Talking tech

Three women from different corners of the Twin Cities area tech world offer advice.

Maria Gini

Professor at University of Minnesota

What she does: The first woman to join the computer science faculty at the U, she teaches and does research on robotics and artificial intelligence.

Why women should consider tech careers: "Computer science is a field in which you have to be creative, despite the fact that people think everything is scripted. Things that change the world come out of that creativity."

Nancy Lyons

President and CEO of Clockwork Active Media Systems

What she does: Leads a company with more than 70 employees that develops digital products for businesses, from software to mobile apps. Lyons got her start in tech at Bitstream Underground, an early local Internet service provider.

Advice for women in tech: "Find men and women mentors. Put yourself in a position where you can point to people who can help you. Make friends. Friends won't compete with you. They'll support you."

Kate Agnew

Business analyst in technology services at Target

What she does: Plans in-store digital experiences for shoppers, from digital message boards to video-game testing stations. Agnew also leads the local chapter of Girls in Tech, a networking and advocacy group.

Why the tech world needs women: "Ignoring half the population in your development efforts is exclusionary. … We should create something like 'Super Mario' but with a girl as the main character."

Katie Humphrey