can do, as opposed to being judged on their previous accomplishments, experience, age or gender.
Before 1-Page, Joanna built one of the United States’ leading outsourced direct sales and marketing firms, was part of the International Training Unit for the FBI, was an international rower, and earned her BA degree in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia, where she was a full scholarship athlete.
4.Laurie Brednich, HR Company Store
Laurie is the CEO and founder of HR Company Store, the only site designed to help HR professionals find, rate and review vendor partners in over 70 categories.
Having either led or been part of employee benefit teams in many well-known organizations over the last 25+ years – including American Standard, National Basketball Association, Pinnacle Foods Group (manufacturers of such iconic food brands as Duncan Hines, Vlasic Pickle and many more), GoDaddy and, most recently, Sprouts Farmers Market – Laurie has spent almost a billion dollars of company money putting in programs for their employees and their families.
“The biggest frustration was finding quality vendors and learning what other HR professionals really thought about the vendors in a given market. HR Company Store provides transparency to the purchasing dynamic for HR professionals and empowers them to let others know about their experience with any vendor,” says Laurie.
The company was listed on Recruiter.com’s list of Top HR Tech Startups in 2016.
5.Aline Lerner, interviewing.io
Aline is the founder of interviewing.io, a platform that lets you anonymously practice technical interviewing with engineers from top companies.
Aline is an engineer by trade and after studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology she spent a few years recruiting for Bay Area startups, during which time she learned firsthand just how broken engineering hiring is.
6.Fiona Anson and Alli Baker, Workible
Hailing from Australia, Fiona and Alli are the co-founders of Workible, one of Australia’s leading HR technology providers powering the largest network of connected job platforms in the country, including their own online employment marketplace, WorkibleJOBS.
They are also the co-founders of The Jobs Agenda and StartUpJobsOz.
Fiona Anson is a serial entrepreneur with a proven track record in business. In addition, she is mentoring startups at the University of Technology Sydney.
Prior to Workible, Alli’s background was in media and marketing consulting as well as journalism.
7.Caitlin MacGregor, Plum
Prior to starting her own business, this Canadian taught first-year college students English in Northern China and had been travelling around the world for four months.
After that, Caitlin was the President at goQ Software. Finally, in 2011 she became the CEO and co-founder of Plum, which helps companies test employment candidates and internal team members to determine their potential to be successful in a role or on a team in the company.
8.Kristen Hamilton, Koru
Kristen is the co-founder and CEO of Koru, which applies predictive analytics and leading assessment science to measure the things that matter most to performance.
“As a technology entrepreneur and education innovation junkie, I’m determined to make a meaningful impact on the education-to-employment ecosystem. I spent the first half of my career in technology, co-founded e-commerce business Onvia, and helped take it public. I shifted focus to education as COO of World Learning, and now combine these two passions. Koru is mobilizing the ‘Grit over Grades’ revolution with the world’s leading companies by predicting performance before they hire talent,” says Kristen.
9.Diane Smith and Jayne Kettles, gr8 People
Diane and Jayne are the co-founders of gr8 People, which provides the software foundation for modern staffing organizations to cultivate, collaborate, engage and hire talent. Before gr8 People, they worked for and founded the software company VirtualEdge (VE). The members of the team at VE were known for their knowledge and passion for talent management software.
Diane started her career in higher education and athletics, holding positions at Princeton and Towson Universities, where she also coached the Division I Women’s Basketball programs. No stranger to athletics herself, she was a four-year All-American field hockey player, a two-time Broderick Cup nominee and a member of the women’s Olympic field hockey team.
Jayne was an academic Scholar Athlete at Ohio State University, where she played for the women’s field hockey program, earning All Big Ten honors.
10.Sara Sutton Fell, FlexJobs
Sara has more than 20 years’ experience in the online job market industry. She is the CEO and founder of FlexJobs, an innovative career website specializing in telecommuting, flexible, freelance, and part-time job listings, as well as founder of both Remote.co, a resource for remote teams and companies, and the “1 Million for Work Flexibility” initiative. She was named as a Young Global Leader (class of 2014) by the World Economic Forum for her work in the technology and employment fields.
11.Susan Magrino, TalentCircles
Susan Magrino is President and CEO of TalentCircles, a platform that enables talent connection solutions for staffing, education, government, and diversity organizations.
She was promoted to this position after joining the company in 2013 as the Senior Vice President of Sales. Prior to becoming a part of the senior leadership team, Susan had founded and led WorkForce OS, a human capital SaaS company later acquired by Princeton-based Caliper, Corp.
Susan and her Vice President of Marketing at WorkForce OS hold the U.S. patent for “Talent management system and methods for reviewing and qualifying a workforce”.
Susan has a Bachelor of Science in Ornamental Horticulture and also a Master of Business Administration. She volunteers at the San Francisco Zoo and makes her home in the Bay area.
12.Leah Groehler and Karen N. Caruso, viaPeople
Dr. Leah Groehler is one of the founding members of viaPeople, a talent management solution. As Vice President of Consulting Services, she leads a team of industrial organizational psychologists who work to ensure that the viaPeople software products maintain the current standards of “best practices” in the field of industrial/organizational psychology.
Another viaPeople co-founder, Dr. Karen Caruso, has proven expertise in helping organizations maximize the potential of their human capital through the use of technology. Karen brings extensive thought leadership and over 15 years’ experience in the human resources technology industry to design and develop innovative products that meet emerging customer needs.
13.Karen Cariss, PageUp People
Karen is the CEO and one of the founders of PageUp People, which was established in 1997. PageUp provides world-class SaaS talent management technology systems that assist organizations in acquiring and retaining the best talent.
Today, Karen is a key driving force behind the success of PageUp, setting the strategic direction of the company as well as overseeing internal activities to ensure synergy of all divisions.
Karen is formally qualified with a Bachelor of Applied Science and Honors in Science and is currently a member of the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI).
14.Frida Polli and Julie Yoo, Pymetrics
Frida and Julie are the co-founders of Pymetrics, a startup that uses crucial advances in cognitive neuroscience to create analytics-informed decision-making and performance-enhancement software for the human capital field.
Dr. Frida Polli is an award-winning Harvard/MIT-trained neuroscientist turned startup founder. After a decade in academic neuroscience, Frida sought to apply neuroscience and data science to real world problems.
Dr. Julie Yoo was a postdoctoral neuroscientist at MIT and the Department of Defense. Her research projects included using machine learning to predict optimal learning time based on real-time neuroimaging data, and building automatic speech-recognition machines. Her predictive algorithms have been featured in academic journals as well as the Wall Street Journal.
15.Elena Valentine, Skill Scout
Community organizer, visual storyteller and audio engineer by trade, Elena is passionate about her latest venture, Skill Scout, because she believes job-seekers need another way to tell their stories and show what they can do. Skill Scout spends one hour filming with its customers. No scripts, no stopping productivity – just interviews with the team and filming the work in action. This video becomes the foundation of a visual job posting.
Elena is a Chicago native and is committed to highlighting local job-seekers who might otherwise be passed over.