On the Shoulders of Giants: Our Responsibility Advancing Women in Technology
While contributions may often fly under the radar, women have played an important role in emerging technology, even from the nascent days of computing in the 18th and 19th centuries.
In 1757, Nicole-Reine Lepaute (nee Etable de la Brière) was one of a team of “human computers” who worked to predict the date of the return of Halley’s Comet. Nearly a hundred years later, Ada Lovelace wrote the first computer program based on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine.
The programmers of the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIC)—the first electronic general-purpose digital computer—in 1944, were six female mathematicians. The most well-known early female computer scientist, United States Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, was the first person to design a compiler for a programming language in the 1950s.
While powerful women have played a significant role in advancing technology, there’s still a lack of female voices, even today. Women occupy about 57% of professional jobs in the United States, they represent only about 26% of the tech workforce, according to the National Center for Women in Information Technology. Beyond that, women hold only 17% of chief information officer positions at Fortune 500 companies.
These numbers need to increase for the future of technology. A Morgan Stanley study revealed that investing in gender diversity in the workplace is profitable for companies of all types. Gender diversity can improve team decision-making and drive innovation and the development of new products or services. The study goes on to note that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that a 50% reduction in the gender gap could lead to a GDP gain of around 6% by 2030.
At Iron Bow, women are a huge part of not only the decision making process, but also the on-the-ground employees who help sell, market and implement the technology solutions we offer. Women play a role at every level in the organization and are supported by female mentors and events at the company through our Women in Leadership Organization, of which I am fortunate to be a founding member of.
Our commitment to women in technology, at Iron Bow, extends beyond our walls. To help celebrate Women’s History Month, we look for industry and community avenues to participate in to help inspire and support our workforce. I’m thrilled we take part and are sponsoring local events that promote women in leadership.
We’re proud to sponsor Cisco’s Women of Impact 2020 event this year, which brings in inspiring female speakers and offers opportunities for networking and professional development.
Also on the horizon is CRN’s Women of the Channel event in May. This is an event I personally look forward to every year, as Iron Bow sponsors and supports women in varying roles to attend and participate. CRN’s WOTC brings together women leaders and aspiring leaders from across the country from various technology companies to meet, share stories and learn best practices in our industry.
Coming out of these great avenues that highlight not just women who have gone above and beyond, but also the companies that are supporting them in their paths to success always leaves me with a new sense of energy and motivation. I take that feeling with me in my day-to-day activities and it helps to enhance the “what we do matters” spirit in our Iron Bow culture.
Our motto of “What We Do Matters” not only applies to the work we do for clients, but also what we do to empower our own employees and future generations of employees.
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