The Women Who Changed the Digital World
March 8, 2021
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by Arabella Seebaluck

Women’s Day has been around long enough to have become an institution, an establishment within the long series of ‘international days’ we are given to observe. With the advent of social media, we are even more dragged into the chorus of political correctness, posting to our female friends, sending each other emojis and all the virtual pats-on-the-back about women doing a great job in the world.

And we are.

To celebrate all these women today, we’re going to look at those who have made the work of Youpal Group possible… the women in STEM, S&T who paved the way for our developers, coders and other IT engineers to evolve as professionals, but also as women in an industry which is still predominantly male.

So let’s have a look at a few of them.

Radia Perlman, Internet Pioneer

Radia Perlman doesn’t like being called ‘The Mother of the Internet.’ However, this computer scientist and MIT student of the sixties, is one of the architects of what we today know as the internet. She is the one responsible for developing the algorithm for the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), which is one of the building blocks of the internet. Among the many works authored by Dr. Perlman is a programming language especially made for children from the age of 3. She also has written books on networking and network security. This infinitely creative mind holds about 100 patents to her name.  

Joan Clarke, Code Breaker & Cryptanalyst

Joan Clarke was born in 1917. She graduated from University of Cambridge in the UK, where she was awarded a First-Class degree in Mathematics. However, she did not receive a full degree as these were not granted to women at the time. She was the only woman who worked on cracking the German Enigma ciphers during the war. Given that the work conducted at Bletchley Park, United Kingdom, are still shrouded in mystery, the full extent of Joan Clarke’s work is yet to be known.

Susan Kare, Iconographer

If you know the fonts such as Chicago, Geneva or Monaco… then you know Susan Kare. She is what would know be termed as UX designer. Someone who has been dedicated to user experience since its inception. She is a digital designer who has some famous icons used by Macintosh to her credit: trash can, scissors, the ‘paste’ hand and formatting paintbrush. Little do we think of such seemingly insignificant items, but how our user experience be without them?

U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, Inventor & Computer Scientist

Rear Admiral Grace Hopper invented the first programming language with words in the English language, or COBOL, Common Business-Oriented Language. COBOL is widely known and used as a programming language. She is also the one to whom the world ‘debugging’ is attributed, after her associates removed a moth mucking a Mark II computer while she was working with the U.S. Navy.

Florence Nightingale, Social Reformer & Statistician

We perhaps only think of Florence Nightingale as “the Lady with the Lamp” for her heroic nursing in the Crimean War. Although it is to her credit that the death rate was significantly reduced during that time, it was more to do with her visionary design of hospital statistical systems. Her graphical representation of health statistics is still in use today. The proportional pie chart – Diagram of the Causes of Mortality – was key to provoking change and prompting people to understand information to make accurate decisions.

In honour of women worldwide, in honour of women in STEM, the female coders, developers and engineers at Youpal Group… the women in the leadership team, the women who are managers and change agents throughout the group – have a wonderful International Women’s Day!

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