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Shout Out to the Women of Tech

Shout Out to the Women of Tech


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.
lady ada lovelace

Anita BorgLimor FriedAyah BdeirNatalie JeremijenkoBenedetta PiantellaSyuzi PakhchyanLeah BuechleyBecky SternSuper Awesome SylviaDiana EngCarol ReileyAnca MosoiuNora AbousteitKimberly BryantKati LondonDanese CooperKaren TanenbaumGina TrapaniBritta RileyMeg WirthSho Sho SmithTiffani Ashley BellLara SwansonChiu-Ki ChanMarissa MayerCheryl D. MillerGeorgia GuthrieLenore EdmanBathsheba GrossmanTara Tiger BrownJeri EllsworthStar SimpsonErica SadunKathy SierraSara Chipps

20 thoughts on “Shout Out to the Women of Tech

  1. david kelly says:

    “What better time to give a shout out to the amazing women of tech”…..I’ll tell you a better time….any time except for International Woman’s Day.
    If people are worth celebrating then they are worth celebrating throughout the year. Your articles and magazine should be diverse enough that there is no need to single out any specific ethnic or sexual group for special treatment. I read Make because I’m interested in making things and the people that make them I dont care one bit weather something has been made by someone that is black, white, green, male, female, straight or gay.
    I don’t understand your continued focus on needing to divide Makers in to various artificial subcultures based on nothing but their gender or skin colour. Even going out of your way to create special ‘Badges’ to identify these groups as in the case of your article on Black Makers.

    1. Goli Mohammadi says:

      David, we *do* celebrate diverse makers every opportunity we can. I honestly don’t understand why it bothers you that I chose to shine light on a group of women in tech (a field they are clearly outnumbered in) on a day where people across the planet are celebrating women. I’ve personally profiled and featured numerous female makers on the site over the years and no, I didn’t assign a banner to the features every time. Today is an internationally recognized day that has been celebrated for over 100 years.

      1. Todd H. says:

        David is just envious because they don’t have a an “international homophone challenged day.”

        1. Cindy says:

          Todd, What you said to/about David was so wrong. Everyone has an opinion. If you don’t like it then you don’t have to read it. Personally I have never fit into any categories. I have been average most of my life, in being so I do not follow these special days.
          All of us needs to learn how to talk to other people without cutting them down or belittling the other person. When you do give a complement, leave it at that. Don’t add but….you could have done this too. …Or why didn’t you do what I told you in the first place. We have become a nation of not knowing our neighbors. We bad talk every one even those neighbors we don’t know.
          The USA used to be much better than that. This is one reason why we are falling apart. We are no longer One Nation Under God (whom ever your God may be).

          1. Todd H. says:

            Oh my, I somehow didn’t realize. I honestly did NOT expect that my comment would evoke such an emotional response or be considered much of a sincere cut down. I just thought David was being a little harsh and a small joke regarding his spelling mistake would lighten up things (unfortunately ironic considering my own typo, and no, not that big word.) Well, whether it’s sunny or rainy, someone always likes the weather, so I’ll leave it at that. I’m sorry if I offended and I’m truly sorry I’ve made an off topic mess of these comments :(

  2. lrwickerdesign says:

    I just like to go with my Mom’s best bit of advice: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. I find that works well since I never have to apologize for being misunderstood, rude, or just plain mean. Besides, celebrating anyone for anything sounds like a good thing to me : )

  3. Sandra Shoemake Zwollo says:

    It’s actually not a good thing that there has to be an International Woman’s day, because it shows that we still need approval from the world, for who we are. However, I celebrate it because it’s great to ponder for a moment of how far women have come, and also ask yourself some valid questions? Why do we have to assert ourselves, why is the world still masculinely dominated in most parts? It’s slowly changing, but we need it to change more, and International Women is a small step into the right direction: upwards, and forward!
    I run retreats, exclusively for women, so I’m doing my part. Are you?

  4. Colleen Spiegel says:

    Someone at my work mentioned that it is probably women’s day everyday — so we really do not need a seperate day anymore. I liked this answer!

  5. Trish says:

    Thank you Goli for a wonderful blog – I am honored to be mentioned in it! Women have come a long way in tech, but as I’ve seen first-hand, it often takes a conscious effort by those in leadership roles to actively encourage underrepresented demographics to participate without fear of intimidation or worse. Since my days at the University of Illinois, a healthy recruitment program has greatly improved the number and involvement of women in CS, and the result has been a much healthier culture amongst coders of all backgrounds.

    1. Goli Mohammadi says:

      Great to hear and really good points, Trish. Thanks!

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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