Three Inspirational Women Role Models In The Tech Sector!
Science and technology is a field that shapes our everyday lives in ways that we don’t even think about. New and innovative technologies are being developed all the time, which make our lives safer, easier, and more inclusive.
Young people are now encouraged to take up careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths), as the world has an ever-increasing need for fresh talent in this field. Besides this, STEM careers can of course be interesting, challenging, and well-renumerated.
Despite a lot of focus on the issue in recent years however, there is still a significant gender gap when it comes to the STEM workforce. According to Statistica, just 24% of the workers in this sector in the UK are female.
There are various theories why this is, from a lack of awareness among girls of school age about career options, or negative stereotypes about the type of person who is good at maths and science. The problem starts at A level, when just 35% of girls study STEM subjects, compared to 80% of boys.
A part of the reason may also be a lack of inspirational role models for girls. When it comes to lists of famous computer scientists for example, many of them are exclusively male or just contain one or two token women. So, without further ado, here are some inspirational women in the history of tech.
Ada Lovelace was born in London in December 1815, and was home schooled in maths and science subjects, which was very much the exception for the normal standards of female education at the time. Her father was the notorious Lord Byron, and Ada’s mother was keen for her life to take a different path than that of the flamboyant poet.
Ada demonstrated an early gift for maths and science, and this was nurtured rather than discouraged, which would have been more typical in the era. She is credited with being the world’s first computer programmer, as she wrote detailed notes that form the principles of modern computer science.
Grace Murray Hopper
Grace Hopper was born in New York in 1906 and achieved a masters degree and PHD in mathematics from Yale University in 1930. She was subsequently employed as a Naval Reserve, and worked with the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corp. Throughout her career, Grace helped to develop the common business-orientated language (COBOL).
Although she is not exactly a household name, Grace Hopper did receive recognition for her pioneering achievements during her lifetime, as she was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 1991 by George HW Bush, and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.
Annie Easley was born in 1933 in Birmingham, Alabama. She earned a degree in pharmacy from Xavier University, and after graduating, she took a degree at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).
She went on to develop code that led to the first batteries for hybrid vehicles. Annie had to overcome both racial and gender prejudice in her career.
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