Women in Tech
Nishat Subha, Secretary, IEEE RUET Student Branch
Tech has always been a predominantly male industry, with iconic male entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg gaining the most recognition for their contributions to the sector. However, women are playing a huge part too and more and more women are entering both regular and high-level positions in tech.
There are some talented women in the history of tech, who have helped the world to make a change. It was the women mathematicians who programmed the ENIAC. The ENIAC builders recruited six women who became the world's first coders, manipulating the ENIAC to calculate missile trajectories. The work they did for the army in the 1940s resulted in the first software program, the development of computer memory and storage, and the beginnings of programming language.
"The mother of computing" got her start in the military. In the late 1940s, Grace Hopper worked at the Harvard Computation Lab as part of the Navy Reserve, programming the Mark 1 computer that brought speed and accuracy to military initiatives.
Goldberg was a researcher at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in the 1970s. She was the lone woman among a group of men who, together, built the Smalltalk-80 programming language and developed the infrastructure and design for overlapping windows on display screens, or "Graphical User Interface". Without this woman, the Apple desktop environment might not look the way it does today. There are many more women in the history of tech.
At present times there are also some extraordinary women. YouTube's Susan Wojcicki, who has been increasingly outspoken about the gender gap in Silicon Valley. Since she took over YouTube in 2014, she has increased the number of female employees there from 24% to 30%. Over that same time, the number of women working at Google has grown by just 1% to 31%.
However, we should encourage women to join the tech side. The current era and the coming decade present challenges and exciting opportunities for the technology industry. Technological innovation will play a crucial role in almost every facet of society and the global economy. Meanwhile, women and other groups currently underrepresented in technology will increasingly influence technological purchases and consumption.