Due to several reasons, from unequal opportunities for growth to gender bias at work, the number of female tech icons isn’t up to half their male counterparts. This inequality makes us appreciate the women who have scaled challenges and become forces to reckon with in the tech industry. In this post, we bring five top female innovators worth celebrating in the tech space.
The Mother of the Internet
Radia Perlman, a network engineer and computer programmer, earned the nickname ‘mother of the internet’ in the 1980s. Although the internet has existed since the 1960s, she got into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for her network invention.
In 1985, Radia’s supervisor asked her to create a reliable system that allowed computers to share data. She developed the spanning-tree protocol (STP), which provided backup links in case of a network link failure. Her design would become a basis for the modern-day world wide web (WWW).
The First Computer Programmer
Ada Lovelace, a mathematician born in 1815, became the first computer programmer even before the first modern computer existed. She became friends with Charles Babbage, the father of computers, around 1833. Ada transcribed an article about Charles’ Analytical Engine into English in 1843.
In the article about the Analytical Engine’s functionality, she added her notes and labeled them alphabetically from A to G. Ada wrote a comprehensive data input method to allow the Engine to calculate Bernoulli numbers. This method became the first computer algorithm program.
A Pioneer in Cybersecurity
Katie Moussouris is the founder and CEO of the cybersecurity company Luta Security. Since she was a young girl, she has always stood out for her interest in programming. Katie was the first girl to take AP computer science in high school.
She has worked for Microsoft, the US Defense Department, and other prominent organizations. She is a mentor in the tech industry, thanks to her dedication to making the internet safer for everyone. Females interested in hacking look up to her as an inspiration.
Helping Girls Break the Gender Barrier
Kimberly Bryant, the founder of Black Girls Code, is an icon in the tech space for her efforts to involve girls in technology. She discovered there weren’t many women in tech when her daughter became interested in computer science; she decided to change it.
Although she studied electrical engineering with mathematics and computer science minors, she set up a nonprofit company to help girls of color learn to code. The company helps expose girls to STEM topics. Her goal is to teach a million black girls coding by 2040.
A Trailblazer in the Space Tech Industry
Gwynne Shotwell is the president and COO of SpaceX; she got into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame in 2020. Initially, Gwynne started her career in the automotive industry in the Chrysler Corporation’s training program. However, she switched careers later.
She became interested in exploring space, and in 2002, she was a candidate for SpaceX. She rose from the 11th employee to the COO. The company became the first to send humans to the International Space Station and into orbit.