I recently read a great article by Peter Diamandis about why we need more women in technology. Here are some of the facts he quoted:
In 2012, women made up only 26 percent of the computing workforce, out of 3,816,000 computing-related occupations. (Department of Labor Current Population Survey, 2012)
In the same year, only 18 percent of computer science majors were women.
Women hold only 11 percent of executive technical roles at privately held, venture-backed companies. (Dow Jones VentureSource, 2012)
Only 7 percent of venture capital goes to women-owned businesses, and of those venture capitalists investing in startups, only 4.2.
It’s no doubt true that the number of women in technology is much smaller than the number of men. I’ve seen that myself at the SaaS and technology companies I’ve worked at. Yet we are not absent. In fact, we’ve been present from the time computers were housed in large rooms. (I can attest to that because my mother used to be a computer programmer, running around with punch cards in hand.)
Just to prove it, here are some fabulous women who have influenced communications technology throughout the years.
The Mothers of Online Communication
Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (1815-1852) In a time when women were not commonly viewed as mathematical visionaries, Ms. King was an exception. She worked closely with computer pioneer Charles Babbage, becoming known as the first programmer. She conceived of the idea of a machine that could manipulate symbols in accordance with rules and that numbers could represent entities other than quantity. This was a fundamental transition from calculation to computation.
Dr. Grace Murray Hopper (1906-1992) – Dr. Hopper worked for the Navy, becoming a rear admiral before retiring in 1986. She also led the team that created the first computer language compiler. It was the precursor to the broadly used Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL). Oh, and she also led the team that invented COBOL. And received honorary degrees from thirty universities. And a number of awards. Yeah, she was a smart – and inspirational – woman.
Hedy Lemarr (1914-2000) – Ms. Lemarr was best known for her wonderful acting abilities. But did you know she was also a pioneer in the realm of communications? She and fellow inventor (and composer) George Anthiel together developed the “spread spectrum” technology that helped form the technical backbone that makes cellular phones, fax machines and other wireless operations possible.
Erna Schneider Hoover (1926-present) – Ms. Hoover worked for Bell Labs, becoming their first female supervisor of a technical department. While there, she created a computerized telephone switching system that used a computer to monitor incoming calls. The computer automatically adjusted a call’s acceptance rate. This minimized overloading problems. She was awarded one of the first software patents ever. Moreover, her designs are still used today.
Can’t get enough of these wonderful women? Check out this article on the 15 Most Important Women in Technology and, for a more recent view, take a look at Business Insider’s 30 Most Important Women Under 30 in Technology.
Looking for some guidance on how to improve gender equality within your own company? Read about Moving the Needle on Diversity.
The Women of Glance Networks
I am proud to say that Glance Networks is very supportive of women in technology. Here at Glance, we are more concerned with hiring talented individuals than whether they are male or female. That’s why close to half of our employees are female and a good deal of our management team is too. Now that’s reason to celebrate!
One of my great hopes is to see those numbers continue to rise at other SaaS and other companies as well. Women have so much to contribute to technology and to the working world in general. It’s time to open the doors and let the ideas flow freely, regardless of gender.
Are you ready to discover how Glance visual engagement solutions can improve customer engagement and increase sales for your business?
About Glance Networks
Glance helps enterprise organizations create the ultimate customer experience with smart, omni-channel visual engagement solutions based around integrated cobrowse, screen share, and one-way agent video. We are one of the world’s simplest, most reliable and secure platforms that enable companies to see, show and share anything online, creating a frictionless path to great experiences in sales, support and customer service. The result is improved customer satisfaction and loyalty, increased revenue growth and operational savings. From financial services and healthcare to retail and travel and leisure, even the most advanced technology and SaaS organizations – we transform the customer experience for today’s business. Learn More »