Profiling 4 women in technology
Women trailblazers in technology – know their names!
Technology is often seen as a male-dominated industry. Low equality in employment gender representation seems like the leading narrative and it can feel hopeless when it comes to finding representation for raising future leaders in the field.
Over the process of writing our book Please Stay and as we’ve started interviewing for our new book, we heard feedback from parents and caregivers of girls (6-16 in particular), that they hear all about Gates, Bezos, and Jobs when they look up technology innovations. We’d love to shift that narrative. Women have been leading important technology innovation for decades and we want to honour that.
Over the coming months, we will spotlight the trailblazers that we know exist all the way from Grace Hopper and up to today, so that you can introduce them to your daughters and loved ones. This will provide the representation they seek as they explore careers in STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math).
Jean E. Sammet – The Creator of the First Widely Used Programming Language
Jean graduated with an MA in Mathematics in 1949. In 1961, she became manager of IBM’s Programming Center in Boston and oversaw the development of FORMAC (FORmula MAnipulation Compiler), the first widely used general language and the first to manipulate symbolic algebraic expressions. Also known as a programming language. We have a trailblazer woman in technology to thank for programming!
Hedy Lamarr – The inventor of WI-FI
Hedy is a Hollywood star who helped invent Wi-Fi. Lamarr, along with her co-inventor George Anthiel, developed a miniaturized player-piano mechanism with radio signals. They drafted a design for a frequency hopping system which was given a patent in 1942. In 1977, the inventors were recognised for their work and awarded the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Pioneer Award. In 2014, Lamar was also included in the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Well deserved! Life before Wi-Fi isn’t something that most of us can remember today.
Annie Easley – Rocket Scientist
How often do we casually tell children that something isn’t ‘rocket science’? In Annie’s case, real rocket science was in her trailblazing future. She is a strong voice for gender and racial diversity in STEM. She worked as a scientist, mathematician, and rocket scientist at the Lewis Research Center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). She was also the leading member of the team that developed software for the Centaur rocket stage and was one of the first African-Americans to work as a computer scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Whitney Wolfe Herd – Founder of Bumble
Whitney is the founder and CEO of the social and dating app Bumble. Launched in 2014, the software allows two people to “match” and chat online. The unique value proposition? Only women have the power to start the conversation on the app. Whitney changed the game when it came to empowering women in their dating lives. They built the app for people to connect with kindness, accountability, and respect. They have done a lot to foster a safe infrastructure within which women have the ability to make the first move. Whitney is a current day tech trailblazer and Bumble achieved unicorn status (a startup worth 1 billion+) in 2021.
We’ll continue to profile more amazing women trailblazers in technology to raise awareness. Representation matters.
Enjoyed reading this piece? Stay in touch and learn more about women in tech – https://www.linkedin.com/company/womenintechtribe