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March Donation: Supporting women in Information Technology

Grace Hopper and UNIVAC

Grace Hopper, programmer and developer of the first compiler, and UNIVAC

It's almost the end of March, which means Women's History Month is almost over, too.

We know you won't forget women in science and technology the other 11 months of the year because you're a geek and you get it. But we've just dedicated our $1,000 March donation to the National Center for Women & Information Technology just be sure everyone else remembers, too.


The National Center for Women & Information Technology focuses on getting girls into computer science while they're in grade school by building a learning community with alliances around the country, sharing research on the IT workforce, and getting the message out that:

  • Girls comprise 46% of Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus test-takers, but only 19% of AP Computer Science test-takers.
  • Women hold 56% of all professional jobs in the U.S. workforce, but only 25% of IT jobs.
  • In 2009, just 18% of undergraduate Computing and Information Sciences degrees were awarded to women; in 1985, women earned 37% of these degrees.

We're big believers in educating young geeks and celebrating women in science and math, so we're happy to support NCWIT's work with our donation.

Need more inspiration to support the budding geek girls in your life? Perhaps our (edited here for brevity) list of our favorite women thinkers will help:

  • Ada Lovelace, became world's first computer programmer when she wrote an algorithm meant to be processed on Babbage's analytical engine
  • Amalie Noether, laid the groundwork for theory of relativity and revolutionized the theories of rings, fields, and algebras
  • Hypatia of Alexandria, head of the Platonist school at Alexandria and prominent mathematician
  • Marie Curie, pioneered research on radioactivity (a term she coined) and discovered polonium and radium
  • Maria Gaetana Agnesi, philosopher and mathematician who wrote the first book discussing both differential and integral calculus
  • Annie Jump Cannon, astronomer and creator of the Harvard Classification Scheme, the first serious attempt to organize and classify stars based on their temperatures
  • Rosalind Franklin, X-ray crystallographer whose work on DNA made Watson & Crick famous
  • Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, one of the first examples of science fiction ever written
  • Grace Hopper, one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer and developer of the first compiler for a computer programming language
  • Stephanie Kwolek, polymer chemist and inventor responsible for Kevlar
  • Jennifer Pinkham, Kate Kirby, and Daria Akers, members of the ThinkGeek codemonkey team who do not have Wikipedia pages... yet

Who is your favorite woman thinker, past or present? We're always looking for more lady geeks to add to our list!

[ post a comment ]


meaningless icon! I was thinking of Grace Hopper when I read the tweet and then SHAZAM! There she was in the photo! She was also an Admiral in the United States Navy.
GeekSnoopy said this 2364 days ago.
meaningless icon! Excellent!!! I'm a member of NCWIT, and we appreciate the donation!!
Superandomness said this 2364 days ago.
meaningless icon! What no love for Henriette Avram? The computer programmer and systems analysis (and woman) who wrote MARC... that's MAchine Readable Cataloging that's still be used in cataloging to this day. Tsk
TheReader said this 2364 days ago.

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