After my post picking out ten personalities in WordPress you should be following, I received several comments and emails asking why there were no women in the list.
There was no conscious reason why I didn’t include any women, but I would be the first to admit that it was poor form on my part. There are plenty of women in the world of WordPress who are worthy of mention. With that in mind, I set out to produce a followup to my “ten personalities” post and present to you below 11 women in WordPress you should be following. Enjoy!
Sarah Gooding (@PollyPlummer)
Sarah was one of the first people I met in the WordPress community, let alone the first woman. We worked together at WPMU.org which was my first online writing gig.
At the time Sarah was proudly presented on the blog as an award winning writer, and with good reason. She has been writing about WordPress longer than many of us have been using it. Not only that, she is a partner at Untame, a boutique digital marketing firm specializing in open source content management systems and social networking architecture (to borrow directly from her WPMU.org profile page.
Siobhan McKeown (@SiobhanPMcKeown)
Closely following on Sarah’s heels was Siobhan — another old team member of mine at WPMU.org. When I first started writing for the site I was in awe of the success of just one article that Siobhan had written: Why You Should Never Search For Free WordPress Themes. Incidentally, the message contained within that post is as important today as it ever was.
Siobhan has since moved on from WPMU.org, but is still working with WordPress and attending WordCamps of course.
Helen Hou-Sandí (@HelenHouSandi)
Meet Helen Hou-Sandi, the very definition of multitasker. By day she works at WordPress implementation specialists 10up as the Director of User Interface Engineering, but her involvement in WordPress goes way deeper. She was involved in the recent 3.6 development cycle as a guest committer and feature lead for the post formats UI, and regularly helps out with Trac tickets. On top of that, she’s authored several plugins.
Unsurprisingly, Helen also keeps her own blog, where she recently confessed her love (and hate!) for the world’s favorite content management system:
I love WordPress. I develop using it for my job and for my own projects, I write (occasionally) using it, and I suggest it as a tool for content-based websites all the time. I also hate it. If I thought WordPress was perfect just the way it is, I wouldn’t work on core.
Outside of the community, Helen is a talented collaborative pianist, performing at many events in the New York area.
Jen Mylo (@JenMylo)
Jen Mylo is one of the most well-known women on the list, partly for her UX work at Automattic, but more recently for her taking on the role of encouraging more women and diversity in the WordPress community.
“When Matt convinced me to take the job at Automattic, one of the things that got me in was that he said I could work on programs to bring women and girls into the WordPress community, especially around programming”, says Mylo.
She launched a series of women-only workshops, but she doesn’t always believe positive discrimination is the way forward, as evidenced by comments on her blog about the new Doctor Who:
The negative, bitter backlash from diversity activists (and the non-activists who mostly just retweet things) when it was announced that Peter Capaldi — a 50-something British white dude — would be taking the role was pretty sucky. We are not entitled to determine the creative decisions of artists based on our own socio-political agendas. They’re artists for a reason… they have ideas they want to express.
Tammie Lister (@Karmatosed)
As time goes on, more people are experimenting with community plugins such as BuddyPress. Tammie Lister (yet another WPMU.org graduate) is known as a BuddyPress specialist. Her mantra is “design for humans”, with a particular focus on providing logical pathways through websites. Her focus on the user experience makes Tammie a popular speaker at WordCamps, including the sold-out BuddyCamp in Miami.
“I’m a firm believer in do the things you love and it shows. I’m passionate about communites, content and users. I’m slightly obsessed with bringing a human touch back to websites and creating emotional and personal digital experiences. I don’t believe in one size fits all”, she says.
Earlier this year, she launched Buddy Design Labs, a blog exploring what can be done with the BuddyPress UI, such as a statistics dashboard and an activity stream timeline. You should bookmark it if you’re even the slightest bit interested in seeing what can be done with BuddyPress.
Lisa Sabin-Wilson (@LisaSabinWilson)
Wisconsin resident Lisa Sabin-Wilson is a poster girl for the freelance dream. She left her 10-year career as a Registered Nurse to launch a web design & development business. Eight years later she accepted a merger deal with WebDevStudios, where she is now co-owner and partner.
Along the way, Lisa was signed by Wiley Publishing to author the first edition of WordPress for Dummies, and another five editions after that. The book was a huge success and led her to write BuddyPress For Dummies, WordPress All In One For Dummies and WordPress Web Design For Dummies.
She knows her way around Multisite and spoke at WordCamp Las Vegas last year on the topic. It was a popular talk, particularly in the first 30 seconds. To find out why, check out the video on her blog.
Mika Ariela Epstein (@Ipstenu)
Better known as Ipstenu, Mika Ariela Epstein is the Half-Elf support rogue. She works for DreamHost as a WordPress support specialist, but like so many others involved in the community, her work goes way beyond her day job. She’s a regular problem-solver in the WordPress.org forums, and is a dab-hand at plugin development too.
Her special area of interest is Multisite, a topic on which she’s authored two eBooks.
Mika is a regular speaker at WordCamps. Of particular note is her presentation in Portland, where she combined her love of WordPress support with her obvious love of role-playing games in “Rolling Your WordPress Support Character”. You can see her slides here.
Suzette Franck (@suzette_franck)
Suzette works at web hosting specialists Media Temple, where she educates and advocates for WordPress. The line between her work time and free time is blurry however, as she attends an astonishing number of WordPress meet-ups and WordCamps.
Her blog is a great place to check out everything she’s involved in, but also to get a feel for what the WordPress community is really about, with first-hand accounts from Suzette on the event she attends. Last but not least, she is also a regular guest on the WPWatercooler video podcast.
Kathy Drewien (@kdrewien)
Kathy Drewien is a self-proclaimed rescuer of ‘abandoned, ugly, orphaned, broken, and non-productive’ WordPress sites. Her focus is on teaching people just how fun (and profitable) WordPress can be. She’s been involved in the community for some time, including serving on the Atlanta WordCamp organizer team for seven years, mentoring newer WordCamp organizers, and taking on a wide variety of other volunteer roles.
Through her website, Kathy offers customized services related to development, education, training, and more. She also constantly inspires users at WordCamps. You can also find out about upcoming events she will be participating in, read content from past events, and get in touch with Kathy herself.
Carrie Dils (@cdils)
Carrie Dils is a freelance WordPress developer and consultant, who is active in the community in a number of ways and uses her knowledge to inspire others to invest in building their own businesses. Through her blog, she offers valuable advice on freelancing, WordPress, and a variety of related topics. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned developer, Carrie has wisdom to share that you can take advantage of.
Besides her blog and Twitter account, there are a number of ways you can follow Carrie and learn from her. You can listen to her weekly podcast, OfficeHours.FM, and check out its related e-book. She’s also created a dedicated course for new freelancers, to help them get started on the right foot. We highly recommend exploring Carrie’s website thoroughly, since there’s a lot on offer.
Kim Doyal (@kimdoyal)
Kim Doyal goes by the title The WordPress Chick, which is as accurate a designation as we’ve seen. Among other things, she’s a podcaster, coach, and general WordPress wizard. She spends her time teaching others how to build and scale their businesses on their terms, or as she puts it, without “dulling your shine.” Her expertise comes from many years of running her own businesses, working in web design, coaching, and more.
If you’re interested in hearing from Kim, there are a number of ways to do so. You can check out her podcast, which focuses on helping you learn to generate more leads and grow your business using WordPress. She also maintains an active blog, covering a variety of topics related to business, WordPress, development, and so on. Plus, she offers customized services for anyone looking for solid coaching on all sorts of online business ventures.
Christine Rondeau (@bluelimemedia)
Christine Rondeau is a WordPress developer and themer, who has been involved with the platform in one way or another since 2004. She specializes in front-end development, and even taught classes on WordPress for several years. Her business, Bluelime Media, is focused on helping people create awesome websites, whether they are primarily content creators or graphic designers. She brings together people with diverse skill sets, so they can work together to make their visions a reality.
Aside from Twitter, Christine runs a blog on her website that is well worth reading. She shares valuable tips and resources, and writes about the latest development topics and tools. Finallly, she frequently volunteers for the group Canada Learning Code (formerly known as Ladies Learning Code), which teaches the technical skills required to learn coding, and focuses on helping disadvantaged groups.
Sara Rosso (@rosso)
As the Director of Marketing for Automattic, she knows WordPress inside and out. She’s worked for various tech companies since 1996, including Hewlett-Packard and Ogilvy, and has a keen knowledge of business and digital marketing strategies. She publishes content across many web and print publications on a wide variety of topics, and speaks frequently on technology, WordPress, personal branding, writing, and much more.
It’s challenging to summarize all the projects Sara has been involved in, within the WordPress community and elsewhere. She is one of the founders of Girl Geek Dinners, for example, which is an organization promoting women in the tech industry that spans 23 chapters at the time of this writing. She even founded a World Nutella Day, which she handed over to the Ferrero corporation in 2015. If you’re interested in learning from Sara and hearing about her many adventures, she regularly writes about business, WordPress, and other topics on her blog.
Ana Segota (@Ana_Segota)
Ana had always been passionate about design, but after a bit of encouragement from her husband taught herself HTML/CSS and became a developer. In 2012 she found WordPress and began She now curates a collection of beautiful WordPress themes on her own website Anariel Design, and when she’s not tweeting about themes or WordCamps she’s attending she’s sharing yummy pictures of her plant based recipes on her other handle @easyvegkitchen.
Lisa Work (@Lisa_Work)
Lisa is a talented WordPress expert who not only works with WordPress but teaches it too! Lisa runs the Be Bright Studio where she is dedicated to making it possible for anyone (no matter their skill level) to build their own amazing website with WordPress. She connects directly with WordPress users via her courses and workshops, but also gives back to the community with downloadable kits and free resource guides to help DIYers get started.
We also highly recommend Lisa’s blog where she share tips on branding, web design, marketing and more to help you get your business u and running.
Claire Botherton (@abrightclearweb)
Claire is a freelance web developer who began working with WordPress in 2012. She currently offers website design, tweaks, maintenance and one-on-one training. But in addition to her work with WP, she’s an advocate for web accessibility.
Megan Jones (@jonesblogs)
Megan is a self professed coffee lover living in Brighton who also happens to know a heck of a lot about WordPress. She’s used that knowledge to become a talented author who just so happens to write for WPExplorer (see her work on our blog) as well as a number of other reputable blogs like PremiumWP, Elegant Themes, WPLift and more. She tweets often about all things WordPress with
Brenda Barron (@digitalinkwell)
Brenda has made a name for herself writing for Envato, Torque, WPMU and of course WPExplorer (check out her latest posts on our blog). She regularly tweets business tips (with many WordPress related) and shares her Digital Inkwell Digest which is a roundup or interesting world news/events. For more be sure to head over to Brenda’s blog where she shares freelancing guides, social media tips, infographics, general business advice and more.
Andrea Badgley (@andreabadgley)
Andrea first got into WordPress by blogging about her daily life and thoughts (which you can still checkout on her blog). Now she’s a Happiness Engineer over at Automattic, which means she spends a ton of her time helping others use WordPress.
Andrea has given presentations at various WordCamps on writing skills, most recently at WordCamp Europe in 2016 on how to publish in 10 minutes a day (you can watch the video of her presentation over on WordPressTV). But she’s also very active on Twitter sharing personal though, good reads and of course a bit of WordPress news.
Josepha Haden (@JosephaHaden)
Josepha is a Community Wrangler at Automattic, which means she works with WordPress and meetups all around the world.
She first found WordPress back in 2010 through her mom who serendipitously had an extra ticket to a local WordCamp. For Josepha it was love at first meetup, and now her passion for the platform overflows into her work, community outreach and of course on social media.
Leslie Bernal (@agirlandhermac)
Leslie loves puppies, binge watching shows, bacon and WordPress (duh!). She has a BFA in graphic design, an eye for UX and extensive knowledge of the Divi theme. In fact she develops Divi child themes over at A Girl and Her Mac . Chances are if you have a question about Divi or WordPress Leslie will have an answer. In addition to her day to day work with WordPress she also spends time getting involved by attending WordCamps and sharing great tips & tools on Twitter.
Want to see more of Leslie? Tune in on Tuesdays for Divi Chat where Leslie and a group of other pros talks about WordPress topics.
Women are everywhere in technology. Since there are so many avenues to pursue within the WordPress niche, however, it can be difficult to find them and their unique voices. Luckily, they continue to work their magic anyway, making it more difficult to overlook them every day.
In this post, we’ve introduced you to 21 amazing women who work within WordPress. We talked about what they do for the platform and the community, and let you know how you can follow them online. All of them have invaluable knowledge, expertise, and insights to share, and we encourage you to follow them on Twitter and check out their websites, blogs, and podcasts.
Is there a female voice in WordPress you feel should be added to this list? Tell us all about her work in the comments section below!