Technology is a field that was and continues to be dominated by men. Still, there are Women Who Shaped the Tech World. The stories of some of these pioneers and currently have recently gained attention. The question that now arises here is that if women are half of the population, why will their representation in the tech industry fail to reflect this? The problems faced by women explain a lot of disparities in representation, pay, and other issues. Here we have gathered a list of contemporary tech leaders for discussing the history of women in the tech world.
Popular Historical Women Who Shaped the Tech World
- Ada Lovelace (1815-1852)
Ada Lovelace was the daughter of the famous poet Lord Byron. Lovelace was an English mathematician who became friends with Charles Babbage, the first Analytical Machine creator. Lovelace helped Charles to write the first computer programs for running on his Analytical Machine. Lovelace was a visionary who saw what computers could become someday. Lovelace was inspired by a renowned scientist, Mary Somerville, also known as “Queen of 19th Century Science”, and was the first woman to get accepted in the Royal Astronomical Society. It was Somerville who introduced Lovelace to the idea of Babbage.
- Grace Hopper (1906-1992)
She was a computer scientist and an admiral in the U.S. Navy. She was the one who created the first compiler, and also she worked on the Univac, the first commercial computer. She also played a key role in the creation of the COBOL programming language.
- Annie Easley (1933-2011)
Annie was amongst the first Black Americans who worked as a computer scientist at NASA. She was the one to develop and implement the code that led to the battery development used in the first hybrid cars.
- Gladys West (1930-)
Gladys was the second woman to work at the Naval Proving Ground in 1956. She played a role in the programming of the IBM 7030 computer that delivered calculations for a geodetic Earth model, which is now known as GPS.
- Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000)
Hedy was a popular actress, but she was not one-dimensional. Her contributions helped in laying the foundation of what is known as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth communications technologies.
- Katherine Johnson (1918-2020)
Katherine Johnson was the lead character in Hidden Figures, a 2016 movie. She calculated trajectories that were of extreme importance to NASA’s manned spaceflight.
- Shirley Jackson (1946-)
She is the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a physicist. She developed the technology for enabling caller ID and call waiting. Moreover, she is also the first Black woman who got a doctorate at MIT and the second Black woman to get a doctorate in Physics in the U.S.
- Elsie Shutt (1928-)
She is a computer programmer who founded a software company, CompInc, in 1958 before the giants like Microsoft and Apple were founded. She was amongst the first women to begin a software business not just in the U.S but in the entire world.
- Susan Penfield
She is the chief innovation officer at Booz Allen Hamilton, a 27,000 person technology consulting firm. Apart from overseeing the company’s next-gen technology advising, she also focuses on female representation among her staff and encourages female students to pursue STEM careers.
- Ann Chow
Ann is the CEO of AT&T Business. She is a prominent woman in the tech industry who has also helped elevate women in the industry.
- Radia Perlman
Radia is the one to create the Spanning Tree Protocol, which has helped to build massive networks using Ethernet by creating a mesh network of layer-2 bridges and then disabling the links that are not part of that tree. This has served as the building block of the internet.