‘Women in technology,’ the sentence challenges the age-old stereotype restricting the professional development of women in tech spaces. The Tech industry monopolized by men is witnessing strong membership of women in the 21st century. All thanks to the enthusiasm of inspiring women in technology.
They took the initiative to build a strong ecosystem where women can participate and exhibit their skills. They earned an honorable position in technology. These women laid the foundation for other women too. Their persistent endeavors inspire us to glorify and appreciate such prominent ladies.
Hence, presenting you the list of women who broke the shackles of patriarchy with their talent and confidence.
Inspiring Women in Technology
1: Grace Hopper
Grace Hopper is a celebrated name in the virtual world of coding and programming language. She is the pioneer of the community involvement of women in technology. Hopper was an American computer scientist who served in the United States Navy as a rear admiral. She was also a member of the Harvard Mark I team and Eckert Mauchly computer cooperation, which developed the UNIVAC 1 computer.
She put forward the idea of an English based programming language. Hopper turned it to reality by developing a program linker that could convert English terms into machine code.
Influenced by her spectacular progress in computer technology, a college of prestigious Yale University is named after her.
She was awarded 40 degrees from universities all around the globe. Former president of America Barack Obama honored her by the Presidential Medal of Freedom on 22nd November 2016.
Microsoft corporation has a separate employee group for women called Hoppers. An annual conference Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in computing, introduces innovation, research, and career growth of women in technology.
2: Ada Lovelace
Ada Lovelace (Augusta Ada Byron) was a British mathematician who is known to be the first computer programmer. She is recognized for her work on The Analytical Engine formulated by Charles Babbage.
She was the daughter of the famous poet Lord Byron. Her mother, Annabella Milbanke Byron, wanted her to develop a scientific approach. She learned mathematics and science, which was an odd course for women in the 19th century.
Ada met Babbage at the age of 17 and developed an interest in the field of computing. Once, Babbage asked her to translate an article related to Analytical Machine written by an Italian engineer. She not only translated it but added her own ideas too. However, her work was published in 1843 but was not given any importance.
The US Department of Defense named a programming language as ADA in 1979. From 2009, the Second Tuesday of October is celebrated as Ada Lovelace Day to acknowledge the contribution of women in technology.
3: Meghan Smith
Meghan J. Smith served as the third Chief Technical Officer of The United States of America. She was also the Vice President of business development at Google and the co-founder of the Malala Fund. After leaving her office as CTO, she assisted in launching the Tech job tour. The motive was to bring diversity in the technological sector.
Being the proponent of STEM career and education, she encouraged the technologists to work in the public sector. It inspired young alumni of Harvard University to establish a national non-profit organization called Coding it Forward. It provides internships of data science and technology to students in the United Nations Federal agencies.
Smith has contributed to the field of technology, engineering, and space station construction program. She has been listed as one of the most powerful women in technology by various publications.
4: Paula Scher
Paula Scher is an American graphic designer, author, and educator. She was the first female principal at Pentagram. During her eight years’ service at CBS records, she designed nearly 150 album covers per year. The most popular albums were Boston, Ginseng Women, One on one, and Sakura: Japanese melodies for flute and harp.
4 Grammy nominations conferred her dedication. She created promotional material, environmental graphics, and publication design for notable organizations like Microsoft, Bloomberg, Coca-Cola, The New York City Ballet, and The Museum of Modern Art. Scher is recognized for taking graphic designing to all new pinnacles. She established this art as a career opportunity with her vivid ideas and creativity.
5: Reshma Saujani
Reshma Saujani is the first Indian origin American politician to run for the US Congress. During her election campaign, she visited schools and realized the broad gender gap in computing at the high school level.
This led to the foundation of internationally acclaimed non-profit organization Girls Who Code. The main motive of Girls Who Code is to abolish the wide gap in computing between men and women and promote gender equality.
The technology of coding has great prospects in the present as well as in the future. The organization imparts the coding skill in women at very affordable prices. Her literary work ‘Brave but Not Perfect’ is the International bestseller.
The book attempts to inculcate the quality of bravery. It inspires women to free themselves from the idealism of perfection and make fierce decisions without the fear of failures.
6: Margaret Hamilton
Margaret Hamilton was an American computer scientist and engineer. She was the director of the software engineering division at MIT Instrumentation laboratory. She was selected for NASA’s onboard flight program Apollo as a software developer. Apollo program was the mission that landed a man on the moon.
Back in the ’60s, women were not supposed to be tech members of such projects. People even accused her of not taking care of 4-year-old daughter Lauren while working. But her passion for changing lives through this space program kept her determined. The criticisms didn’t stop her.
Under the leadership of then-president John F. Kennedy, America became the first country to reach on the moon. Before this program, the domain of software development was not taken seriously. She proved its significance for the progress of the humans and established it as a component of engineering.
Her perseverance towards her work benefitted America as well as the whole world. Reaching the surface of the moon is the biggest achievement of humans ever. The Apollo 11 mission unlocked many entrances of exploration in space and aeronautics.
The modern coders designate her as ‘The Mother of software engineering.’ Today, the patronage of software development is broadening its horizons by solidifying it as a mainstream industry. Her meritorious contribution in the field of software was rewarded by the Presidential medal of freedom by Barack Obama.
7: Dr. Sue Black OBE
Susan Elizabeth black is a British computer scientist and a social worker. She is one of the most renowned names in technology today. Life was never a bed of roses for black.
It kept on testing her patience. Black lost her mother in early childhood. When her father remarried, she left home at the age of 16 without completing the education.
Black’s life took a major turn when she married and soon became the mother of 3 children. Her marital disputes forced her to move to a women refugee camp.
Being a single mother, it was difficult for Black to continue with her studies. The zeal to learn kept her focused. Following her jubilant career series, she earned a Ph.D. and worked at the research center of University College London.
As a technology evangelist at Durham University, Black envisions to have a global leadership of women in information technology. Efficient online energy management enabled Black to preserve Bletchley Park UK. Community outreach activities accomplished the rigorous task of raising funds for its restoration through social media.
Black’s organization Techmums empowers women by giving them free training of online advances, digital security, and python. She was granted an OBE by the queen of Britain in the year 2016 for hard-hitting the barriers of gender in technology.
8: Kimberly Bryant
Kimberly Bryant is an African American electrical engineer. She has professional experience of over 20 years in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Her daughter’s eagerness to learn programming inspired her to teach coding to middle school girls and women.
Bryant’s daughter joined a programming class but observed a terrible gender ratio over there. Also, witnessing all white people around, she felt detached and anxious. The issue concerned Bryant. As a dutiful mother, Bryant took the initiative to teach coding to her child.
She thought of each little girl who wished to fly high but could not due to racism and gender bias. Hence, she founded a non-profit organization, Black Girls Code, to counterattack these prejudices and encourage the participation of more and more women in technology.
Initially, the organization only had a few girls. Her far-sighted wisdom expanded it to many cities. The little flame slowly turned to a wildfire. Subsequently, the American masses welcomed the initiative, which promoted the next move.
She planned to have global relationships with ambitious women in technology. Black Girls Code evolved internationally with its head office in Johannesburg, South Africa. Black Girls Code has now taught the skills to thousands of ladies and aims to teach 1 million by 2020.
The inspirational journey which started with the savings of Bryant transformed into an empire. Her noble cause and devotion fix her place in one of the most promising women in technology.
9: Amali de Alwis
Amali Chivanthi de Alwis is the managing director of Microsoft start-ups in the UK. Alwis was also the first chief executive officer of Code First: Girls. The foundation promotes gender diversity in the IT sector by providing free or paid courses to women.
It touched the marvelous figures in training the women about the operating system, language processing, and coding. She shared her vibrant ideas by writing in The Times and The Daily Telegraph. As a board member of Ada, The National College for Digital Skills, and The Institute of Coding, Alwis is toiling very hard to increase the percentage of women in technology and bring out advance women.
She holds the honor of 2017 women in IT award and most influential women in IT in 2018 by Computer Weekly. In the year 2018, she was awarded an MBE (Most excellent order of the British Empire) for the excellent services in the IT field.
The success story of Amali de Alwis proves the leadership of women. It sets up an example that women are equally reliable for powerful and responsible positions in a corporation.
10: Pip Jamieson
The professional world started humming when a young lady came up with the start-up of challenging the legacy of LinkedIn. Pip Jamieson, in 2014 launched The-Dots aiming to connect employers and employees with creativity.
The Dots is a platform for creative professionals. It doesn’t judge you based on your degree, scores, or college. It allows the employer to search for the deserving person according to his ability to work.
The amazing idea impressed the creative industry of the UK. The Dot family comprises of 62% women, 31% BAME (Black, Asian, Minority ethnic), and the rest from the LGBT community. The giants of the corporate world like Facebook, BBC, Sony Pictures, Google, and Tate are the main clients of The Dot.
Jamieson affirms that creativity emerges from diversity. Having a team of such people who come from the same background doesn’t bring anything new to the table. Diversity of school, college, and place always generates something fresh and contemporary. She realized this fact while working at MTV, Australia.
This search for creativity and diversity built the foundation of The Dot. Jamieson faced sexism and misogyny at the beginning. But her utmost commitment answered every one. After receiving an overwhelming response from the UK, she plans for a big shot now.
With the ambition of global advances of The Dot, she travels to many cities. The Dot has established itself as a recognized platform in many international cities. Pip Jamieson is an inspiration for all budding entrepreneurs. Amazing ideas and their strategic execution are the specializations of Jamieson.
Here’s how the triumph tales come to an end. Yet, the stories are countless. From an emerging start-up to a reputed organization, there are millions of women all around the global community, struggling to change the perspective of people regarding women in technology.
The day is not far away when women can work together with men without any discrimination. The obstacles are many, but the potential of women is far beyond. Hence, we should respect all the women who are sacrificing their joyful life for bringing a change not only in technology but in every field.
So, this was my list of some of the inspiring women in technology. You can prepare your own. If I have left anyone, please let me know in the comments section.