We've always been here: Women Changemakers in Tech

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Steve Jobs. Linus Torvalds. Alan Turing. Been there, done that. The interesting stories often aren’t the ones we grew up with; they’re the ones we’ve left behind. When it comes to tech, that means its women, and especially its women of color. And while there’s been a greater emphasis lately on rediscovering women’s contributions to technology, we need to expand our focus beyond just Grace Hopper and Ada Lovelace. From Radia Perlman to Sophie Wilson to Erica Baker, let's explore both tech’s forgotten heroes and its modern-day pioneers, and help end the silent erasure of women in technology.
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the and here and mn again started on just as knowledge time unless you theory so sorry to cut conversation sure I and Hillary this is we've always been here women changemakers intact on my work is of course that develop returned for consulting in Madison Wisconsin and I'm on twitter in various pains MIT
so I look at 4 basic sections for this talk the 1st is who needs a way there were to go out looking at how women's role really changed from clerical to cool or how the exceeding how how working tech change from being clerical cool well that the Changemakers we start with women you might have heard of before so I have been more celebrated the real again women are more from the past who have kind of stable a bit more on some the relevance to women that are doing things currently the really exciting and I think are worth paying attention to the last section is is hence they woke so the state became today but have you can keep that going on in the rest of you your life detector if you wanna follow along there is a got the slides online 10 L dot com slash women dash Changemakers the so that I wanna give a quick disclaimer there are words hundreds of women that I could included in this talk so I'll this is the was to be like the best be there just once that that interested me her that I have been no learn about her that I had a neat story so plenty more plenty more where this came from the the
so who needs them in any way right we a lot of genes doing computer-science doing programming and it seems to open fine so what's the big deal so I really like this quote it really
means me that these men were programmers because I thought it was women's work this was a woman was hired in 1953 and I think that is shows how the attitude has really changed since the early days of programming so these are all things
that we either 1 however that will look very different every work for women in the past contributed to the technology of programming that brought them here so we look at each of the individual men who did best there the presentation but it's way too can have this in your head the so who leads women
anyway I'm not well money is a good reason so there were reports from 2015 and 2017 that would that's the financial upgrade of companies are more diverse and so that's ethnic diversity gender diversity experience diversity all kinds and they found that a diverse companies are 35 per cent more likely to outperform non diverse companies the 45 per cent more likely to report market-share growth and their 70 % more likely to report that they captured the market so the that's pretty impressive basically if you have a more diverse company you make more money everyone likes that that was good but it leads to better software so I'm sure we've all heard about examples of homogenous engineering teams resulting in shoddy products so of airbags that mediatheque killed women children because they were tested on sort of your standard middle-size size passenger on this recognition that the people of color of vocal recognition software that couldn't hear women these are all real things and all in taken was 1 person who was not a you know presumably white male on that seem to realize that there were severe issues with the product as it currently stood but there is not 1 of those same studies of intervals harvest Harvard Business Review from presenting found that if there is a bad suffered team that has at least 1 member of the team that shares the ethnicity of the client they understand those clients needs 152 per cent more so the such is but these ideas the real impacts that are measurable and quantifiable I matches in all models so it's it's kind of a cyclical thing right we don't have a lot of women in tech and part of the reason we don't have a lot of women attack is because we don't have a lot of women attack so there is this global study that was just released this past March of women currently working in technology and they are some of the biggest barriers were to continuing technology or to arm advancing with the technology and 48 per cent income said a lack of mentors was the biggest barrier or 1 of the biggest barriers and 42 per cent said lack of female role models so another there's a lot of cities that have done about retention with women 2nd how it's a big issue in part of the reason is again because there aren't a lot of women in tech the and then finally when we raise women we raise everyone so there are way too many statistics to cite In this talk today about how this is impacting but 1 of the big ones is on persistent 2014 report that all of the city of these uh citations at the end of 1 with this up later but if we eliminated world wide gender gaps in labor participation in hours worked productivity etc. the world economy would grow by 26 per cent and in terms of real dollars that's 28 . 4 trillion dollars that we are losing out on because we do not have women in these in these economic positions and then working ends contributing in this way so also you know like apart from from the sort of statistical reasons I need these are good jobs brain working in tech is it's a good life what yes for had attacked a couple people even just cereals come to transition from different careers into technology because they want to make more money and so women and people of color like deserve access to these good jobs so this is an attitude
from the during world war 2 refer starting to do computing and programming because of the male shortage in the added attractiveness of paying women less they rather reluctantly began to hire women as computers it seems that the more physically attractive woman was the more likely she was to get hired and this is in talking about private companies this is the precursor to NASA that women who worked at NASA at this time this was the impression of the hiring process so we're gonna look at how tech
jobs went from being seen as clerical to call and pretty pretty
different from the origin as late as 1960 as
many people perceive computer programming as a natural career choice for a savvy young women the so I think of a lot people
probably aware of the fact that the original computers were women who did computing work all computers and people as seen in Figures actually if you haven't should the of so that their history methane ends manga instead of when and when we were 1st coming computers and doing programming it was seen as a quote lol still clerical function akin to filing or typing How many people think that what you do is akin to filing or typing and it's low-skilled the know of the real world and now you're going from our so they had going that well women have been secretaries women have been tight as women shall be programmers but this started to change for all various reasons on 1 of them was 1 more water to and it's only there are a lot of men coming back needed jobs programming what you're starting to realize hey actually this programming thing it's kind of hard but so they started instituting ways has people's skills before just thrown into the slots the to the ways that it this were aptitude test and personality profiles that is the test were very heavily map based bands you know back in the sixties men have more access education even then math was seen as more of you know a Mansfield so if you were requiring people to have solid math skills men are more likely to have those skills I'll personality profiles as that was fascinating they crafted at the profile of what they thought a good programmer was based on existing programmers and they specifically look for people who had a this interesting people in this interesting close interaction so we see the origins of the entire social four-membered stereotypes and again this is going to rule out a lot of women especially this time when women were the word in a social condition to be monitoring were carrying the Racine is that you know the answer 0 so these all serves to help exclude women from the tech workforce I we move up to the eighties and that the rise of the personal computer gaining protecting a stroke of you know weird science or engineering nerds all of those entities these like nerdy bespectacled teenage guys who were super geniuses and saving the world of computers but like most stories the marketing was gendered and personal computers into games of CS toys and they're marketed primarily voice and then the last 1 as the percentage of men in the field increases the procedure on the page likewise the when the percentage of women In the field increases pain prestige decrease and the attractors across numerous industries on teaching you know used to be all male-dominated was his her depression more women on there and the 1 has the teacher friends who talk about how they don't get paid anything because it's true of this isn't seen over and over again so as you kind of again this this cyclical issue as more men went into programming it died the prestige 1 of the pay increase they were more picky about who they chose and it just kept on being more and more men the so couple graphs by this 1 shows how in these other some related fields the percentage of women getting degrees continually increase from the 19 seventies except for computer science so that sharp decrease this shows that even as more as a greater percentage of women was entering the workforce if you were women were entering I think and so we see that a computer science 90 an outlier this is not a don't follow the general trend of women's labor force participation the but X so we're not get
women who sort defied the odds and that light with ones that you might have heard of In a level as he
asserted Ada Lovelace a lot of people but yet she's pretty bad ass but she wrote the 1st what's considered the 1st computer program per big thing was that she saw that that binary to be more the numbers right she envisioned computing machines that could create musical compositions so she basically saw items back in you know in the 18 thirties I I love this quote said the signs of operations as derived from mathematics more especially is a science of itself and has its own abstract truth and value so kind of see this the you know the whole field of computer science before we even had computers the also fun fact that she was a big gambler and that she got the there was some of format bodies and they wrote same massacre model to help them back better it in work conjecture was heavily in debt but I know but still know as a result our the most is lot of people afraid of this operation events a lot yeah the but she added he she mathematics she wrote the 1st compiler so she basically higher her big thing was that you shouldn't have to have a Ph.D. in Mathematics to program a computer right should be use English help recall I retired at age 79 is the animal she actually was aged out of the like that enable roles she was too old to be in the navy but she was so important so vital that they kept giving her this special extensions of he could stay in but she was also too small which he which he signed up for the war effort with armored on the afferent primitives it's waves it was like as basically a women's unit for 1 or 2 and that she was to physically small to meet the requirements but she had his math skills which were desperately needed so that they made a very the exception for her the the I'm Dorothy by on the 1 thing had figures in the door the runners up if you have a sense of the of so she was at NASA and its predecessor Naka for almost 30 years she was the 1st black supervisor she became an expert in Fortran basically when they switched from using human computers to using electronic computers she saw this coming and instead of letting her subprime obsolete she was like OK great well I used to do the map nominated Fortran on the she was also a huge champion for other women which I think you're going to see that occurring in in a lot of the women are in talk about today of and that's that's white women and black women basically if she saw someone that you got deserved a raise or promotion she bought for them to make sure that they got what they deserved but she did not get what you thought she was a supervisory but when they moved to electronic computers she was a maid you know combined appointed departments and stuff and she was demoted and she never became a supervisor again I think she was enough another like 15 or 20 years and they views to promote her backed by the
the ENIAC people heard so you have that so this is the 1st all electronic digital computer ever the and it was 6 women who were were pulled to program and so at this point we were we were still in the minds that that the hardware was the hard part and the offer was easy so amended the hardware women to the stock i and if we think are job is hard now they had 3 thousand different switches in 18 thousand vacuum tubes and 1 of those vacuum tubes 1 out the whole thing would go but so I was watching a documentary about these women and they have and basically memorizing were all of these which is adapted use words it got to the point where something 1 out there like 0 that's like columns 6 role 12 it's maybe towards the middle they go check that 1 which is just mind blowing to me of the has a really like this quote this is from a Betty Jennings she said it I had a fantastic life everything I did was the beginning of something new so this this foresight realizing that this was going to be really something different I sound story about this so so this is a class project was through the artery they finally revealed to the public they're using it to calculate on ballistics of relations and their ability in 1946 great fanfare you know had press conferences lots of attention on the nite after they reveal that they had this sort of celebratory ceremonies it was a candle ICT and their school at dignitaries luminaries and all of you know who's who in and science and I that none of the women programmers were invited they literally fact about trudging through the snow and bitter cold in February to the train back to their homes while all of the men who worked on it were active scandal at the the that we
look at some people that may be having gotten quite as much of attention
so Marjorie leave around she was 1 of the 1st women to get a Ph.D. in Mathematics and reversal color thing she was maybe the 3rd I'll just as if it were the 1st computers I was every used in an academic setting so that was for what was then North Carolina Central University she taught there and she's secured a grant to purchase them a computer for the students to use and learn to work with and she also in organic herds women incidence of color to pursue math and to pursue computing radii of Roman
but notice another of the internet which apparently she hates that title of the she did as spanning tree protocol people know that as as 1985 to basically saying they were going for a few nodes that have pretty closely to each other interacting to like these giant networks so basically the Internet of her mother was actually a programmer and she talks about how that might have influenced the decision to go in computer science but among never really talked about it so I think again the importance of like celebrating women who have done great things syntax I'm also prodigious off like 20 or 30 bucks something like that which it makes me tired thinking about Margaret Hamilton so it she it work again worked at NASA and that she on flight control software for the Apollo Skylab missions queen the term software engineer developed or help to develop in asynchronous software priority scheduling and and testing and 1 of the ways that this really paid off this focus on testing was like a member which flight it was that they were on certain their cents and the astronaut put the wrong sequence In known at that time computers going handle so much at 1 time and so that was basically an overload the system in the past it what is overloaded and would like I don't know what you want I'm just shutting down the mapping anything which if you are in the space shuttle trying to get back to Earth not be ideal scenario so that she had written a check for human error that basically said if you can you know if the computer gets to the point where can handle everything that's going on don't do the last thing someone said finisher very fast and then take it off and she is bad that innovation save the astronauts life so
even so the a she works again with with NASA there's a big NASA seeing here they actually did a lot of had a lot of opportunities for women at that time she on the 1st computer programs for navigation in space brilliant brilliant woman and again the sense of like you know I get him exact phrase but it's the idea of like when you take a step up the latter region back forth someone else up with you and so she lives in and I wanna say it was Missouri and this was right around you grow in the 19 sixties a passing all of these lost a tribe events Americans from voting and so she used her education and taught her neighbors how the past the Jim Crow boating tests so that they could still vote in elections the
Ernest Schneider Hoover she received 1 of the 1st ever patents for software In was 1st technical supervisor about labs and what she did was created a system that monitors the incoming calls to bill labs so it automatically adjust the acceptance rate again to avoid overload of making it part of her story there is that this this concept for which she received this pattern she thought of it while she was in the hospital recovering from the birth of 1 of her daughters I
the Karen Sparck Jones computing is too important to be left to men some of the things that I'm so we assign earlier you I had the 3 images of of products and technologies that we women to thank for helping develop and Karen Sparck Jones create created a city of inverse document frequency which basically says it's it's use in search engines to rank pages and documents based on we're search services so I mean it's used by I I think the vast majority of of search engines including Google I can only Grace Hopper big thing was she wanted people interact with computers using english instead of having to use equations Mary Kenneth
Keller has a special place in my heart because she on with the with a man received the 1st doctorate in computer science United States and she actually got it at University of Wisconsin which is a month and where I live I she helped develop a 2nd thing choosing the woman on the team and if remember correctly it was it was an area of harbor that was like they it was like off limits the women because they ever have women there and had to make again all of these sort of special arrangements so that she could be part of the team and and again this idea for sites which is that were having an information explosion and it's certainly obvious that information is of no use unless it's available and this is pre-Internet when she said so get to see like having this vision of what could be based on what was available time when look at someone in that area still doing
some stuff so 3 you I feel like is a superhero but I mean just look at this list of things that she's done she was a game programmer for Apple to which she worked in the space shuttle program but she's received patents for the mark that she's done and now she programs Amazon grounds the I mean how like you know it could us so we will think so she
designed the Acorn system 1 in 1979 was a microcomputer it had a 512 bytes of memory I I look this up the other day in the modern MacBook Air has on the gains of working really like super tiny I'll mention others when she was still getting her undergrad degree Michelle said about the ARM processor reported in that is used still today in like smartphones tablets digital TV the me pretty much everything is built on this technology that you created I read that items that contain this this our processor core more than 30 billion have been shipped which is up for for every human on Earth and Sophie wasn't a bad when this matter literally wrote the
book on threat modeling has been described as sheriff for the internet of she's work for Microsoft fire new Mozilla on Apple right now she's at vastly which really is that all over the world for places like Yelp Kickstarter strike interest so she works as security for like things that we use all the time every day and kind keeps keeps are information safe to
in-situ who was MIT things many things wrong and apologize if that's the case she created a movement to collect and publish tech diversity and so she talked about being a plane to a conference from figure was in Seattle issues acceptance is going she tweeted a joke about how if the plane went down they will this half of the women who worked in fact in the Bay area on all armor and she was like it was a joke but then I realized you and a true and there was all this talk about you know we need more diversity in were were making efforts and things are getting better and choose that where's the debt right like how do we know there were actually improving anything and so she created I mean it's it's it's a spreadsheet it's not even complicated which didn't spreadsheet and invited people to submit their data so that they could actually check and see if they are proven not there's 268 companies that are on it as of the last time I checked them including get half of Wells Fargo tender don't and she had a she had an uncanny ability to recognize companies that were going to be successful so she worked a core when it 1st started choose the number 8 employee of interest I have number 8 employee total in the last time I looked at some of these ago there are more than 500 engineers and interest so she had to pick the winning horse there but our you actually in the room
the women in who could few the appropriate real tho so I'm concerned about rails bridge some people call up there doing amazing things I cannot properly and many students it is said that you so that is in a state and that India which is just In Spain and awesome the prolific speaker and has been organizer for else company really just doing really really great stuff so thank you the the TVA
but the I'm Erika Baker senior engineered slack whose work at Google I kind of the same thing she you know as as we looked at a few people ago she created spreadsheet that's all as as a spread use an internal salary spreadsheet and because she was talking with friends head over wine and they realize they only vastly different amounts of money into the ridiculous like there should be you know we we need a way to to have more control over our salaries in the US is 100 per cent legal to talk about your salary you cannot be punished that it is illegal I do really matter so was of she had been in the ads Google for 6 years she received ton of a ton of praise from her colleagues and coworkers that was a great idea well they agree superfast people bring their information and come and she left within a year of this Frenchy coming up because the environment became so negative for her her managers were found withholding bonuses the and they claim that had nothing to do with this but was the only thing that has changed I mean it was just if if you look at this whole the block it's it's fascinating and scary and angry and but it's yet not she's in things it's lacking actually think about 20 by 20 per cent of a dog is diversity work so truffle company the her return increase diversity to company that you know is paying to today diversity work on my continent by black and I thought that was a really powerful statement you keep Mitsuko
but she it was 1 of the 3 founding members of blacks so when most people google the Manoel Google X was the proper and specifically to work on this project so the glasses and separate inquiries Google Glass is really groundbreaking work so she left there went to NEs and work on the nest there is that many people engineering that that some people pretty neat I literally ingenious 1 the genius award and I think she's now Apple so precept invariance on I love her like the whole she I she calls himself a brother boss intended think of what her title was for this it was like security princess or something and yet basically just you have call the what is and claims of herself on chance of a team of about 30 like accuracy basically try to find bugs and issues in vulnerabilities in Google Chrome so how many people use Google Chrome here that's what I figured so have heard of bank also she grew up without a computer humans are using a computer integer got college and now she heads up 30 engineers for Google Chrome which is really inspiring and think the right so
we just talked about a whole bunch of women doing often things but there are so many more that I can get you on you when the income up all the time and so how old you know if should in this how do you how do you say well how do you you keep following this of high as I created a curated Twitter
lists that's always growing of women in tech on Twitter that occur doing often things you can look that up and follow people if you like what they're doing and organize a Wikipedia editor bond so I organize a when attractive in Madison Wisconsin this is something organy doing you basically dedicated afternoon you have you experience Wikipedia editor and you find the the entries about women attack that are either not sourced or don't have any information or don't exist and I can tell you from researching for this talk that share are a lot of them and so basically just contributing making a lot easier for people to find out about these kinds of often women support or extend your local women integrity I volunteered bootcamp so the currents percentage of women students at universities neurons in computer science like 17 to 20 % but for boot camps of 38 so they're doing something right support them of animosity higher women especially women of color because they deserve it they will make you more money and they will understand declines better and you know why not so yeah so it's got from that when 2 citations it could so we have a we get a little bit of time for questions but I know and where have
so P and R IJT area