Getting started: Looking for women influencers in WordPress


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When it comes to writing an article that includes the top of anything, you must know that it is almost always an opinion. Who can say who is the top influencers in an industry like WordPress?

There is nothing wrong with that as long as you explain that it is an opinion. If you are making a choice by way of some criteria, then it best to disclose your criteria.

In the end, we all have your own opinions and our own criteria about whom we think is a top influencer whether it be website design, SEO, copywriting, or WordPress.There are plenty of articles written about top influencers in WordPress. This one is different. This one is about women influencers in WordPress.

I am going to admit that this is based on who I know and who I have seen have a certain amount of influence. The criteria for influence includes as an agency owner, a leader in a group such as Women who WP, a lady who is a podcast host, or a WordPress leader in her community.

Here’s the catch. I know I am going to miss someone. You are going to have someone in mind that I either don’t know about or completely miss.

Still yet, being that this is the month we celebrate Women’s History (in the US) and includes International Women’s Day, I wanted to pay tribute to the women trailblazers in WordPress.

Are you ready to get started? Let’s go.

Josepha Haden

Josepha Haden
Josepha Haden

WordPress Profile

Twitter bio:
“Digital literacy advocate. Community builder. WordPress enthusiast. I’m bad at writing recipes, great at cooking the food.”

The first WordCamp I attended was the one in Fayetteville, AR. Josepha was one of the leaders of the WordCamp. She has since moved on to become a vital part of the Automattic team.

You may have found Josepha at one of the many WordCamps across the globe and often as a speaker. Recently she was named as an Executive Director.

Tonya Mork

WordPress Profile

Twitter Bio:
“[ leader, engineer², advisor, teacher, learner ] ???? { developer of developers } @KnowTheCodePro ???? former robotic whisperer ❤️ #WordPress, jazz, baseball, […]”

Tonya is a well-respected developer and creator of the site Know the Code. She is one of the nicest people I have met in the WordPress circle.

Before WordPress even existed, Mork was working in software for big manufacturers working with, among other things, robotic systems.

Tonya has overcome the “curveball” that she talks about in her essay at HeroPress to help others be better WordPress developers.

What drives Tonya? She has detailed this in her Manifesto. She truly is an overcomer and a wonderful person.

Learn More

Finding Your Purpose in Life

Meher Bala

WordPress Profile

Twitter bio:
Freelance  Consultant. co-organiser. Love ????.

Meher Bala is the co-organizer of WordCamp Mumbai. She has also helped bring Women who WP to India.

Bala runs her own website consulting group and is very involved in the WordPress community in Mumbai and throughout India.

Meher runs a Facebook Group called Indian WordPress Women Community and has spoken at WordCamp Nashik.

Learn more

My Journey from being a Dyslexic kid to becoming A Co-organiser For WordCamp Mumbai

Episode 66: Meher Bala – Hallway Chats

Ana Segota


WordPress Profile

Twitter bio
“Co-founder of @AnarielDesign ( Niche WordPress Themes ) and founder of @easyvegkitchen @bubithebear. WordPresser. Themer.”

Ana Segota is a talented designer and themer from Germany. She is active in WordCamps across Europe and her themes are sold across the world.

Along with her trusty bear Bubi and husband Marko, Ana recently completed a 4-month trip where they visited Thailand, Singapore, Australia & New Zealand.

Learn more

My Road to WordPress

JC Mae Palmes

WordPress Profile

Twitter bio:
“Frontend Engineer @WebDevStudios. WordPress Fangirl / Coding Girl / Unicorn Lover / Certified Whovian / Mad as a Hatter”

JC is a frontend developer from Iloilo, Philippines and one of the newest members of the WebDev Studios team.

She is the founder of the WordPress Iloilo Meetup Group and helped organize two WordCamps in her city according to her WebDev Studios bio.

In her essay at HeroPress, she said there were no shortcuts to learning WordPress,

“There are NO SHORTCUTS. Believe me, I tried looking for one and I failed. In order to succeed, you have to work hard and not take the easy way out. Learn, read, listen – do this every single day for as long as you can.”

Naoko Takano

WordPress Profile

Twitter bio:
“Takako Naoko | Globalizer at @ Automattic | 100% Remote Work | WordPress Japanese Translation | Tokyo WordPress Meetup | Polyglots Community # localization # remotework # distributedwork # parenting”

If you are familiar with the WordPress Wapuu mascot, you are familiar with Takano’s influence in WordPress. She helped facilitate the design of the cuddly little creature.

Hired by Automattic to help bring this project to completion, she chose Kazuko Kaneuchi to make the design happen. You can read about the history of the WordPress Wapuu here.
Takano is a 100% remote worker for Automattic from Tokyo, Japan. She has been involved with Japanese translations for WordPress as well as meetups in Tokyo.

She is a Global Lead for the WP Translation Day.

Mary Job

Mary Job
Mary Job

WordPress Profile

Mary Job is a Meetup and WordCamp Organizer and is scheduled to speak at WordCamp Europe in June of this year

She is also the lead organizer for WordCamp Lagos. She has been a vital part of building the WordPress community in Nigeria. She is the Founder and Project Manager for How Do You Tech, a firm that helps answer tech questions for various users in Nigeria and Kenya.

Learn more

WordPress Gave Me the Perfect Identity – HeroPress

Gin McInneny

Gin McInneny
Gin McInneny

Anyone that follows WP Elevation knows of Gin McInney. She is the Marketing and Communications Manager for the WordPress agency training company. Her influence is global for the Melbourne, Australia resident.

Aside from that role, she also helps with the videos and podcasts for WP Elevation. She also runs a blog and podcast with her longtime friend called Wild Precious Lives.

Sarah Gooding

Sarah Gooding
Sarah Gooding

WordPress Profile

Straight out of Tulsa, Gooding may be the most read WordPress author on the planet. She is the lead writer and journalist for the WPTavern blog.

Why Polly Plummer? She explains briefly on her personal blog that Polly Plummer from The Magician’s Nephew in the Chronicles of Narnia and has personal significance for her.

She has used the handle on the internet since the late 1990s. Every day, her words are read with anticipation by WordPress lovers across the globe.


Marieke van de Rakt

Marieke van de Rakt
Marieke van de Rakt

WordPress Profile

The new boss lady at Yoast is Marieke van de Rakt. She took over a few months ago when Joost de Valk moved over to work as marketing lead for WordPress. He is still with the plugin company serving on the board as the CPO.

Yoast is, of course, still one of the biggest plugins in the WordPress ecosystem employing over 80 people. Before she began running Yoast, she obtained a Ph.D. in social sciences and worked as a teacher and researcher.

Twitter bio:
CEO and boss lady at @yoast. Ph.D. in social science. Also sociologist, writer, marketeer and feminist. I WordPress. Married to @jdevalk, mother of 4. she/her

More places to look

Ten women influencers is just scratching the surface. There are some heavy hitters I didn’t even mention (Kim Doyal anyone?). The point is not to give you a conclusive list but to give you a list from which to start. Start by following and getting to know these WordPress influencers. See who they are connected to and start following them. Connect with more people.

Knowing, however, that this is not a conclusive list, I also want to point you toward some more resources.

Birgit Pauli-Haack, whom I didn’t mention but is a huge influencer, has created a fantastic list of women in WordPress. The list alone is worth the follow. You can find that list here.

Next, I recommend you connect with the Women who WP community. Jen Miller, Bridget Willard, and Elizabeth Shilling started the group a few years ago. They have connected with women in WordPress across the globe. Willard is also the co-host of the WPblab podcast.

Recently, a new podcast has popped up that interviews other women in WordPress. The Women in WP podcast features hosts Amy Masson, Angela Bowman, and Tracy Apps. All three of these ladies are influencers and yet they are giving back by shining the light on other women in the WordPress community.

Women in WP only has three episodes but they already have nine new shows lined up including one with Mary Job (see above).

I can’t say enough about the energy and influence that Miller, Willard, Shilling, Masson, Bowman, and Apps are putting into introducing women to each other and to the rest of the WordPress world.

Finally, I want to mention HeroPress. What Topher does with that publication makes it an A+ resource for finding more women influencers in WordPress.

Wrapping it up

As I said above, there is no way this is a conclusive list. Not even close. I listed ten influential ladies from several different countries.

The goal is to make you aware of some influencers you may not have known about. The goal is to help you begin your journey. No doubt, I could easily list 25-30 ladies I know who are influential. You can see more here at this blog post.

Other blog posts:

20+ Women in WordPress You Should Be Following (Updated March 2019)

Women in WordPress to Follow by Angela Bowman

I know I missed someone quite easily. Who would you put at the top of your influential women in the WordPress list?

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Donata Stroink-Skillrud
President of Agency Attorneys

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