It occurred to me that the majority of applicants and candidates that I talk to on a day to day basis in the field of software development are primarily men. Even within the walls of ReadyTalk we lack a certain female presence on the software development side. I have done some research to find out the history of females in computer science. I am hoping I will be able to understand what the future may hold and how ReadyTalk can help support women in technology.
According to Wikipedia, the number of women represented in undergraduate computer science education and the white-collar information technology workforce peaked in the mid-1980's and has declined ever since.
Even more interesting is that Computer Science was originally a field that was led by women. According to Wikipedia, Ada Lovelace was a famous female mathematician from the 1800's. She is credited with being the first computer programmer for her work on Charles Babbage's early mechanical general purpose computer. Ada came up the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine.
Another very notable female computer scientist was Grace Hopper. Wikipedia provides a comprehensive overview on this talented female engineer. Grace Hopper was an American computer scientist and United States Navy officer. She was a pioneer in the field and was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, and developed the first compiler for a computer programming language. Due to her naval rank and her accomplishments she is sometimes referred to as "Amazing Grace"
Most recently, Yahoo hired 37 year old Marissa Mayer as their CEO. She is the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Marissa graduated from a small town Wisconsin high school in 1993 and went on to graduate with honors from Stanford with a B.S. in Symbolic Systems and a M.S. in Computer Science. She was employee number 20 at Google and worked her way up the corporate ladder during her 13 year career with them. On July 16th, 2012 Mayer announced she was the new President and CEO of Yahoo. According to Wikipedia Mayer was named to Fortune magazine's annual list of America's Most Powerful Women in Business in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. In 2008, at age 33, she was the youngest woman ever listed.
Women have been making their mark for a long time in the world of computer engineering. It will continue to take remarkable women like the above mentioned to peak young girl's interests in building careers in computer science and technology. I think showing women that they can become computer scientists and supporting women in technology is a great start.
ReadyTalk has been named The Best Company to work for by Colorado Biz Magazine and Outside Magazine for a number of reasons. A few benefits that may appeal to women include; excellent work/life balance, paid-maternity leave, tuition reimbursement, onsite yoga, chiropractor, massage, in-house dry cleaning services and on-site gym with locker rooms. Health, family, work is the the order of priorities that ReadyTalk promotes and is something that the CEO follows himself.
There are several organizations which support Women in Computing and Women in Technology. Some of which include Society of Women Engineers (SWE), National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), Anita Borg institute for Women & Technology and Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.
As a Talent Acquisition Manager for ReadyTalk I take great interest and pride in helping promote this cause and I am excited to see where we can go from here!