Do a quick Google News search for “women in technology” and your results are sure to be bemoaning the lack of female bodies in the industry (or maybe just results for that White Town album). Last year both the NYT and the WSJ had articles related to the topic – and published within a few weeks of each other – with the WSJ’s title being “Addressing the Lack of Women Leading Tech Start-Ups” and the intro to the NYT piece setting the tone with: “It’s become a familiar lament: Where are the women in technology?” Likewise, the Wikipedia entry for “Women in Computing” focuses almost entirely on the decline of women in tech-related fields, the modern day fights against sexism in the industry, and has sections like “Attracting women in computer science” and “Gender theory and women in computing.” (Interesting side note: there is no entry for “Men in computing.”)
Very rarely do stories of women and technology vary in tone from the gender gap theme. Where are the women? Well, heck, we’ve been here all along – something we’ve recently pointed out in our Valentine’s Day piece about ENIAC. So, in honor of Women’s History Month and Ada Lovelace Day (March 24th), and all the women in tech, we’ve decided to pay homage by counting down the 15 Most Important Women in Tech History.
We *really* like the current trend of celebrating women in tech – past, present and future.
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It is a nice thing to see. Any girl in EE, CE, or hardcore CS will tell you that even today you have to work harder than your male counterparts and well some boys just do not like girls playing in their sandbox. This is not really the case with many younger and open minded professors, but some still do. I remember having a prof say “You are involved in a lot of the music groups here aren’t you? Why don’t you do something more suited to you.” in the most condescending tone (all my classwork was A’s/B’s – obviously was doing well).
However, lets not forget the MEN here. These women would NOT have been considered for the positions that they were in if it were not for the first man who recognized their potential. Great people are Great people, no matter the gender. Still, lets try and push some more science/math on the kiddies and tell girls its fine/fun to get a little messy sometimes.
hi stacy – we’re doing our best to encourage more men to get involved with electronics.
Totally Agree LadyAda, guys and gals should be getting into electronics. Your website and work are doing a lot to encourage this!
However, getting it going will take big advancements in how we teach not only on a grade school level, but high school and college as well. IMO, its better to be creative first and technical second. Creative to come up with the ideas and technical to determine whether or not it is possible. As far as school goes though it seems that repetition and regurgitation is more prevalent than labs and projects. Many college programs suffer from the same issues which is one of the reasons why it is becoming harder to find people with a solid knowledge of the core subject matter and how to use it(which you learn from experience/experimentation).