March is Women’s History Month, and there are a great many amazing women who have made a significant impact on technology. Since the dawn of computers, females have played a major role in the progress of computer science and technology. The majority of the first programmers were, in fact, women.
Below are three inspiring examples of women who paved the way and made history.
Ada Lovelace (1815–1852) is considered the first computer programmer and was a visionary for programming and computers.
Grace Hopper (1906–1992) is known as the “The mother of computing,” was one of the first programmers for the Harvard Mark I computer, and was the inventor of the compiler.
Margaret Hamilton (1936–Present) worked on software development for Apollo 11 and is credited for coining the term “software engineering”.
These contributions set the foundation and basic principles for modern technology and influenced present-day computing practices. Today, women continue to make an impact in the technology sector.
Ginni Rometty (1957–Present) is the first CEO and president of IBM.
Ursula Burns (1958–Present) became the chair and CEO of Xerox in July of 2009 and the first African-American woman CEO to head a Fortune 500 company.
Megan Smith (1964–Present) was named as the first female Chief Technology Officer of the United States in 2014.
Danah Boyd (1977–Present) has been recognized as an authority on the intersection of technology and society.
While women continue to make a great impact in technology, the number of women studying computer science has decreased by more than 50% over the last 30 years. The technology sector poses challenges for women, however, women continue to push through those boundaries. There are also various groups and emerging organizations to help increase the number of women in technology.
I-ology was founded by Trish Bear in 1998, and she has grown it into the successful organization it is today. Over the last 21 years, Trish faced several challenges and continues to overcome them and pursue her passion. To learn more about her story, accomplishments, and involvement in the community, visit TrishBear.com.
Clement, J. “Share of Fortune 500 Female CIOs 2018.” Statista, 3 Dec. 2019, www.statista.com/statistics/311958/fortune-500-female-cio/.
Clement, J. “U.S. Women in Computing-Related Occupations 2019.” Statista, 17 Mar. 2020, www.statista.com/statistics/311972/us-women-computer-workers/.
Fairygodboss. “Women In Tech: Facts, Figures And Percentages.” Fairygodboss, Fairygodboss, 14 Aug. 2016, fairygodboss.com/articles/women-in-tech-facts-figures-and-percentages.
Richter, Felix. “Infographic: GAFAM: Women Still Underrepresented in Tech.” Statista Infographics, 19 Feb. 2020, www.statista.com/chart/4467/female-employees-at-tech-companies/.
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