Historically, primarily men have been guided towards careers in science, technology, innovation, and mathematics, creating a male dominance in STEM fields, including computer science. There has always been a strong fight for female representation in male-dominated professions, and there have been many successful women who paved the way. Here are some female computer scientists who shattered their glass ceilings.
Ada Lovelace was a pioneer in the world of programming before computers even existed. She was famous for her computational and analytical skills when she worked with Babbage on his analytical machines. She paved the way for modern computing and is often referred to as the first programmer. She changed the way computations were handled in a time where many women were not able to study STEM fields.
Admiral Grace Hopper created one of the most used programming advancements to this day. She invented what we now know as a compiler. She defied the odds and designed a machine-independent compiler, meaning that it translated English-like code into a language that computers understood. Despite the initial rejection of her ideas, she persevered and crafted a piece of technology that is still in heavy use today.
Margaret Hamilton, also known as the Mother of Software Engineering, played an incredible role in the Apollo Missions. She and her team developed the inflight software for the Apollo spacecraft, including Apollo 11. This was essentially the first portable computer and played a tremendous role in the success of the first moon landing.
Annie Easley made major contributions to NASA and the US Space Program. She started as a computer and rose through the ranks, eventually becoming a crucial part of many space missions. She was the lead software developer for the Centaur Rocket stage, exploring ways to use alternate technologies on the high-powered rocket. Her work paved the way for modern space shuttles and rockets.
Starting as merely a summer intern at Google, Parisa Tabriz’s passion and excitement for computer science helped her work her way through the ranks at one of the most prominent tech companies of this era. Her internship morphed into full-time employment, and now she heads the Google Chrome Internet Security Division for the entire world.
These incredible women are pioneers in the fight to bridge the gender gap in STEM. They all overcame trying challenges but persevered and shattered the norms. These women are true role models and prove that women can accomplish anything with passion, hard work, and dedication.