Celebrating International Women’s Day in Tech
Why do we celebrate International Women’s Day?
When you think of women’s rights, you might think of the 60s feminist movement. International Women’s Day, although it’s popularity was propelled by it, actually began well before then. It began in New York City in February 1909 and was originally dubbed ‘National Woman’s Day.’ It was allegedly based on a protest that took place on March 8th in 1857 by garment workers in NYC.
Then, as the movement developed, on March 19th 1911, International Women’s Day was officially recognized. Over a million people celebrated it globally to fight for women’s rights, the right to vote and to fight against gender discrimination.
What are the main aims of IWD?
The main aims, according their website are to celebrate the achievements of women throughout history. It’s also there to raise awareness of women’s equality, fundraise for female-focussed charities and lobby for accelerated gender parity.
This Year’s Theme
The theme for International Women’s Day 2022 is #BreakTheBias. The goal here is to raise awareness of bias against women across all industries and environments. It’s to recognize that bias is there and to encourage people to take action to oust it promoting the idea that acknowledging gender bias isn’t enough and action must be taken.
Why is International Women’s Day Colour Purple?
The colours of International Women’s Day have remained the same since the suffragettes chose colours to represent women’s rights. Purple signifies dignity and justice, while green symbolises hope.
Notable Women in Tech Throughout History
Nicole-Reine Lepautre 1723 - 1788
Nicole-Reine Lepautre created an astronomical clock and dedicated her life to astronomy and mathematics.The asteroid 7720 Lepaute is named in her honour, as is the lunar crater Lepaute.
Edith Clarke 1883 - 1959
Edith Clarke holds her place firmly in the Engineering Hall of Fame for her work as an electrical engineer. She was surrounded by mostly men during her career but proved an inspiration for the next generation of female engineers.
Katherine Johnson 1918 - 2020
Kathrine Johnson is famed for her work at NASA but also because she was in a minority of African-American scientists who contributed to the space missions. As a mathematician, the was critical in the departure of the first crewed space flights.
Sister Mary Kenneth Keller 1913 - 1985
Sister Mary Kenneth Keller was the first woman in the US to be awarded a PHD in Computer Science. She predicted the information age and taught programming at college level. She hugely advocated education and encouraged women to study computer science.
Karen Sparck Jones
Karen is responsible for Inverse Document Frequency, a technology that is used by most modern search emgines. She was born in Huddersfield and later became a professor of computers and information at Cambridge.
Amicus’ focus on diversity and equality in tech
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