Last updated on May 14th, 2022 at 10:27 am.
What we should know about inspiring women in tech? Women have stood shoulder to shoulder alongside men across various fields and professions, including the STEM field. For as long as history can be traced, the STEM industry has lauded men’s achievements and dominance while ignoring women’s achievements. Women in the past were frequently discouraged by large pay gaps between their male counterparts, and gender discrimination, along with barely ever receiving any promotions. However, the stronghold of men in the industry did not stop them from making their mark in the field. Below, we have rounded up a list of women who defied all odds and continued to excel and thrive in the field.
Inspiring Women in Tech You Should Know About
Inspiring women in tech
Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian actress and a self-taught inventor. She is known for inventing a radio device during World War that would prevent the German Nazis from decoding the messages by changing their frequency. The device was called the secret Communications Device. This invention became the key to military and cellular device security. It later served as the foundation for the invention of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology.
Ada Lovelace worked alongside prominent inventor Charles Babbage, working on The Analytical Engine. However, she realized that a machine could follow instructions in a specific language. She developed a ‘program’ for the Analytical Engine. Although the machine was too complex to be made at the time, it would later set the foundation for the invention of computers. Thus, making Lovelace the world’s first computer programmer.
She is one of the most famous women in technology, inspiring and encouraging women. If reading about these women is intriguing, you can explore various careers for women in computer science to learn more about this field and how to get a job in the profession. Ada Lovelace day is celebrated annually every second Tuesday of October, honoring the accomplishments of women in the STEM world.
Katherine Johnson is considered a mathematical genius and was among the only three students who attended Western Virginia’s graduate college. She has made numerous contributions to the field of space technology, co-authoring 25 research reports. She did the calculations and programming that made it possible for Apollo 11 to land on the moon. She has since spent her life encouraging women to pursue careers in science and technology. In 2015, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom at 97.
Dr. Radia Perlman
We have Dr. Perlman to thank for the existence of the Internet. A network engineer and computer programmer by profession, Dr. Perlman’s greatest achievement was the invention of the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP). That allowed data to self-organize and move independently and handle large traffic clouds. Dr. Perlman works as a computer programmer and engineer for Dell Technologies.
Annie Easley was not just a rocket scientist; she was more. She was at the forefront of promoting gender and racial inclusivity in the STEM industry, given that she was among the only four black employees hired by her Lab. In the following decades, she made generous contributions to various computer projects as a computer scientist while actively promoting equal employment opportunities for all ethnicities. One of her most invaluable contributions was at NASA on the Centaur rocket project. Due to this, future space launches became a possibility.
Adele Goldberg is the lady who gave Steve Jobs the key to making the Apple Computers. She played a crucial role in developing the programming language Smalltalk-80, which is said to have stirred the development of the very first Apple Computers. Her work laid the foundations for technology that would allow one to give commands using graphical icons rather than having to type these commands down. Today it is known as the Graphic User Interface (GUI).
Elizabeth Feinler created the forefather of search engines – the Network Information Center. Between 1972 and 1989, she would publish her resources and directories on the Internet through yellow and white pages. Their publishing gave rise to domain names such as ‘.edu,’ ‘.gov,’ and ‘.com,’ among others that we commonly use today.
The Calutron Girls
During World War II, the Calutron Girls were high school graduates hired to work on the Manhattan Project. Their job, primarily, was to isolate uranium using electromagnets. These ladies played a vital role in building the atomic bombs as labor shortage was prevalent. Interestingly, these ladies were mostly given little information about the nature of their work. Yet, they performed tasks far more efficiently and achieved higher production rates than any male scientist that worked with them.
The ENIAC Programmers
The first-ever all-electronic, programmable computer was created as a secret war project in the US during the Second World War. It was called the ENIAC, and six brilliant young women created it. This device was programmed to handle any computational task that it was given. The most interesting part is that it was not developed using any programming languages. Rather, it was based only on logical diagrams and garnered all the attention when it was shown to the public. Unfortunately, the ladies who developed this received little recognition for their hard work.
Above women are really inspiring women in tech. The underrepresentation did not dampen women’s spirits, nor did it prevent them from trailblazing in the field of technology. From coding and programming to laying the foundations of revolutionary ideas and technology, women continued to change the world over time – and inspired us to follow in their footsteps.