By: Jennifer Devitt on March 27th, 2016
It's Women's History Month, take a minute to learn about some key women in tech.
March is Women's History Month. As a woman, a mom of 2 daughters and a tech executive I thought I would take a minute to reflect on women in technology. It is often overlooked in discussions of the lack of women in tech that the first "programmer" was a woman. Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) is credited with writing the first computer program. So, women in technology is not exactly a novelty. Let's take a look at some current women in tech in 2016, shall we?
1. Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook. Sheryl is the first women to serve on Facebook's Executive Board. Sheryl is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. She is an acclaimed author of "Lean In". In addition, Sheryl has received countless honors such as Most Powerful Women in Business by Forbes, 50 Women to Watch by the Wall Street Journal as well as the Time 100.
2. Carol Shaw, Atari Game Developer. A graduate from Berkley with a Computer Science degree, Carol began as a game developer for Atari in the late 1970's. Carol is credited with developing "River Raid" their most popular shooter game.
3. Marissa Mayer, CEO Yahoo! On July 6, 2012, Marissa was appointed President and CEO of Yahoo! Send the tech and business world in a tizzy! In 2014 she became one of the highest paid CEO's in the country. Marissa is often times misjudged for her balance of family and her career by taking minimal maternity leave.
4. Women in tech everywhere. Recently, SYDCON participated in a STEM event for middle school girls. As part of our expo presentation, I shared Googles website madewithcode.com/ to encourage girls. The Made With Code site offers a "Mentors" tab with women and girls in all walks of life embracing technology and/or code to make a difference in the world or succeed in business. I encourage you to head over to the Mentors page and watch these short inspiring videos. As was discussed in a recent Mashable article "Not all women in tech have to be coders, but it helps", a successful career in tech doesn't have to mean you are a "coder'. Understanding code helps. I am known to preach what I believe to be the importance of learning to code and technology in our education system, for all students - girls and boys! So, to practice what I preach, I am learning to code thru lynda.com/ and the aid of some of our talented developers here on staff at SYDCON. I am enjoying my remedial education so far. But, I have been a successful woman in technology for several years now without being a coder. I have long embraced technology and advocated for furthering its place in education. Just like not all jobs in healthcare require you to be an MD, not all jobs in tech require you to be a programmer. In 2016 and beyond all companies will pivot to in some way become a technology company.