International Women’s Day: 5 women who have changed technology
We’re all about change at Hable. Taking customers from one place to another. And doing that using technology.
So, for International Women’s Day 2023, we wanted to share the stories of 5 inspirational women who have changed technology forever.
Augusta Ada Lovelace is considered the first computer programmer.
Ada Lovelace loved mathematics, and in 1833 met fellow mathematician Charles Babbage. Charles had designed a calculating machine called the ‘Difference Engine,’ which Ada was inspired by. The two quickly became close friends and would send letters to one other frequently.
Babbage had plans for a new and more-advanced machine called the ‘Analytical Engine.’ In 1843 Lovelace translated a paper that had been written about the Analytical Engine, along with adding thousands of words of her own notes to the paper.
It was in these notes that she found the Analytical Engine could carry out an extensive sequence of mathematical operations. The example she wrote of one of these sequences is now seen as the very first computer program.
Since 2009, her contributions to technology – and indeed society as a whole - have been recognised annually on 15th October, with Ada Lovelace Day.
Hedy Lamarr pioneered the technology that would go on to form the basis for the WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth systems we use today.
Born in Vienna, Austria, Hedy had a scientific mind. Despite an obvious interest in machinery and science, her unique and striking appearance led to her being pushed into an acting career.
Her talents on the big screen would take her to London and later to Hollywood. It was here she crossed paths with businessman and pilot Howard Hughes.
Hughes would take her to factories to show her how planes were built. And introduced her to the scientists behind it all. She was inspired, and went onto invent various things such as a more efficient wing design for a new plane.
The most significant invention, however, would come after meeting George Antheil at a dinner party in 1940. With Hedy feeling uncomfortable at working in Hollywood while the country was on the brink of war, she and Antheil started tinkering around with ideas. They came up with a ground-breaking communication system that could guide torpedoes to their desired targets.
The system involved the use of ‘frequency hopping,’ which is crucial to communications we use today in WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth. Hedy really changed the way we communicate, forever.
Marie Van Brittan Brown
Marie Van Brittan Brown was the inventor of the first home security system.
Marie Brown’s invention was inspired by the security risk she felt in her own home. While Marie worked as a nurse, and her husband Albert worked as an electronics technician. With the crime rate in their Queens, New York City neighbourhood being high, Marie Brown looked for ways to increase her own security.
She looked to create a security system that would tell her who was at her home. And contact relevant authorities automatically, as quickly as possible.
Brown’s invention was ahead of its time. The security system she created was the basis for the surveillance features of modern security that are still used to this day.
Just think how many crimes her invention has prevented over the years!
Annie Easley was a pioneering rocket scientist at NACA and NASA, who went on to implement code which is used in the batteries for hybrid cars.
Shortly after finishing University, Annie applied for a job at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). Just 2 weeks later, she had started working there.
She was ‘a human computer,’ tasked with performing complex mathematical calculations. They were later replaced by machines, but Annie evolved along with the technology.
She became a talented computer programmer, supporting a number of key programmes at NASA. She developed and implemented code which would go on to be included in the battery technology that was used for early hybrid vehicles. It was also used in the Centaur rocket.
These contributions have led to huge advances in aerospace sciences. Laying the foundation for launching future satellites and space vehicles.
As one of just four other African Americans at NASA at the time, she truly paved the way for so many others. Later in her career, she became an Equal Employment Opportunity Counsellor, helping to address issues of gender, race, and age in discrimination complaints.
Susan Wojcicki is a tech executive who has completely changed the landscape of the modern internet.
She began her career working at Intel, before moving over to Google in 1999. She became their first ever marketing manager. It was in this role that Susan went on to help create some of the Google tools that we could now not imagine our lives without; image search, Adwords and Google Analytics.
Wojcicki first became involved and interested in video content during the launch of Google Video in 2005. She later noticed the growing success of a start-up called “YouTube.” She went on to oversee the purchase of the rival and acquisition of it into Google.
Without Susan, then, would YouTube ever have become what it is today?
In 2014, Susan became the YouTube CEO and oversaw what is now the second most-visited website in the world. Second only, to Google.com. It also holds the prize for the second largest search engine behind Google. Not bad for a video content platform, right?
During her time as CEO, she’s not only overseen immense growth of YouTube. But has made a name for herself as one of the most inspiring women in tech in modern history.
Just last month, Susan announced she would be stepping down as YouTube CEO. Under her leadership, YouTube roughly doubled its number of average daily users. And has completely dominated online video content.
International Women’s Day 2023
Women such as those mentioned above have changed technology – and the world – as we know it.
As a technology company, Hable are hugely conscious of the diversity issues that currently exist in our sector. We strive to make Hable a place that offers equal opportunities for all, no matter what. While also doing what we can to support women in tech, such as being signatories of the Tech Talent Charter.
We are proud to be a place where women are not only treated equally, but are encouraged and celebrated too.
Happy International Women’s Day.