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Five Inspirational Women in Tech

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This International Women’s Day, we wanted to highlight five women we at blue{shift} find to be incredibly inspiring. They’re diverse in their pursuits, passionate about their fields, and driven to innovate. Though there are many who could (and should) be featured, below is our short list of five remarkable women in science and technology:

Julie Payette

Julie Payette is one of the most multifaceted role models we know! After completing university on a scholarship, she pursued a Computer Engineering masters degree and worked as a systems engineer for IBM before becoming a pilot and an astronaut. Amazingly, she has logged over 611 hours in space! Besides her success in STEM, she speaks six languages, carried Canada’s Olympic flag in the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Games, and performed as a classical musician in the Montreal Symphony. Currently, she is the Governor General of Canada. Phew!

Limor Fried

Graduate of the Media Lab at MIT, entrepreneur, and electrical engineer Limor Fried (nicknamed LadyAda) founded adafruit.com, an all-encompassing website which allows consumers to buy computer hardware and learn how to use it through free tutorials. She isn’t just a woman in tech; she’s a woman in hardware and manufacturing. She does it her way and has a very sincere mission to educate. She has crafted the Adafruit website as a treasure trove of honest reviews, how to videos and forums. She was named one of Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Technology in 2011 and was the first female engineer on the cover of Wired magazine. She has influenced not only the technology sector but has also inspired many on their path to entrepreneurship.

Kathryn Parsons

Kathryn Parsons is a trailblazer. As the CEO of her business Decoded, a non-executive board member of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and member of the UK Government Cyber Security Skills Advisory Board (just to name a few!), she is an entrepreneur and an advocate for digital literacy. Her “Code in a Day” workshops teach adults computing skills in London, and she was named one of Business Insider’s 2013’s 30 Most Important Women in Tech Under 30. In 2014, she successfully campaigned for coding to be included in the UK national curriculum — something very important to us at blue{shift}… She said in The Memo:

Learn code, banish fear, empower yourself with the languages, tools and skills of the digital age and be part of making history.

Dr. Christyl Johnson

As a doctor in systems engineering, Dr. Christyl Johnson has used her scientific education both in practice and in policy. After studying physics and electrical engineering, she worked in research centres and then the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Throughout her career, she has implemented engineering policies, standards, program management and practice, and national goals for the sciences in the United States. She is currently NASA Goddard’s deputy director for technology and research investments.

Sandhya Guntreddy

Sandhya Guntreddy is the Principal Program Manager in Artificial Intelligence and Research Organisation at Microsoft. She has worked various roles within Microsoft since 2005. She currently works in artificial intelligence applications that optimise businesses’ and users’ productivity. Besides working in data analytics, design, AI, and the consumer life cycle, she mentors female students from local school across India in Microsoft’s WISE (Women in Science & Engineering) program.

This is just a short list of many qualified and inspiring women in the world of tech; we hope to continue the momentum of promoting STEAM to the next generation of women innovators, scientists, and programmers.

If you are interested in learning more about girls in coding, or know a girl interested in pursuing robotics, animation, coding, or engineering, check out our website to learn about our holiday camps, workshops, and after school clubs.