In the news today it has been announced that the National Museum of Computing is celebrating the role of women in computer history.
Sponsored by Google, it documents the important role women have played in building and programming pioneering computers.
The idea for this gallery came about when the Museum found that only 10% of students on its courses were women.
It is hoped that the gallery will help to inspire more young women and girls to take up a job in the computer world.
“Girls must take advantage of the revival of computing in schools and recognise and grab the opportunities that our wonderful sector offers,” said Dame Stephanie Shirley at the opening ceremony for the gallery.
The Museum is sited at Bletchley Park, famous for it’s wartime code-cracking centre.
Hail the Coding Queens
On show at the gallery are contributions from Joyce Wheeler, one of the first academics to use the Edsac computer; Mary Coombs, the first female programmer for the Lyons Electronic Office and Kathleen Booth, an academic who wrote the first book about programming in Assembly language.
More information about the Gallery and opening times can be found here
Women’s representation in the computing and information technology workforce has been falling from a peak of 38% in the mid-1980s. From 1993 through 1999, NSF’s SESTAT reported that the percentage of women working as computer/information scientists (including those who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in an S&E field or have a bachelor’s degree or higher and are working in an S&E field) declined slightly from 33.1% to 29.6% percent while the absolute numbers increased from 170,500 to 185,000.