The latest data from McKinsey shows that women in Europe hold a mere 22% of jobs in tech. Not much, right? Wondering why? Part of the puzzle lies in the historical exclusivity of universities, which, for the longest time, were a male-only affair. Even when co-education became the norm, the path for women in male-dominated fields resembled a challenging obstacle course. But let’s not mistake adversity for impossibility. Here’s a glimpse into the lives of 5 formidable women who not only navigated but reshaped the trajectory of IT history.
Ada Lovelace (1815-1852): The Enchantress of Algorithms
In an era when computers existed only in the realms of imagination, Ada Lovelace emerged as a visionary who transcended her time. She teamed up with Charles Babbage to work on his Analytical Engine, where she not only understood the machine’s possibilities but also created what we now call the world’s first computer program. In her notes, she crafted an algorithm designed for processing, essentially laying down the foundations for the computers we use today. Fun fact: Ada Lovelace was so intrigued by the idea of machines creating art that she envisioned computers producing not only numbers but also music and art – a true pioneer with a creative edge!
Grace Hopper (1906-1992): A Superhero of Tech Innovation
Grace Hopper, a pioneer in computer science and a high-ranking officer in the US Navy, stands as an icon of innovation. Credited with developing the first compiler, she translated high-level programming languages into machine code, revolutionizing the world of software development. And Grace Hopper wasn’t just a tech wizard; she was also a problem solver. One day, when a computer “bug” caused a glitch, she literally found a moth causing the trouble – that’s where we get the term “debugging” in tech! Grace Hopper’s relentless pursuit of excellence and her contributions to early computers have left an enduring legacy.
Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000): Inventor of Wi-fi (and a Hollywood film star)
Around 80 years ago, Hedy Lamarr was amongst the most in-demand actresses of the era. However, beyond the glitz of the cameras, her fervour for innovation gave rise to the wireless communication technology we now casually enjoy.
Picture this: during World War II, she teamed up with a friend to create something called frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology. It sounds complex, but think of it like a secret code that helped keep important messages safe during the war. Hedy shared her invention with the American military to contribute to the fight against the Nazis during the II World War. Yes – we can confidently say that she was a real-life hero. Later on, her groundbreaking invention laid the groundwork for modern wireless communication systems, including the essential principles that later contributed to the development of Wi-Fi technology.
Jean E. Sammet (1928-2017): A Coding Visionary
Jean Sammet, a key figure in the world of computers, left an unforgettable mark on how we talk to machines. As an American computer scientist, she played a crucial role in creating COBOL- Common Business-Oriented Language. It’s important to know that COBOL wasn’t just a bunch of random code; it was designed specifically for business use. So, every time you buy something online or check your account balance on your computer, you might be indirectly thanking Jean Sammet for making it all possible! Her legacy is a reminder that the language of technology can be as dynamic as the innovations it powers.
Radia Perlman (born 1951): The Internet’s Fearless Navigator
Often called the “Mother of the Internet,” (a title she avoids), Radia Perlman stands as a guiding force in network design. Her invention of the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) became a crucial element in the development of network bridges, ensuring the seamless flow of information across interconnected systems. Her pioneering work has been foundational to the infrastructure of the modern internet.
Throughout her career, Radia Perlman has encountered various manifestations of gender bias, subjects she openly discusses. Her forthrightness about these challenges not only highlights the existing gender disparities in the tech industry but also positions her as a powerful inspiration for women aspiring to break barriers in the field. Radia Perlman’s pioneering work is like the secret code that keeps the internet running smoothly. Every time you send a message or stream a video, you’re benefiting from the invisible bridges she built, making her a true internet legend.These exceptional women not only defied the odds but courageously rewrote the narrative of women in technology. As we uncover their stories, it’s essential to acknowledge that they represent just a handful of the many female visionaries who revolutionized the tech landscape. Imagine if we tried to fit in all the incredible women who’ve made a mark in technology – this article would turn into a book. As we celebrate the remarkable achievements of these pioneering women, let their stories be a source of inspiration, reminding every woman that she holds the power to not only navigate but thrive in male-dominated fields. The tech world is richer when diverse voices and perspectives come together to innovate and shape the future.
The main goal of the event is to support women in the technology sector through education, relationship building, and mentorship. It features female leaders and experts from the Polish and European IT industry, sharing their knowledge and experience.
Future Collars, the primary organizer, is an online school for programming and digital skills, offering unique teaching methods. It is aimed both at individuals looking to change their career direction and enter the world of IT, and at companies seeking effective developmental programs for their employees.
WOMEN IN IT DAY 2023
THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US:
MAIN PARTNER: PKO Bank Polski, Centralny Ośrodek Informatyki, Accenture, BNP Paribas Bank Polska, Orange, Point72, PwC, Totalizator Sportowy, GPW, SimCorp HONOR PARTNER: Ministerstwo Rodziny i Polityki Społecznej, Ministerstwo Cyfryzacji, KIGEIT Krajowa Izba Gospodarcza Elektroniki i Telekomunikacji, POLSA Polska Agencja Kosmiczna, SGH Szkoła Główna Handlowa CONTENT PARTNER: HR Hints, flexi.pl, Fundacja Jolanty Kwaśniewskiej Porozumienie Bez Barier, Stowarzyszenie Blockchain Polska, IAESTE International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience, Bring Women Back to Work, Youth Human Impact, Fundacja Kobiety Medycyny, CCIFP Francusko-Polska Izba Gospodarcza, Challenge Rocket com, Fundacja Rozwoju Społeczeństwa Wiedzy THINK! Konfederacja Lewiatan, Challenge Rocket, Think, Hack Yeah, MMC Polska, FOB Forum Odpowiedzialnego Biznesu, She Skillz Global, Polska Izba Informatyki i Telekomunikacji PIIT, Fundacja Liderek Biznesu, Cyber Women Community, Cyber Clue, OPI Ośrodek Przetwarzania Informacji, Sukces Pisany Szminką, Fundacja Share the Care, DATA Economy Congress, SoDA Software Development Association Poland, NESsT, Instytut Bez Stresu, Fin Tech, Eklektika – Language Means Business, Talenti, No Fluff Jobs, IT Girls, True ME PATRONAT
MEDIA PARTNER: BusinessWoman&life, Comparic.pl, Portfel Polaka, reach4.biz, TVP Bydgoszcz, Biotechnologia.pl, Mamo Pracuj, Polska Sky, BiznesTuba, Fintek, Przedsiębiorcy.eu, IT Poland technology cluster, di24,pl, AIoAi 5 EDYCJA WOMEN IN IT DAY JEST CZĘŚCIĄ PROGRAMU ERASMUS+ w KOOPERACJI: Future Collars, DIGITALEUROPE, European Women’s Association