Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A woman in technology

"I will publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 other people will do the same."

The woman I have chosen is Steve Shirley. Steve is a woman, short for Stephanie.

I chose Steve because she created the F1 group in 1962: it was a company which specifically employed only women as computer programmers. If that shocks you, it is because we have come so far since then - she talks about the prejudice of the past here.

In the early 1960s, discrimination against woman in the workplace was overt and blatant. Even professionally qualified woman could be told that they could only work in certain parts of an office and that they could not be allowed to meet clients. It was not in any sense subtle.

Steve chose to be known by that name because of the prejudice against women: it kept open doors for her. Now that she is a dame, she uses the name Stephanie again.

She was also a founding member of the The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, the 100th worshipful company to be formed (some of the others date back before the fifteenth century).


Penny said...

Greenpea managed to get a woman on topic for both knitting and science. Impressive!

GreenPea said...

I really like your choice - usurping a stereotypical male preserve!