Four amazing women in technology to introduce to the young people in your life
We are on a mission to make sure women trailblazers in technology become household names! We wrote last month about how we’ve heard feedback from caregivers to girls (6-16 in particular), that they hear a lot about Gates, Bezos, and Jobs when they look up technology innovations and the stories of women are conspicuously missing. We’d love to shift that narrative. This is a trend that trailblazing women have been challenging for decades and we want to honour that. (If you haven’t read that piece, you’ll find it here.)
We will continue to spotlight the trailblazers that we know exist all the way from pioneers, to today, so that you can introduce them to your loved ones and give them the representation they will seek as they explore careers in STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math).
Since the 1990s, STEM (and more recently STEAM) job growth has accelerated by 79%, exceeding that of other professional fields. But of these figures, just 25% of the employment in computing was given to women. Further, 74% of women in these positions reported encountering gender discrimination at work and pay gaps as related to their male counterparts.
We believe the solutions lie in bringing more women into technology. So here are some role models as we coach the next generation of women trailblazers!
Get to know Katherine Johnson – The Orbital Mathematician Behind Apollo 11
Katherine Johnson, also known as Katherine Goble, was an American mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. crewed spaceflights. Also known, LITERALLY, as a rocket scientist! During her 35-year career with NASA, she earned a reputation for mastering complex manual calculations that helped pioneer the use of computers to perform the tasks. The space agency noted her “historical role as one of the first African-American women to work as a NASA scientist”.
Get to know Grace Hopper– The US Navy Admiral Turned Computing Pioneer
Grace Murray Hopper was responsible for developing the 1st compiler for a computer programming language. She invented COBOL (short for “common business-oriented language”), which in 1959 was introduced as the first standardized general business computer language. She was a US Navy Rear Admiral, and in 1973 she became the first person from the USA, and the first woman to ever, to be made a Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society. She’s also an IEEE Fellow, and the winner of the Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award 1964.
Get to know Michele Romanow – co-founder of Clearco and ‘Dragon’ on Dragon’s Den Canada
Michele Romanow is a serial entrepreneur who started six companies before her 35th birthday. A ‘Dragon’ on CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den (Canada’s Shark Tank), Michele is the Co-founder and CEO of Canadian unicorn, Clearco (formerly Clearbanc). Clearco is the biggest ecommerce investor in the world. She previously co-founded SnapSaves, acquired by American tech giant Groupon; and Buytopia.ca, which acquired ten competitors, including Shop.ca and WagJag. Michele co-founded the Canadian Entrepreneurship Initiative with Richard Branson to encourage more women entrepreneurs.
Get to know Erin Bury – Founder of Willful (online wills)
A marketer, technology expert, and entrepreneur who was named one of Marketing Magazine’s top 30 Under 30, Erin is the CEO at estate planning startup Willful. She was previously Managing Director at comms firm Eighty-Eight, and founding editor at startup publication BetaKit. She is also an advisor to startups Quill, Pawzy, and Pressed News. Her side hustle is founding the bike wine tour company The County Wine Tours in Prince Edward County.
Women in tech are doing some amazing work. And there’s plenty more room at the table of technology for us. The field offers wonderful adrenaline (which many women enjoy, just as much as men); it fosters pride in innovation, and creates opportunities regularly to celebrate victories. Women can invent. Women can fix problems. Women can create. Women can design plans. And that is essentially what careers in STEAM can offer.
We’ll be back soon with more amazing women trailblazers in technology. Representation matters!
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