Women computing pioneers

At IT Services we think it’s important that contributions to computing history are recognised and celebrated, so we named our meeting rooms after some of these amazing pioneers.

In this article, we celebrate some of the women who went before us, paving the way as far back as 150 years ago.

Women computing pioneers
Portrait of Ada Lovelace
Have you heard of Ada Lovelace?  Born in December 1815, she was the daughter of Lord Byron. Often referred to as ‘the first computer programmer’ she worked alongside Charles Babbage (look out for him in a future article) and wrote the first computer programme.

Grace Hopper (born in December 1906) believed that computer code could be written using a programming language based on English words and is often referred to as the ‘mother’ of the computer language, COBOL.

black and white photo of Hedy Lamarr
Did you know that during World War II Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr (born November 1914) developed a radio guidance system? The principles of this are the basis of modern Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology, keeping us connected nearly 80 years later.
Born in 1924, Evelyn Boyd Granville was one of the first African-American women to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics. She went on to work as a computer programmer at IBM and for the U.S. Space Technology Laboratories.​​

Often dubbed ‘mother of the internet’, Radia Perlman is best known for her invention of the STP (spanning-tree protocol), which is fundamental to the operation of network bridges which help us all to navigate large networks easily.

 

Women have been developing and influencing the development of technology and computing much longer than you might think. We celebrate these bold, innovative and creative individuals - without them and others like them, we would not be where we are today.