Women's Massive Influence on Technology

Women’s Massive Influence on Technology

Engineer James Damore was fired from Google recently after writing an ignorant memo saying that there are biological reasons why women aren’t fully represented in engineering.

That’s ridiculous because women invented most technologies we use today.

Girls need to know the truth that they were made for science and technology. Scientists have proven that females work with languages (programming languages) better than males. They also find errors (de-bugging) better than males.

It’s sad to see so many females have been kept “small” and discouraged from working in technical fields.

The following women are the reason for many technologies we use today.

Williamina Fleming and the Harvard “Computers”

In the late 1800’s, men at Harvard’s observatory were collecting data about the planets and stars. The information they had gathered became massive. They didn’t know how (or want) to calculate all that raw data.

They thought that programming sounded like a boring, tedious, clerical job. So, they made women do it.

Edward Pickering asked his maid, Williamina Flemming to work as a “computer” and calculate the data for them.

She agreed. She then assembled 80 bad-ass, female, mathematicians to join her in calculating the measurements of the universe. These accurate calculations are still used today.

The Women of ENIAC: The First Computer Programmers

During World War II, U.S. Military women were plotting missile trajectories by hand. These manual calculations were complex and time-consuming.

A couple of guys built the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) and had the women program it to perform the calculations.

The ENIAC was the first electrical computer and it was women who programmed it. They also created the first software program and discovered the use of computer memory and storage.

The female “computers” grew into what would become NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Females also hold the trophy for being the first mechanical computer programmers, thanks to Ada Lovelace.


Grace HopperGrace Hopper The ‘mother of computing’GracGGrace Hopper The ‘mother of computing’

In the late 1940’s, Grace Hopper was working in the Navy Reserve at the Harvard Computation Lab. There she programmed the Mark I computer to carry out military tasks.

Afterwards, she worked for the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation where she helped create the first business computer, the UNIVAC I.

She created the very first “compiler” which translates programming languages into binary code (1’s and 0’s).

Computers still only understand binary, so her contribution has been vital for technology to this day.

She even created her own compiled programming language called COBOL (which is still used today).Karen

Karen Spärck Jones

Jones introduced the use of “thesauri” which allowed computers to recognize similar words.

Technology wouldn’t be anywhere near as advanced if we couldn’t search for things online.

Search engines still use her discoveries to match keywords to websites.

Adele Goldberg (influenced Apple’s graphics)

Adele’s work inspired Steve Jobs’ creation of the first Apple computer.

Goldberg worked as a researcher for the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in the 1970s. It was there that she and some men built the Smalltalk-80 programming language.

They also developed the design for overlapping windows on the computer screen also known as the Graphical User Interface or GUI (pronounced Gooey).

Goldberg showed Smalltalk’s GUI to Steve Jobs and it fascinated him. He said that he knew the GUI represented the future of computing, and of Apple.

Susan Kare (also, influenced Apple’s graphics)

He was right. In addition to Adele Goldberg’s inspired GUI, Susan Kare is the reason for the following Apple computer’s signature graphics.

Kare created sleeker fonts for Steve Jobs.

She developed the idea that computer graphics be represented by real-world objects.For example the trash can, the Apple clock, the pointer finger and so on.

Kare even designed Apple’s “command” key inspired by a Swedish symbol for a “castle”.

Megan Smith

(CTO of the United States and the Woman Who Helped Save the Internet)

Former Google VP, Megan Smith served as CTO under President Obama. She helped update the US Government’s technology. She was probably shocked to see that in 2015 they were still using floppy disks!

As CTO, she advised President Obama to support a free and open internet and maintain net neutrality.

Recent and Current Women in Tech  CEO ofFemales need to know that they can succeed in this field. Women are doing it right now by advancing the tech for massive companies like YouTube, Google, Facebook, HP, and IBM.

Recent and Current Women of Tech (2018)

  • Meg Whitman former Hewlett Packard (HP) CEO and former CEO of eBay.
  • Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube and Google.
  • Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM.

Teach your daughters to learn a skill that will benefit her far into the future.

If she learns a how to program, she can look forward to salaries of around 100k. Technology isn’t going anywhere. If anything it will continue to grow. She would be taken care of for life.

Technology makes our lives easier, safer and more fun. We need women to come back to tech so we can advance even more. Are you or do you know a woman in the tech industry?

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