Marissa Mayer isn't just one of the most powerful women in Silicon Valley as a senior executive at Google, she's also an awesome role model for female geeks everywhere. Named one of Glamour's Women of the Year in 2009, Marissa recently sat down with the Huffington Post to chat about her career at Google, her favorite tech toys, and how to cultivate a community of women programmers that won't be turned off by the term "geek." Check out these interesting tidbits, and more facts you may not have known about Marissa Mayer below!
- She bought her first computer in college where she was studying to be a pediatric neurosurgeon, then switched to a unique mix of courses only offered at Stanford: symbolic systems — a blend of psychology, linguistics, philosophy, and computer science.
- After receiving 14 job offers after graduation, Marissa created a matrix ranking each position on salary, location, chance of success, lifestyle, career trajectory, and happiness. She then recruited an economist to help her analyze her data and spent hours charting pros and cons with her friend before deciding which offer to accept.
- The gadget she can't live without is her phone, and her favorite apps are Google Maps and Bejeweled Blitz.
See the rest of the list, including some sound career advice for women after the jump.
- She figures that only 15 to 17 percent of Silicon Valley programmers are women, and blames this low number on the tech industry's bad image and misrepresented idea of what a "geek" really is: "The stereotype of that very complete and rigid picture of what being a computer scientist means really hurts people's understanding and ability to identify with the role and say, ‘Yes, this is something I can be in and want to be in."
- She has some smart advice for women who are looking for careers in the tech industry: "Work with the smartest people you can find, do something you're not ready to do, find an environment in which you're very comfortable so you can find your voice, and work for someone who believes in you — because when they believe in you, they'll invest in you."