As Ada Lovelace day took place earlier this week, we found the perfect opportunity to have a look at some influential women in technology both past and present. Whilst we’re not there yet, the gender gap in the STEM fields is decreasing, although unevenly distributed, it is taking steps in the right direction as more and more women are becoming recognised in the industries.
Ada Lovelace was a mathematician who helped to create and program the world’s first general purpose computer, creating the precursor to modern programming. She was a pioneer of her time, promoting the STEM fields from a very young age.
Firstly starting off as a Hollywood actress, this was not all she had to offer. Hedy Lamarr and her co-inventor George Antheil developed the idea of frequency hopping, a method allowing signals to be sent through different frequency channels. Now, her work has played a part in many wireless technologies we use today, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
A computer science graduate at leading USA University Berkeley, Carol Shaw is a famous name for the design and programming of video games for Atari. She programmed one of the most successful and advanced (at the time) computer games – River Raid.
As Google’s first female engineer, Marissa Mayer is a pioneer in technology and was the Vice President of the company’s location and local services. She led the management and engineering for a variety of aspects of Google including Google Maps, Google Earth and Latitude. Since 2012, Marissa has held the position of president and CEO of Yahoo! which has been less successful than her time at Google. Despite this she is still ranked in the Forbes 'World’s Most Powerful Women in Technology" list 2016 at #55.
Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg has been named the most powerful woman in technology in Forbes, for the fifth consecutive year. She has a personal fortune of $1.4 billion and alongside her role as Facebook's COO she is also a voice for female empowerment in the work place.
“It’s essential for girls to see that they have a future in STEM, and for women to see that they can progress in STEM careers all the way to the top,” (Suw Charman-Anderson, Founder of Ada Lovelace Day)
Sources: Forbes, Dice, EFF, Biography, BizTech, The Guardian