7 Women Who Changed the Face of Tech
It’s International Women’s Day, which means at Team Organic HQ we’re supporting the wonderful work of women in the tech industry.
Only 17% of employees working in tech are female. And with that huge gap between the number of women in tech compared to the number of men, it’s important to #PressforProgress and encourage women to get involved in STEM subjects from a young age.
And what better to be encouraged by than some of the brilliant women of tech, past, present and future, who have made a change to the industry? Here are just a few of the talented women paving the way for budding techies.
Elizabeth Muriel Gregory “Elsie” MacGill (1905 – 1980) was the world’s first woman to have an aeronautical engineering degree, and the first woman in Canada to receive a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering.
Graduating from the University of Toronto, MacGill helped design the first Canadian all-metal aircraft in 1934. She also oversaw production of the Hawker Hurricane, which played an instrumental part in the Second World War, specifically in the Battle of Britain.
While it may not be the tech us digital marketers are dealing with on a daily basis, it’s certainly a vital part of our current on-the-go lifestyle.
Dr Radia Perlman is one of the founding “fathers” of the internet, so to speak. Her invention on spanning tree protocol (STP) is part of the foundation for the operation of network bridges and had a profound impact on how networks self-organise and move data.
STP improved on the scalability of Ethernet, transforming it to a protocol that can handle large clouds. She went on to design TRILL, improving Ethernet by increasing its bandwidth capabilities.
Dr Perlman even has a spot in the Internet Hall of Fame – you can view her acceptance speech here.
Evelyn Boyd Granville
Evelyn Boyd Granville was one of the first African-American women to receive a PhD in mathematics and attended Yale and Smith during periods of segregation in America. Throughout her career, she accomplished many feats, including developing computer games used for trajectory analysis in the Mercury Project and in the Apollo Project.
Rather than being a woman who has changed the face of tech, Shaherose Charania is a woman who continues to change the face of the digital landscape.
Charania is best known for being a Canadian tech entrepreneur and co-founder and CEO of Women 2.0. The media company offers content, community and conferences for aspiring and current women innovators in technology.
Not only does she change the landscape with her own work, but provides a helping hand for the (unfortunately few) women in tech who need it, creating a sense of community where it’s needed most. Women 2.0 hosts monthly educational and networking workshops, engaging entrepreneurs and investors from venture capital firms and angel investors.
Ayah Bdeir is best known as the founder and CEO of LittleBits Electronics whose droid inventor kit has recently been awarded Creative Toy of the Year by Toy of the Year Awards.
LittleBits Electronics is changing the way we think about tech, by bringing the power back to the consumer. Rather than accepting that the tech we buy will come from the big brands, with no personalisation or leniency, Bdeir has created a space where consumers can build their own tech by buying the parts from her website.
To learn more about her company you can watch her TED Talk here.
Silicon Valley based entrepreneur Ching-Yu Hu is the co-founder of Skybox Imaging, a company that paved the way for information gathering.
Bought by Google for £500 million, and then by Planet, the original company founded the concept of launching breadbox-sized satellites into space to map the earth. Data from the first two satellites will be used to monitor crops, traffic patterns and deforestation in the Amazon.
Hu said: “It’s really powerful information, and it can touch every sector of the economy.”
And with those who have made a change to tech – we look to those who will change it in the future.
DIY Girls is a non-profit organisation created by Evelyn Gomez, focused on getting girls into STEM subjects by working with schools.
Their recent venture has seen the invention of a solar panel tent by teen girls from low-income families.
The girls, from San Fernando High School in LA, had never done hands-on engineering work prior to creating the solar-powered tent, but used help from YouTube and Google to get the job done.