March is Women’s History Month – a subject very close to Echo’s hearts. As a woman-owned and lead business, we are aware of the barriers women face in the workforce and the gender gap that still very much exists today that we fight to change daily. Statistics from Adeva IT state that as of 2018 women hold only 25% of tech jobs and data from Property Management Institute (PMI) suggest that women currently make up only 20-30% of project management staff worldwide. We also are aware and grateful for the many women who came before us to break down barriers and pave the way for the opportunities we have today. We want to take a moment this March to recognize the many women who have fought to break down the barriers and the women who continue to shatter the glass ceilings.
Ada Lovelace is one of the most renowned women in technology. She was born in 1815 in London, her mother was insistent that she taught science and mathematics. A woman well ahead of her time, she is often referred to as the first programmer based on her theories that a specific engine could transition calculation to computation. A true visionary for what computers and programming could become!
Grace Hopper is another pioneer woman in the field of technology. American computing scientist born in 1903, as a child she would often take household appliances apart and put them back together showing a strong passion for engineering. She is credited for inventing one of the first compilers, a program that translates programming code to machine language. She also has been quoted to have predicted that computers would one day be small enough to fit on a desk.
Adele Goldberg was essential in the development of Smalltalk-80 as a researcher at the Xero Palo Alto Research Centre (PARC). She was impressively the only woman among the group of men who built the Smalltalk-80 together. This programming language was used to create one of the first modern graphics user interfaces. Adele is credited for inspiring Steve Jobs to make Apple products what they are today when she presented the small talk system to him.
Who would have thought that a woman would be behind some of the most well-known and loved graphics in video games? Carol Shaw is well known as the first female video game designer and programmer with well-known games as River Raid and 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe.
More recently Megan Smith made history as the first female CTO for the United States. Megan was essential is guiding the Obama administration's IT policies and initiatives. After leaving the White House, she assisted in launching the Tech Jobs Tour whose mission is to promote diversity in the technology sector.
Recently, Whitney Wolfe Herd the Founder and CEO of Bumble Inc. made history becoming the youngest self-made billionaire after taking the company public – and with a baby on the hip if that wasn’t impressive enough! She also notably was one of the youngest female CEOs to take a U.S. company public. A true inspiration for any woman and mother to watch.
There are too many inspiring women to name in one post – so why do we still see such a gender imbalance in these fields? Is it that there aren’t enough role models, or are women are systematically tracked away from these fields, or does the “bro-culture” so prominent in these fields push them away? These women and countless others have shown that women can have an amazing impact in these fields and history. At Echo Consulting, we hope to make our impact in these gender imbalanced fields to pave the way for future generations of Women.