North and the Boss Talk community are excited to continue celebrating Women’s History Month this March! Each week in March, we will dedicate a blog post to spotlighting a few leading ladies who inspire us and have helped pave the way for future Boss Ladies to come. Because of the accomplishments of these amazing women, we can encourage our daughters, sisters, mothers, and friends to dream big and reach for the stars fearlessly. Here are a few women that have led the way in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Ada Lovelace (1815 – 1852)
An English mathematician and writer, Ada Lovelace is considered the first computer programmer because of her work on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine. Ada wrote the instructions for Babbage’s proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, as well as translated an article on one of Babbage’s inventions, adding in her own comments and introducing many new computer concepts.
Marie Curie (1867 – 1934)
Marie Curie was a pioneer in the field of radioactivity, becoming the first woman to win a Nobel Prize for her research involving the discovery of polonium and radium. During World War I, Marie utilized these new discoveries to develop mobile radiography units which provided X-ray services to field hospitals. Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize twice for her research and contributions to science, making her the only woman to earn this feat.
Jane Goodall (1934-present)
In 1960, primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall discovered that chimpanzees make and use tools, and are omnivores, behaviors that had previously never been observed before. Jane’s research in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania provided a new understanding of chimpanzees, redefining the relationship between humans and animals. In 1977, Jane founded the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation.
Sally Kristen Ride (1951 – 2012)
In 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman to go into space when she flew on the space shuttle Challenger. In her time as an astronaut, Sally made two shuttle flights. She was also the first woman to operate a shuttle’s robotic arm when she used it to remove ice from the shuttle’s exterior and adjust a radar antenna.
Reshma Saujani (1975 – )
Reshma Saujani began her career as an attorney and activist. In 2010, she surged onto the political scene as the first Indian American woman to run for U.S. Congress. During the race, Reshma visited local schools and saw the gender gap in computing classes firsthand, which led her to start the organization Girls Who Code. Girls Who Code has a reach of almost 90,000 girls of all backgrounds, offering learning opportunities in computer science skills for girls of all ages and creating clear pathways for graduates to enter into the computing workforce. Reshma has also served as Deputy Public Advocate for New York City and ran a spirited campaign for Public Advocate in 2013.