Welcome to the 2013 FierceWireless Most Influential Women in Wireless list. Since 2008 Fierce editors have been tracking the top female stars in the wireless industry and compiling our annual list (check out our 2012 list, 2011 list, the 2010 list, the 2009 list and the 2008 list). This year we are ranking the top 10 women by what we believe to be their "influence" in the industry.
Influence is not an easy attribute to measure. We picked these women based on the role they play in their company and the wireless industry at large. This list consists of women we believe help guide the industry, whether it's through their technical savvy, their leadership at their respective companies, or their commitment to promoting the role of women in the mobile industry. These are the women who inspire others in the business by their ability to take on difficult challenges.
The women selected on this list are typically in C-level positions but FierceWireless is also keeping an eye on up-and-coming women in the industry. I recently spoke with Kristine van Dillen Newman, a president of Women in Wireless, a nonprofit group aimed at developing and helping women in the mobile and digital media industries. The group was originally founded as part of the Mobile Marketing Association but is now on its own and focused on developing local chapters in areas such as Boston, Atlanta, Seattle and New York City.
Newman said her group is open to women at all stages of their career and its goal is to create a community of like-minded individuals who are interested in growing their wireless careers. While many Women in Wireless members are in the early stages of their careers in the mobile industry, Newman emphasized the need for C-level and VP-level women to get involved in these types of groups to help provide perspective to those still early in their careers.
Another group dedicated to women's leadership and diversity in the wireless industry is the GSMA's Connected Women group. This group, which recently expanded from a networking event to a two-day conference with speakers, is hoping to attract the pioneers and executive women in the wireless industry and provide a valuable networking platform as well as inspire more women to work in the wireless industry.
With that in mind, I hope that this year's Influential Women in Wireless helps provide recognition to the women on this list and their achievements as well as provides some inspiration and guidance to women in the early stages of their wireless careers.
The wireless industry is still a very male-dominated field. But we are seeing more and more women rise to the C-level ranks of top companies. We are also seeing more outreach from the industry, through groups like Women in Wireless, the Women in Wireless Leadership Forum and the GSMA's Connected Women program.
I believe that we have compiled a list that includes some of the best and brightest and most successful female executives in the business. This list, however, is a compilation of women who are particularly powerful in the U.S. wireless industry. We realize that wireless is a global business and many of our candidates work for international companies, however our list is based upon their influence here in the United States. --Sue