Most Powerful Women in Silicon Valley Includes Comms Leader

In response to criticism about the lack of women in Silicon Valley, San Jose Mercury News columnist, Chris O’Brien, recently compiled a list of the most powerful women in Silicon Valley. Of course, women have increasingly taken on positions of significance and leadership in technology – as evidenced in O’Brien’s list. He reports:

In putting this list together, what I found is that many of the most powerful women aren’t CEOs. They are second-in-commands, or leaders of major divisions. In fact, there is only one female CEO in the entire SV150: Yahoo’s Carol Bartz. As such, their power is different, sometimes more subtle and often exercised behind the scenes.

What’s even more interesting, a communications professional ranked in the top 10. Katie Cotton, VP of worldwide communications at Apple, ranked 7th on the list. Apple’s PR genius is often credited to Steve Jobs himself (last year, PRWeek awarded Jobs and Cotton the shared honor of the most powerful person in PR), so it’s refreshing to see Cotton recognized for doing “the masterful job of stoking the cultlike fervor for Apple products.” O’Brien even credits Cotton for cultivating Job’s image – “which just might be the most valuable commodity in Silicon Valley. And she does it all while rarely appearing in public, sending reporters e-mails or getting on the phone.”

Congratulations, Katie. This is a great nod to you, and inspiration for all women in tech communications.

This post was first published on March Communications’ blog, PR Nonsense, by Aarti Shah and may be viewed here.

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