Although women only gained access to higher education in the nineteenth century, which is about five minutes ago by historical standards, they are now considered to have every educational and career opportunity open to them. However, stereotypes about women are still strong, and we are only at the beginning of the road to true equality. This is especially true in the “technical” fields – programming, data science, project management.
The booming business of computer technology interests many people. The desire to work for a large IT company is based on several things. First, it is the real opportunity to earn money. Second, it is the possibility of fairly rapid advancement in their careers, and third, it is a chance to show themselves and demonstrate their abilities. This or similar answers young people aged 22-28 years give to the question about the reasons why they want to look for a job in an IT company. If you decide to switch your career and get a relevant degree in the IT field, but you still need to work, consider addressing a thesis proposal writing service. Professional writers there will help you with any assignments you will have.
The core staff of thriving IT companies is just young guys, with optimism and a desire to transform the world around them. There is, however, one peculiarity: women in such companies are hired rather reluctantly. An analysis of the composition of companies shows that the IT business is predominantly male. However, there have been lots of women programmers who contributed to technology development, and that was not just Ada Lovelace.
Erna Schneider Hoover, communications system controlled by a recorded program
If you’ve ever reached technical support and still got an operator to answer your phone, you have Erna Schneider Hoover to thank for that. She revolutionized modern communications by inventing the system with the stored program control. With this, the computer automatically regulates the speed at which calls are received. It helps avoid overloading the lines. At those times, switching units were being converted from electronic to computerized, and the systems had an annoying habit of freezing up if a lot of calls were coming into the line.
Dr. Hoover was one of the first to get a patent for developing the software, and her technology is still used in call centers around the world today. Without Erna Hoover, you’d never get through to the support line.
Karen Spark Jones, search and retrieval technology
Karen Spark Jones contributed to something without which we could not imagine our lives today. She developed information retrieval (IR) technologies that enabled users to interact with computers using ordinary words instead of equations and codes. This breakthrough was critical to the later development of search engines. We can see the results of this breakthrough today in the very Google.
Her invention had a great impact on the technology we now work with on a daily basis, from the aforementioned search engines to verbal document retrieval.
Evelyn Boyd Granville, one of the first African-American women to receive a PhD and work at NASA
Evelyn Boyd Granville is one of the first African-American women to receive a doctorate in mathematics. She attended Yale during a time of racial segregation. During her career, she developed programs that were used to analyze the trajectory of Project Mercury (the first manned U.S. mission in space) and Project Apollo (American astronauts on the moon).
If you search for information about Granville, you can find a few biographical facts, but not a voluminous study of her contributions. This “erasure” of black women’s (and women in general) research and work in the past is a dismal precursor to current problems.
Hedy Lamarr certainly doesn’t look like a computer freak, at least not when it comes to stereotypes. She became a movie star and sex symbol by appearing nude in a scene in the 1933 movie Ecstasy. Many Americans will remember her face, but few are aware of her invention – frequency hopping spread spectrum technology. By manipulating radio frequencies at irregular intervals between transmission and reception, she managed to form an undecipherable code protected from interception by enemy services.
In 1942 she patented a system that allowed remote control of torpedoes. After the news of the sinking of the evacuation ship that killed 77 children on September 17, 1940, along with her friend and composer George Antheil, Hedy Lamarr set out to invent a radio-controlled torpedo that could not be intercepted or jammed.
Lamarr’s idea was that if you remotely communicate the coordinates of a target to a controlled torpedo on one frequency, the enemy could easily intercept the signal, jam it, or redirect the torpedo to another target. If you used a random code on the transmitter that would change the transmission channel, you could synchronize the same frequency transitions on the receiver as well.
In August 1942, Lamarr and Antheil received patent number 2,292,387 “Secret Communication System”.
The discovery has served the warships well, and also served as the basis for modern communication technologies such as Bluetooth, COFDM (used in Wi-Fi networks) and CDMA (used in cordless telephones).
Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code
Kimberly Bryant has not yet been erased from the history of the technology industry, but she is still struggling for due recognition. Bryant is the founder of Black Girls Code, an organization that seeks to instill an interest in computer science in minority girls. The diversity problem is quite simple: African-American women make up only 2 percent of all workers in this U.S. industry, compared to 51 percent of white men. At Google, 17% of employees in technical positions are women, of whom 1% are African-American.
In a world where women are told to be good girls and obediently wait for the raises they deserve, where they are called tough and arrogant for leadership qualities, while men are promoted for the same set of qualities, we must remember that these women cannot be overlooked and their achievements must be recorded, celebrated and praised.