The inspiring women who changed technology

We're celebrating the women of today and yesterday.

By Kyle Tang, Marketing Coordinator

A black and white photograph of women browsing the selection of books and studying at tables in the library.

A black and white photograph of women browsing the selection of books and studying at tables in the library.

Without the strength, diligence, and perseverance of powerful women, it would not be possible to better the world we live in today.

-Kyle Tang, Marketing Coordinator

March is a reminder that we need to pause and celebrate women who pioneer innovation and contribute tremendously to society. This recognition should not only occur for one month, but it needs to happen every month. Let’s take a moment to acknowledge and learn about the women of the past and present who continue to make our services imaginable at Indigo Slate.

Ada Lovelace is illustrated with brown hair, dark eyes, and a blush across her cheeks.

Ada Lovelace

The first computer programmer.1, 2, 3

A mathematician genius in the mid-1800s. Ada handwrote the first machine algorithm for the general-purpose computer. This contribution made it possible to manufacture the computers we use today, so many call her the world’s first computer programmer. To commemorate her accomplishments, the programming language, Ada, was named after her.

Mary Wilkes smiling while turning the dial on a personal computer.

Mary Wilkes

The first person to use a personal computer within a home.1, 3

A renowned computer programmer and logic designer. Wilkes began her career by closely working with the earliest versions of computers such as the IBM 709 and IBM 704. Later, in 1961, she advanced her presence in the technological world by joining a digital computer group. This is where Wilkes started designing software and writing operator’s manuals for one of the earliest interactive computers, called the LINC.

Annie Easley in a pink suit holding a clipboard in her hand.

Annie Easley

Developed code that was essential to researching energy-conversion systems and alternative power technologies.1, 2, 3

A talented computer scientist, mathematician, and social justice leader. Easley is known for developing code and completing computations at NASA. Her work in energy conversion was essential in supporting space projects (such as Centaur) and inventing hybrid energy technology.

Chelsea Brown smiling at the camera while typing on her apple laptop.

Chelsea Brown

Protecting families online.1

A passionate security consultant and ethical hacker. Brown wants to make the digital world a safer place for everyone. To accomplish this, she created Digital Mom Talk, a company that provides cybersecurity resources and services.

 Grace Hopper holding a COBOL manual and operating a Univac II tape drive.

Grace Hopper

Discovered the computer bug in 1947.1, 2, 3

A computer programmer, mathematician, and U.S. Navy rear admiral. Hopper designed several computer programs, processes, and languages. This includes, but is not limited to, a data processing complier that translated instructions into code (COBOL) and a standardized U.S. Navy computer language. Hopper’s efforts did not go unrecognized, as she was awarded the Presidential Media of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2016.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden presents an award to Katherine Johnson .

Katherine Johnson

Prepared manual calculations, trajectory analyses, and lift-off signals for the first U.S. space flight.1, 2, 3

A progressive leader and mathematician. Johnson broke headlines as she sent the first man to the moon and beat out U.S. space competitors. Not only was she a critical part of NASA, but she also co-authored several research reports that provided evolutionary mathematic equations. To recognize her achievements, Johnson was awarded the Presidential Media of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2015.

Elizabeth Feinler speaking at a podium during the Internet Hall of Fame 2012.

Elizabeth Feinler

Established the domain extensions such as .com, .edu, and .gov.1, 3

The director of the Network Information Center (NIC) between 1972 to 1989. Feinler piloted the directory center responsible for maintaining web addresses and creating the domain naming system used to browse the internet.

Kike Oniwinde speaking into a microphone at a BYP network event.

Kike Oniwinde

Giving professional opportunities to underserved communities.1

A passionate social advocate and leader. Oniwinde founded the Black Young Professional (BYP) Network, a platform dedicated to connecting Black leaders to each other, resources, and events. Since its creation, Oniwinde has partnered with many companies to drive positive change and diversify talent acquisition pipelines.

A black and white portrait of Hedy Lamarr.

Hedy Lamarr

Invented famous technology that led to the development of GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.1, 2

An American film star and self-taught inventor, Lamarr collaborated with composer George Antheil to design a frequency-hopping system. They used it to tamper with enemy torpedoes that were guided by radio signals during World War II. In 1942, Lamarr received a patent for this life-changing technology.

Angie Chang smiling at the camera while sitting on a couch. Her shirt crosses out "underrepresented" and instead reads "underestimated".

Angie Chang

Empowering female voices and entrepreneurship within the tech industry.2

To shake up gender expectations, Chang founded Girl Geek X in 2006. Her goal in creating this media company was to create an inclusive community where women and other underrepresented groups can network, uplift, and inspire each other. Chang continues to succeed in her mission, as Girl Geek X hosted over 250 events and spotlighted over 1,000 female speakers during this past decade.

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