The CNET list has Ada Byron, Grace Hopper, Mary Shelly, and Marie Curie. Mary Shelly isn’t someone who I’d have listed, but it does seem appropriate now I think about it. Marie Curie is one of the top geeks of all time (killing yourself through science experiments has to score bonus geek points). I hope that there are better alternatives to items 4, 7, 9, and 10 on the Cnet list.
The list from someone else has 9 women I’ve never heard of. If we are going to ignore historical figures (as done in the second list) but want to actually list famous women then the list seems to be short. If we were to make a list of women who are known globally (which would mean excluding women who are locally famous in Australia, or in Debian for example). The only really famous female geek that I can think of is Pamela from Groklaw.
The process of listing the top female geeks might have been started as an attempt to give a positive list of the contributions made by women. Unfortunately it seems to highlight the fact that women are lacking from leadership positions. There seem to be no current women who are in positions comparable to Linus, Alan, RMS, ESR, Andrew Tanenbaum, or Rusty (note that I produced a list of 6 famous male geeks with little thought or effort).
Kirrily has written an interesting article on potential ways of changing this.