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10 Girls in ICT

by Francesca Baldacchino, Matthew Vella, Kenneth Zerafa, and Julia Psaila
27th April 2017

International “Girls in ICT” is an initiative aiming to both empower and encourage young women to consider careers in the growing ICT sector.

Below is a list of ten fantastic and inspiring females who have proven that women are just as great in technology:

ADA LOVELACE (1815-1852)

 For those of you who love programming, you will love this woman. Lovelace is said to have written instructions for the first computer program and is also the first computer programmer as she introduced many computer concepts. She showed passion for science and language.

Unfortunately her contributions were not discovered until the 1950s. Since the republishing of her notes in “Faster than thought: A symposium on digital computing machines” (1953), Lovelace has been recognized in honor for her work. Her popularity has risen to a stage where the US department of defense named a new and developed language “Ada” after her. 


“Imagination is the discovering faculty,pre-eminently.

It is that which penetrates into the unseen worlds

around us, the worlds of Science.”




Currently a start to anyone who’s a fan of Yahoo, Mayer is an information technology executive currently serving as the president of Yahoo and has been in this position since 2012. What is interesting is that apart from Yahoo, she was also an executive, usability leader, as well as a key spokesperson for Google for a long period of time.
At the time of her pregnancy (2012), Mayer got herself in a controversy as she took only a couple of weeks maternity leave before deciding to work from home. This is recognized as a great example of girl power. 

“I think Google should be like a Swiss

Army knife: clean, simple, the tool

you want to take everywhere.”



Limor Fried is remotely known for her startup Adafruit where she created an online “place” for learning electronics and making the best designed products of all ages to enhance skill levels and knowledge. The name Adafruit Industries was inspired by “ladyada”, a tribute to Ada Lovelace.

Since childhood she has shown interest in technology and even tweaked and created her very own devices. Fried was the first female engineer to appear on the cover of WIRED magazine.


“It’s emotionally fulfilling

for humans to create things.




Kare is known as the ‘artist who gave computing a human face’ and for inventing pixel art.

Her work consists of several iconic interface elements in both Mac and Windows OS which allowed them to feel friendlier to users. Some of her exemplary work includes the Happy Mac icon and the trash can icon.
She is currently the owner of where she sells her own limited-edition designs.  

“The best icons are

more like traffic signs

than graphic illustrations.”


HEDY LAMARR (1914 - 2000)

Austrian and American film actress as well as an inventor. She started off with a brief film career in Germany and ended up a film star in Hollywood.

During WWII, Lamarr contributed in developing a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes. Although the technology was adopted until the 1960’s, the principles of the work is incorporated to modern WI-FI, CDMA, and Bluetooth technology. This work led to their induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (2014). 


“Films have a certain place

in a certain time period.

Technology is forever.”



GRACE HOPPER (1906 - 1992)

Grace Hopper, a computer scientist, was one of the first computer programmers to work on the Harvard Mark 1. She popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL, one of the first high-level programming languages, and invented the first compiler (program that translated programming code into machine language).

Hopper is credited for coining the terms “bug” and “de-bug” in relation to computer errors. It is said that one day a computer failure confused Hopper and her team, where they eventually found a moth inside the machine. She proceeded to tape the moth into her log book and wrote “first actual bug found”.

“The most dangerous phrase in

the language is

‘we’ve always done it this way.’”



Liskov is an American computer scientist, who is an Institute Professor. Barbara is best known for winning the Turing Award and developed the Liskov Substitution Principle.

She was one of the first women to be granted a doctorate in computer science in the US.
Liskov is the author of three books and over a hundred technical papers.


“Be aware of what you’re doing,

and what the opportunities are,

and step into what seems right,”

and see where it takes you.”




Her educational background consists of a lot of fairy tales contributing to a great imagination. Roberta Williams is one of the most influential video game designers credited with creating the ‘graphic adventure’ genre.
She is now enjoying her retirement researching and writing. 

“If more women want to be part of the computer

industry today, they have to do more to put

themselves there. Nobody is keeping them out.”



Whitman is still best known for leading online auction site eBay from $5.7 million in revenues in 1997 to $8 billion at the time of her departure in 2008.

She is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett Packard Enterprise as well as currently chairing HP Inc.
In 2014, Whitman was named 20th in Forbes List of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World.


“When people use your brand name

as a verb, that is remarkable."




Best known as one of the most well-rounded American inventors, she revolutionized modern communication by inventing a computerized telephone communication method which prevents system overloads.
The principles of Hoover’s switching system are still widely used today!

“I designed the executive program for handling situations

when there are too many calls, to keep it operating

efficiently without hanging up on itself. Basically it was designed

to keep the machine from throwing up its hands and going berserk.”


Wishing all the ladies out there a great day!
#expandinghorizons #changingattitudes #girlsinICT


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