You Are History In The Making

You Are History In The Making

Written by Gabriella Hall


Women’s History Month

March is undoubtedly one of our favorite months at Women Who Code. Each year we collectively feel the surge of excitement as we begin our celebration of Women’s History Month as a community. Though our mission is core to uplifting women's work in tech year-round, we appreciate that there is an entire month reserved for women innovators, rule-breakers, and history-makers.

We believe Women’s History Month is more than just remembering the women of yesterday, but a month-long celebration to also appreciate women making history today and in the future. We can more fully appreciate the historic and groundbreaking foundation provided for us by championing the women who have picked up where our predecessors have left off in technology. 

Reflecting On The Women Who Have Gotten Us This Far

To say that women have been able to accomplish incredible things throughout history is an understatement. Women have been able to do the unthinkable, and much of it has been in the face of misogyny, racism, homophobia, and in many instances, a combination of these forms of oppression. 

Behind many of the gadgets we constantly use in our daily life were bold women with daring visions for innovation. Suppose you’re reading this on a computer. In that case, you can thank Ada Lovelace, “The World’s First Computer Programmer,” for her mathematical contributions and ideas that Alan Turing took inspiration from when designing the first computer in the 1940s. But you couldn’t possibly read this from the internet without Wi-Fi, which was made possible by self-inventor and actress Hedy Lamarr whose war-time 1942 "secret communication system" paved the way for today’s Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth technology. And you might not have found this blog if not for the work of information scientist Karen Sparck-Jones whose Inverse Document Frequency (IDF), a weighting tool to determine how important a word is to a document, didn’t help optimize search engines. Vivian Yam Wing-Wah’s work on OLEDs (Organic light-emitting diode) in 2004 provides crisp images and light to the device you’re reading this on. 

Successful space travel? Modern cars? Look no further than some of the most brilliant women this world has ever seen. Katherine Johnson’s historically launched the Soviet satellite sputnik, where she manually ran the same equations through her desktop that the machine used to ensure the astronauts were safe to take off. Annie Easley was 1 of 4 Black people who worked at NACA and created code that led to the development of the batteries used in hybrid cars. These two women show the incredible impact women of color in tech can have when given access to opportunities. 

Continuing The Legacy of Being History-Makers

It can be understandably overwhelming to compare yourself to women whose legacies and inventions were revolutionary and hard to imagine modern society without them. Currently, as women in tech, you're even more innovative and resilient while navigating trying times- layoffs, recessions, and other industry-leveling conditions.

One thing all of the aforementioned historical women share in common is that they believed in themselves and problem-solved time after time despite the barriers to enter tech. You are still here to keep us moving forward in a world that has seen pandemics, economic strife, and an increasingly tricky tech landscape to break into within the last five years. In the face of food apartheid, Jasmine Crowe, founder, and CEO of Goodr, developed a platform that enables the collection of surplus food and donates it to nonprofits. Expanding on the strides made in artificial intelligence, Dr. Joy Buolamwini founded the Algorithmic Justice League to combat racial and gender bias in AI technology and reduce its harm. Every line of code you write simultaneously honors the women who paved the way for you while you continue to pave the way for the future of tech. You are much closer to history than you think! 

Join The Celebration

Organizations like Women Who Code that advocate and support women technologists can only exist because many women like you in this industry worldwide seek to make more change. We are here to celebrate you all month long!  From our CONNECT Empower 2023 conference on March 2 to our biggest Applaud Her Awards event ever: 100 Technologists To Watch, with announcements beginning on March 28, we have curated an entire month full of events dedicated to honoring the incredible women technologists of today.

We look forward to seeing you and wish you a fulfilling Women’s History Month!