Women’s History Month: Grace Hopper

Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper was an American computer scientist, and often celebrated as “The Queen of Code”. She was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, back in 1944. She developed the first working compiler, as well as working to develop the programming language COBOL.

Grace Hopper by Ashley Nye

She is also often associated with the first use of the term “debugging”, after removing a moth from malfunctioning equipment. She has paved a way for more women in computing, and her name is used as a celebration for women in technology.

“The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is the World’s Largest Gathering of Women Technologists”. – gracehopper.org

There is still a huge gender gap in this field – women account for just 18% of undergraduate degrees awarded for computer science. An interesting article by Selena Larson highlights a few possible reasons for this.

The best way to tackle this problem is education in schools. Getting girls interested in computing can change the way we see this male-dominated industry. There are also more women-orientated coding meet ups, such as She Codes in Brighton. A quick google search reveals more and more of these popping up, a great encouragement for a female in the digital industry!

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