March 8 is International Women’s Day, a day of recognition started in 1911 and celebrated across the globe. What better time to give a shout out to the amazing women of tech. A dear friend of mine, Trish Gray, who is senior development manager of O’Reilly School of Technology and a talented programmer, studied computer science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign from 1993 til 1997. She was the only female in a majority of her classes, and shared with me her recollections of the discrimination she faced. Her classmates either tried to discourage her, blatantly stating that computer science was not for girls and that she would not succeed, or they would try to get a date with her, neither reaction of which was welcome by Trish. I guess it didn’t help that she is blonde, beautiful, unapologetically feminine, and at the top of her class.
Women in tech have come a long way in the past 20 years; they are pioneers, running their own companies, starting hackerspaces, and further paving the way for the next generation. Still, there are not as many women in tech as men, but the list of exceptional women is so long, there’s no way I can include them all here. With that said, I salute the ladies who are out there making amazing things happen in the tech world. Below is but a tiny sampling of names, in no particular order. Please help us grown this list and shine the spotlight by including others in the comments below.
Thank you, Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), for being the first to inspire us all.
Anita Borg ♦ Limor Fried ♦ Ayah Bdeir ♦ Natalie Jeremijenko ♦ Benedetta Piantella ♦ Syuzi Pakhchyan ♦ Leah Buechley ♦ Becky Stern ♦ Super Awesome Sylvia ♦ Diana Eng ♦ Carol Reiley ♦ Anca Mosoiu ♦ Nora Abousteit ♦ Kimberly Bryant ♦ Kati London ♦ Danese Cooper ♦ Karen Tanenbaum ♦ Gina Trapani ♦ Britta Riley ♦ Meg Wirth ♦ Sho Sho Smith ♦ Tiffani Ashley Bell ♦ Lara Swanson ♦ Chiu-Ki Chan ♦ Marissa Mayer ♦ Cheryl D. Miller ♦ Georgia Guthrie ♦ Lenore Edman ♦ Bathsheba Grossman ♦ Tara Tiger Brown ♦ Jeri Ellsworth ♦ Star Simpson ♦ Erica Sadun ♦ Kathy Sierra ♦ Sara Chipps