5 women in tech you’ve probably never heard of

March 6, 2020
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March 8 is International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women everywhere. History is full of powerful, ground-breaking women who have changed the world, especially in the tech industry. But even though their inventions and discoveries have made a huge impact, you may not know their names or their stories. Here are a few women, past and present, whose efforts have made a huge impact on the tech industry:

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (1815-1852)

Ada was an English mathematician and writer, known for working on a mechanical general-purpose computer called the “Analytical Machine.” She’s regarded as one of the first computer programmers, publishing the first algorithm to be carried out by a “computing machine”.

Elizabeth “Jake” Feinler (1931-present)

Jake is an American information scientist who created the Internet. Yep, you read that correctly. Jake directed a team at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI International) which operated the Network Information Center (NIC) for the ARPANET, which was a networking system used exclusively by the United States Department of Defense. Eventually, the ARPANET evolved into the Defense Data Network (DDN), then into the Internet we know and use today.

Karen Spärck Jones (1935-2007)

Karen was a British computer scientist who developed the concept of inverse document frequency, which powers most modern search engines. This technology measures how important a word is to a document or collection of texts and sorts all data accordingly. Without Karen’s innovation, Google searches would not be possible.

Donna Dubinsky (1955-present)

Donna is an American business leader who played a huge role in the development of PDAs, or personal digital assistants. She served as the CEO of Palm, Inc. which released the first PalmPilot in 1996. She then co-founded Handspring, who released one of the first ever smartphones, the Palm Treo. Her pioneering work at Palm, Inc. and Handspring paved the way for the smartphone technology we use now.

Megan Smith (1964-present)

Megan was the third Chief Technology Officer of the United States and Assistant to the President, serving under Barack Obama. She was also a former vice president at Google. Then, after leaving the White House in 2017, she helped launch the Tech Jobs Tour, which aims to promote diversity in the technological sector. She was the first female to serve as U.S. CTO.

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