Celebrating women in tech in history for International Women’s Day
On 8 March every year, International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and calls for action on driving forward gender equality. To celebrate IWD 2021, we hosted a virtual event that highlighted inspiring women and their impressive contributions to technology.
We’re facing a huge gender crisis in technology, and it’s getting worse. Only three per cent of women are choosing tech as their first career, which is substantially lower than men. We want to support more women in their choice to go into technology so they can help meet the predicted 90 per cent increase in demand for tech skills in the next 15 years.
On IWD, we decided to celebrate historical women in tech to spotlight the amazing achievements they’ve made:
Four Inspiring Women in Tech
Ada Lovelace: The World’s First Computer Programmer
Her mathematical talent was clear as she worked with Charles Babbage on the Analytical Engine, a complex steam-powered device that used clockwork cogs to perform advanced calculations. Alan Turing used her notes on the Engine as inspiration for his work on the first modern computer.
Rear Admiral Grace Hopper: The Esteemed Computer Scientist
One of the first computer programmers to work on the Harvard Mark 1, Grace’s work led to the development of COBOL, an early programming language we still use today. In 1947, she recorded the world’s first computer bug.
Annie Easley: The NASA Rocket Scientist
When hired, Annie was one of only four black employees at the NASA lab. She inspired many through her work and broke down barriers as an equal opportunities counsellor. Her work was vital to the Centaur rocket project, which set the foundations for space shuttle launches.
Hedy Lamarr: The Inventor of Wi-Fi
Hedy was a self-taught inventor and actress who was awarded a patent in 1942 for her ‘secret communication system.’ Her idea inspired the Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth technology commonly used today.
Here at Women in Tech, we celebrate all these ingenious women and more, hoping that by championing their achievements we can inspire more women to explore careers in technology.
If you know any modern-day Ada Lovelaces, nominate them for April’s WiT of the Month and help us celebrate female technical talent. Just drop an email explaining why you’re nominating them to firstname.lastname@example.org