In honor of International Women’s Day, we’d like to shine light on the wonderful women who have contributed to the world of science and technology over time, as well as some of the amazing women who are part of our team!
While gender diversity still remains an issue in the current world of tech, we are nevertheless taking the necessary steps in creating more opportunities and changing how we view technology.
FixMeFact – did you know that women make up around 50% of our FixMeStick team? Keep reading to meet some of the awesome women working at FixMeStick.
It Wasn’t Always an Industry for Men
In an industry generally associated with men, it’s interesting to note that it hadn’t always been that way. Dating back to the 1800s, programming and computing had originally been delegated to women. Back when mathematical computing was done by hand, women were given “clerical duties” while men made initial observations – however, these clerical duties often involved intricate calculations, cataloging, and data analysis.
This seems to have been a recurring trend throughout history – starting with women doing the computing and calculations for the Harvard Observatory in the 19th century, to Katherine Johnson who created the calculations that would guide the spacecraft for the first moon mission of Apollo 11.
Pioneers in Their Field
Women have no doubt held a strong position within the tech industry despite the prevailing stereotypes of it being a profession solely for men. With that being said, we’re going to provide you with a list of women who have helped change technology as we know it, and then introduce you to some of our amazing team members!
Born in the early 1800s, Ada Lovelace was regarded as one of the first computer programmers of her time. Lovelace’s first introduction into the world of computing came when she met Charles Babbage, who became her friend and mentor.
Babbage, considered to be the father of computing, had created a computing device known as the “Analytical Engine”, that served the purpose of making thousands of accurate calculations as its cogs spun. Working alongside Babbage, Lovelace wrote what is now considered the first “computer program”, and came up with real world applications of the device which otherwise eluded Babbage.
One of only three African American students to integrate West Virginia’s graduate schools, Katherine Johnson’s life was full of remarkable achievements, as she was also among the first African American women to work as a NASA scientist. Johnson, whose achievements were captured in the blockbuster film Hidden Figures, had calculated the exact trajectories that would help Apollo 11 land on the moon back in 1969.
However, it was not until recently that Johnson began to receive universal praise – as her gender and race played significant factors in how her achievements were perceived.
In 2015, President Barack Obama awarded Johnson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, stating that “Katherine G. Johnson refused to be limited by society’s expectations of her gender and race while expanding the boundaries of humanity’s reach.”
Back in the 1800s, while the men at the Harvard College Observatory were gathering information about our universe, women were working behind the scenes, using the information for calculations and measurements. As we stated prior, this sort of task was simply viewed as “clerical work”, and delegated to women to perform.
The head of the Observatory, Edward Pickering, needed someone to take over this task, so he chose his housemaid, Williamina Fleming, to take over the duties. Eventually going on to lead a team of over 80 women, Fleming and her team were responsible for computing the raw data provided to them, and coming up with calculations that help us understand the universe as we know it.
The Women of ENIAC
The ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was the predecessor to the types of computers we see today. Used during World War II, the ENIAC was designed to plot ballistic trajectories, although its design evolved to include far less destructive purposes.
Though it was two men who designed the ENIAC, it was a team of women who programmed the computer, effectively becoming the world’s first coders. While the work they did was initially used for military purposes, their contributions lead to the development of the first software program and the development of computer memory and storage.
Shaping the Future
Technology has come a long way since the first days of computing. Although the industry itself still tends to be male dominant, women are constantly paving the way for new discoveries and new innovations – proving that when given equal chance, boundaries will be broken, and truly anything can be accomplished.
With that being said, we’d like to introduce you to some of the amazing women at FixMeStick!
Introducing the Women of FixMeStick!
Claire – Digital Marketing Specialist and Web Developer
How did you get into the technology industry?
I originally started on the Customer Support Team. I was fresh out of university and needed a job. Soon after I took an interest in tech and started learning web development on my own. Then I started doing web dev tasks and eventually redesigned our website! Recently, I’ve grown interested in digital marketing so I’ve taken on a role as our Digital Marketing Specialist. I love all things web and digital and I’m super interested in the growth of online business. Tech is a fun challenge for me!
Why do you think it is important to celebrate other women in the technology and cybersecurity fields?
It’s so important to celebrate other women in tech and appreciate the challenges we face in this predominantly male industry. Women are making a place for themselves as leaders but we face everyday challenges that can make working in tech hard. It’s important for us to celebrate women in tech and to get more women involved in order to break down barriers and stigmas blocking this positive progression. As we’ve learned here at FixMeStick, a variety of ideas – both male and female – allow for exciting and amazing outcomes!
Keegan – Director of Marketing
How did you get into the tech industry?
I joined FixMeStick 4 years ago, right out of university, as part of our customer support team. I didn’t know much about computers but the work environment was great! I soon found myself in marketing and loved it and now I’m the Director of Marketing.
Why do you think there needs to be more women in the tech sector today?
More women in tech will upend the perception that tech jobs are for men and also encourage young girls to pursue whatever career path they want. Girls and women alike should be confident to go into whatever sector they’re interested in, and not be intimidated by a historically male dominated field. We also need more women in tech so people stop assuming I’m a man when they email me.
Laura – Manager and Customer Support Specialist
How did you end up working at FixMeStick?
After completing my bachelor’s degree, I wanted a new and exciting challenge. I decided to take some coding courses online, and really enjoyed the work, and now I manage our entire support team! I have really valued being able to gain practical people skills and increase my knowledge of technology. FixMeStick has allowed me to grow, both as a person and as a woman in tech!
Why do you think the technology world needs more women?
I think the tech industry needs more women because it will show younger generations that there’s no need to stick to a particular gendered field. Anyone should be able to follow their dreams, regardless of their identity.
Addie – Marketing Coordinator
How did you start out at FixMeStick?
I graduated with a major in Labour Relations, and needing a summer job I applied for a position on the Customer Support team! I was super overwhelmed at first, having no previous experience in tech, but I learned quickly and gained confidence dealing with all different kinds of computer issues. I soon took on marketing tasks and I’m now working full time as FixMeStick’s Marketing Coordinator.
Why is it so important to motivate women who work in tech?
I think it’s important to motivate women in tech because it can be an intimidating field to enter, being a predominantly male industry. However, there are many successful women in tech, and this should be acknowledged so that other women feel empowered to enter as well!
The solution may seem simple: hire more women for cybersecurity careers!
But the reality is that women often don’t see tech careers as viable, because they’re traditionally considered masculine professions. There is also a fear of being subjected to gender bias in the workplace. Women shouldn’t feel intimated, but that’s often the case in the industry.
We’re fortunate to work for an awesome company where we’re encouraged to pursue whatever paths interest us. We hope you enjoyed getting to know some of us here at FixMeStick.
Do you want a career in tech or cybersecurity, or want to inspire a woman in your life to go into these fields? Here are some resources for women looking to start their career in cybersecurity today:
- 6 Reasons Why Women Should Consider a Career in Cybersecurity
- Women in Cybersecurity Resources
- List of Women in Cybesecurity Associations Around The Globe
- Women in Technology Job Board
Be sure to share this article to help spread the message!