No one can deny that technology has always been a male-dominated industry. However, throughout history, there have been a handful of women who have challenged the status quo and made significant contributions to the field of technology. This International Women’s Day, these outstanding women have broken barriers and paved the way for future generations of women in tech.
So, let’s take a look at some of these amazing women who left a mark and made “herstory” in technology!
The First Computer Programmer
Begin with the one of the most influential women in the world of technology who worked with Charles Babbage on his Analytical Engine, a machine that was never built, but which was the first general-purpose computer, Ada Lovelace.
Ada is credited with writing the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine, which is why she is often called the first computer programmer. Her work on the Analytical Engine was so ahead of its time that it wasn’t until the 1940s that her ideas were rediscovered and implemented in modern computing. It was indeed a feat for someone leaving a mark in the industry!
The Celebrity Inventor
If you’re an avid fan of Hollywood, you might have heard of the name Hedy Lamarr and her one-of-a-kind accomplishment in the technological field.
She developed a frequency-hopping spread-spectrum technology during World War II that would later be used for wireless communication. Her invention also laid the groundwork for modern technologies like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi that most of us use today.
The Mother of the Internet
Radia Perlman is known as the Mother of the Internet for her contributions to the development of the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), which is used to prevent network loops. Radia’s work on STP was critical to the development of the internet as we know it today.
She is also credited with inventing the first algorithm for creating a loop-free network topology. Her work has also been instrumental in ensuring that the internet remains stable and reliable. Thank you, our dear mother!
The Queen of Software
Often referred to as the Queen of Software, Grace Hopper was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, one of the earliest electromechanical computers. Grace is also credited with developing the first compiler, a program that translates human-readable code into machine-readable code.
She was instrumental in the development of COBOL, one of the first high-level programming languages. Her contributions were also behind some of the known principles and studies of modern software development.
The “Software Engineer”
Did you know that most Apollo space missions won’t be possible without the help of a reputable woman in the field? Good thing Margaret Hamilton committed to be of service in NASA and ensure that every space exploration is a success.
Margaret was a computer scientist who led the team that developed the software for NASA’s Apollo missions. Her work was critical to the success of these missions, and she was credited with coining the term “software engineering.”
The Human Computer
Another woman who worked and left her legacy with NASA is Katherine Johnson, a mathematician who worked with the agency during the space race missions. She was involved in calculating exact trajectories for space missions – which include the Apollo 11 mission that landed the first humans on the moon.
Katherine’s calculations were so accurate that NASA relied on her work even after electronic computers were discovered and used. Her story was even immortalized in the film “Hidden Figures,” which featured the great women brains behind one of the greatest missions in aerospace history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into space.
The Founder of Girls Who Code
Last but definitely not the least, Reshma Saujan is considered as one of the most distinguished women in the technology field.
She is the founder of the known Girls Who Code organization which aims to close the gender gap in technology by teaching girls to code. Since its founding in 2012, Girls Who Code has reached more than 185,000 girls and counting across the United States. Reshma is also an author and advocate for gender equality in the tech industry.
These women are just a few of the many who have made significant contributions to the field of technology. Their work has paved the way for future generations of women in tech, and their stories are an inspiration to us all. Let’s take a moment to recognize the amazing women who have made herstory in technology!
Happy International Women’s Day!
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