Skillz Blog


In honor of Women’s History Month, this week we’re focusing on women who are leading the tech industry! We began the month with women who create and women who play. Now it’s time to shine a spotlight on three talented women who have advanced to executive technical roles within their companies – women who are leading the way for other females to rise to the top.

Image Credit: Cultured

Maira Benjamin: Director of Engineering at Pandora

Maira Benjamin an inspiring character not only due to her technical prowess but also because of how she utilizes her position to empower others. She has many talents and a deep passion for the field of technology, making contributions in engineering departments for over 10 software and technology companies in the 30 years she’s been working in the field.

In addition to being a brilliant engineer, she is a published author, lyricist, and classically trained pianist. Her love of music brought her to her current role at Pandora, where she oversees several teams of engineers that help manage the algorithms which control user playlists.

In her role as director, she continues to try and help those around her. Benjamin started a group called 70-strong Women in Tech, which is a subset of Pandora Women. She is also a member of Mix Tape, a resource group which represents the interests of non-white staff.

Image Credit: DreamCorps

Vien Truong: CEO at The Dream Corps

Vien Truong is an Oakland native who earned her B.A. from UC Berkeley and J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law. As a child, she witnessed the extreme poverty of West Oakland first hand, and decided to dedicate her life to helping alleviate that issue. Truong continues to inspire people around the world through her work within various communities throughout California. Her passion led her to become CEO of The Dream Corps, a company that supports and advocates for economic, environmental and criminal justice.

At The Dream Corps, she works to lead initiatives such as  #YesWeCode and Green For All. #YesWeCode provides underrepresented youth with the resources and opportunity needed in order to become experienced programmers. Green For All is an environmental initiative that works to build a clean economy, creating an inclusive and stable environment for those in poverty.

Image Credit: Skillz

Miriam Aguirre: VP of Engineering at Skillz

Originally from Los Angeles, Miriam moved to the San Francisco Bay Area after graduating from MIT. She has always been an avid gaming enthusiast and has a passion for bringing diversity to the gaming world.

Prior to Skillz, she worked as a software engineer for companies including HubAnalytics, Krush Inc., Financial Engines and Hewlett-Packard. When she isn’t working tirelessly at Skillz to lead the entire engineering workforce, she is sharing her knowledge by speaking at events that promote diversity within the industry of technology and gaming like Tech Intersections, Wonder Women Tech, Lesbians Who Tech, Hopper x 1 Seattle and more.

We’re inspired by these strong women who continue to push forward and leverage their leadership positions in order to advocate for change. Like all of the impressive females featured in our Women’s History Month blog posts, these are just a few of the many intelligent, astounding women in the industry. Don’t forget to check back next week for the final installment in our the Women’s History Month 2018 blog series – Women Who Inspire!