Staff Editorial: Recognizing women in tech

When you think of the current major driving forces of the tech industry, names like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg come to mind.

However, this wasn’t always the case and with only 26% of the tech workforce consisting of women, according to advocacy group WomeninTech, it is important to remind people of the women behind major waves in technological advancement.

Even with Women’s History Month having come to a close, technology has a rich history of brilliant women, and we should be talking about it.

Ada Lovelace, a British mathematician in the 1800s, is considered the world’s first computer programmer. Her article, “Sketch of the Analytical Engine, with Notes from the Translator,” led to the first modern computer in the 1940s by Alan Turing, according to the software company Sumo Logic’s website.

Lovelace’s contributions brought Zuckerberg the programming needed to run the computer that launched Facebook in his college dorm room in 2004.

American actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr paved the way for crucial modern technologies.

The self-taught inventor was indispensable in the creation of the Secret Communication System, a frequency hopping device used to set radio-guided torpedoes off course during the war, according to Sumo Logic.

The technology derived from her work is featured in the many functions that set Musk’s Tesla prices so high — WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth.

Radia Perlman or the “Mother of the Internet” invented the algorithm in Spanning Tree Protocol in 1984, which makes today’s internet possible and consequently the convenience of Bezos’ Amazon items ordered online.

Mary Wilkes is known as the first home computer user. She attended MIT and was assigned to work on designing the system software and interactive operating system, according to Sumo Logic.

Wilkes’ programming became the building blocks to Gates’ success with Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

Their contribution, while often lost in the male-dominated field, solidifies every little girl’s mantra – girls rock!

The tech world will continue to benefit from women in technology; their talents will not be going away anytime soon.

Deloitte AI Institute, an AI consulting firm, conducted a survey that demonstrated that having more women working in AI can only benefit the industry, saying 71% of companies that promote diverse groups within their organization do well by adding unique perspectives.

Technologically we’ve come a long way, but let’s not diminish or forget the women that helped get us here.