This month, we celebrated perhaps one of the greatest international holidays known to humankind: International Women’s Day. While a whole day doesn’t seem to be enough to celebrate the gift that are women in our lives, it sure is a great annual reminder that they not only are excellent daughters and mothers, but are also fierce warriors, queens, leaders, innovators, and people in general.
That said, the field of IT and tech has always been stereotyped as a world of men – the hard numbers, codes, systems, wires, and braining it takes to excel in this area were always thought of something beyond the capabilities of women.
But lo and behold: women have always been an integral part of the world of technology! Without them, a whole lot of things we have enjoyed or are currently enjoying won’t even be possible.
Here are some of the notable women that you won’t believe had vital contributions to our industry and needs to be recognized more:
The success of the Apollo 11 launch that proved that man can go to the moon primarily highlighted the astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, but they wouldn’t have even made it outside of Earth without Margaret Hamilton.
As the Director of the Software Engineering Division of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, she wrote most, if not all, of the codes involved in the on-board flight software that made the Apollo 11 mission possible. That effort changed what was then humanly and digitally possible for technology.
And did we mention that she wrote all of them by hand?
She is also the founder and CEO of Hamilton Technologies, Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company was developed around USL (Universal Systems Language) that she developed based on her own paradigm of “Development Before the Fact” (DBTF) for systems and software design.
As one of the last major activities under his tenure, former US President Barack Obama awarded several notable figures the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was one of the awardees.
“Mark I” may be famously attributed to Tony Stark/Iron Man now, but Grace Hopper beat him to it a long time ago. Mark I was a computer that she developed during her time working for the Harvard Computation Lab as part of the Navy Reserve. It improved the speed and accuracy of military initiatives.
Grace Hopper, “The Queen of Code”, developed software even before the term itself was referred to what she had produced. She also potentially invented the term “debugging” after literally removing a bug – that is, a moth – out of the Mark II’s system when it stopped working one night and taping it in her notes.
It was also during her military work did she figure out how an atomic bomb should explode properly. But in the time that discrimination against women was at an all-time high, her contributions and her presence as part of the team were largely erased from media and coverage. She also wasn’t allowed to become a Harvard professor nor continue her service in the Navy.
Her idea and efforts also led to symbolic computer language – which most Americans did not get due to a lack of education and understanding of math – being translated to plain English. She was ridiculed for the idea, yet it worked. By the year 2000s, the language she helped develop, known as COBOL, is the backbone of all actively used codes.
The Philippines isn’t far behind when it comes to being tech geniuses. Just two years ago, a Filipina engineer named Anne Aaron was recognized by Business Insider in their list of “43 Most Powerful Female Engineers of 2017”. But what did she do, anyway?
If you have a Netflix account, you have her to thank for the best possible quality streaming that you can get. Anne Aaron is the Director of Video Algorithms at Netflix, and it is through her efforts with her team that Netflix can give you crisp, clear images of every show you watch, no matter which device you’re on.
Her work is to monitor and optimize the streaming system so that it has a balance between the bandwidth of the user, the speed and capabilities of their device(s), and the quality of the streaming that they get. High quality videos of course take longer to load and eats up more speed and bandwidth. The burden of enabling the system to still stream in high quality despite lower speeds and connections is what she had to figure out and has worked on. And it’s impressive how she’s pulled it off.
Yondu’s Mancom: Joan Peñaflorida, Chachi Cordero, Joy Go, Gail Campo, Richa Chaudhary, and Judith Tubil
The common stereotype of a tech company’s higher-ups would mostly compose of men, but not at Yondu. Here, our Mancom consists of 6 women in the seven-people team.
Starting with the head honcho of Yondu, we have or President, Ms. Joan Penaflorida. Not only did she win the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA) 2017, she was also featured by The Philippine Star last July 2018 as one of the notable women leaders in a stereotypically male-dominated STEM (science, technology, math, and engineering) industries.
Next is Chachi Cordero, the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Finance Officer. She balances the heavy task of overseeing these two equally-daunting roles and has made sure that the people under these core aspects are both competent and dedicated to their tasks.
The quartet that heads the different departments of Yondu, apart from Enterprise Solutions (of which Ramon Hirang leads), are Joy Go, Gail Campo, Judith Tubil, and Richa Chaudhary. Joy is the superwoman of the Technology Group, Gail commands the Talent Solutions Group, Richa is the forewoman of the Talent Acquisitions Group, and Judith is the chief of the Human Resources department,
Together, they’ve built and strengthened Yondu to become a top IT solutions company in the Philippines. Through their leadership, we know exactly just how to be a company that cares for its people and partners in the way only women can pull off.
Cheers to the power of women!
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Want to know more about how women play it strong in the IT world? Why not invite our very own Mancom to get you to know more! Let’s talk today!