"Tremendous amounts of talent are being lost to our society just because that talent wears a skirt." – Shirley Chisholm, first African-American woman elected to U.S. Congress.
Throughout history, women have played significant roles in ensuring the stability, progress, and long-term advancement and development of nations and economies. The contribution and influence of women to ensuring economic growth and social development cannot be overemphasized. They are catalysts of change and foster rapid growth and poverty reduction in developing nations.
Irrespective of race, nationality, or belief, powerful women such as Michelle Obama, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Jane Goodall, Maya Angelou, Marie Curie, and so many others have achieved remarkable success and positively influenced the whole world. By sheer tenacity and a strong sense of purpose, all of these women mentioned and so many others have overcome different obstacles and limitations to achieve their goals.
A lot has been said about famous inventors such as Galileo, who invented the Telescope, Thomas Edison, famous for inventing the lightbulb and Alexander Grahambell, known for Manufacturing the first telephone. But have we heard of women like Grace Hopper, Dr Shirley Jackson, and Stephanie Kwolek? I guess not.
Grace Hopper is known for her contribution to Computer programming. Together with Howard Aiken in 1944, she had worked hard to design Harvard's Mark I computer. Hopper is also known for inventing a compiler that translated written language into computer code. Also, Grace Hopper coined the terms' bug' and 'debugging.'
Dr Shirley was a theoretical physicist and the first black woman to have received a Doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1973. She was a brilliant researcher, and her work in telecommunications at Bell Laboratories led to a breakthrough in scientific research with subatomic particles. Her work paved the way for inventions such as portable fax, fiber optic cables, solar cells, and many others. Without her work, technologies such as caller ID and call waiting wouldn't have been possible.
Stephanie Kwolek is known for inventing Kevlar, a material five times stronger than steel and currently has more than 200 applications due to its amazing tensile strength to weight ratio.
At the current time, the tech industry may seem to be highly dominated by more men; however, there are several women who are founders and CEOs of major tech firms and providing significant changes and innovations in the industry that are revolutionary.
One of the top female CEOs in the tech world is Susan Wojcicki. She is the CEO of YouTube and made an immense contribution to the development of Google images and Adsense. She is a native of Silicon Valley and also a mother of five. She was Google's sixteenth employee and served as its first marketing manager. With keen insight, Wojcik had suggested that Google acquire YouTube, and she was made its CEO after the acquisition in 2014.
She believes in the women's role in revolutionizing the tech world and how effective and more efficient companies would be if more women were allowed to participate in the critical decision and leadership roles. "Tech is an incredible force that will change our world in ways we can't anticipate. If that force is only 20 to 30% women, that is a problem," Wojcicki has said.
As we celebrate International Women's Day, we must appreciate amazing women in the tech industries who are making significant strides, innovating, and providing substantial changes in the tech industries through their brilliance and tenacity.
On this day, we join other women worldwide to advocate for equality within the tech industry and clamour for better policies that will reduce the gender gap that is so glaring in the tech industry. Whether it be software development, design, computer programming, research, engineering or communications the role of women in tech cannot be overemphasized.
Here are some quotes from female tech executives and female global leaders.
"In the village where I grew up, a lot of girls didn't have a choice of whether to go to middle school. They would get engaged or married and spend their entire life in that village, I chose to be in business, and I don't regret it." – Zhou Qunfei,Chair of Lens Technology
"The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other. Make sure you're very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble." – Serena Williams, a professional tennis player who has won more singles titles than any man or woman.
In conclusion, international women's Day is a day set aside to commemorate the cultural, political and socio-economic achievements of women. On this day we recognize and appreciate women achieving major feats in different industries. The tech world may not contain many women but they are indeed blazing trails and achieving the amazing feat. We recognize each and every one of the women in the tech industry working hard and producing excellent work. We see you and we thank you for the good work.
A view of the ever-evolving digital world through our screens
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