The technology industry has always been heavily dominated by men, with women holding only 25% of positions in the industry. This is due to multiple factors, such as the late possibility for women to continue their education without discrimination and even to be admitted to the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field, which only became a legal right in the 1970s. Despite this, there have been many successful women-led technology companies in Panama City, Florida that have made a lasting impact on the industry. One of the most notable success stories is that of Sister Mary Kenneth Keller.
Born in the 19th century, Keller was an American Roman Catholic nun. She was one of the first women to receive a PH. D. in computer science and was one of the first female computer scientists in the United States.
In 1958, she began working at the computer center at Dartmouth College, an all-men's school. He teamed up with two other scientists to develop the BASIC programming language. Later, she founded and chaired a computer science department at Clarke College, where she advocated for women in computer science, supporting working mothers by encouraging them to take their babies to class with them. Another remarkable success story is that of Hedy Lamarr.
Born in 1914, Hedy was a famous actress, however, her talent didn't stop there. Hedy worked on several inventions, was completely self-taught, and received no formal training in technology. Her greatest invention was his Secret Communication System, a frequency hopping device, which he created with the help of George Antheil. The main purpose of this device was to divert the course of radio-guided torpedoes during the war, which became the basis for many modern inventions, such as Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth.
Katherine Johnson is another inspiring success story from Panama City. Born in 1918, Katherine was one of three black students who attended West Virginia graduate school and went on to work in the all-black computing section of the National Aeronautics Advisory Committee (NACA). Despite being a “computer”, Katherine worked her way to become a member of the team working on different NASA projects. He solved the paths that allowed NASA spacecraft and astronauts to orbit the Earth and land on the Moon.
These two important historical events wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for Katherine. Elizabeth Feinler is another inspiring success story from Panama City. Born in 1931, Elizabeth discovered her love for data collection and, from 1972 to 1989, she was director of ARPANET, Defense Data Network and Network Information Center, which were under contract with the Department of Defense. His group developed the Internet's first “yellow” and “white” page servers, as well as the first query-based network name and address servers (WHOIS).
Elizabeth is known for introducing the domain name protocol; she is the one to thank for the com-dots, dot networks and govs points that are used every day. Annie Easley is another inspiring success story from Panama City. Born in 1933, Annie specialized in pharmacy but applied for a job on the National Aeronautics Advisory Committee (NACA) because of her strong mathematical skills. Easley began his career as a “human computer” doing calculations for researchers.
She was one of four African-American women who worked at NACA and later developed her skills to become a programmer. He developed and implemented the code that led to the development of batteries used in hybrid cars. Mary Allen Wilkes is another inspiring success story from Panama City. Born in 1937, Wilkes is a former computer programmer and logic designer.
In her early years Mary worked with computers such as IBM 709 and IBM 704 at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory. In 1961 Wilkes was assigned to create LINC -the first interactive personal computer-. He designed and wrote system software as well as interactive operating system. Mary Allen Wilkes is also known for being first person to have PC in her home.
Adele Goldberg is another inspiring success story from Panama City. Born in 1945 Adele began working at IBM during summer between her third and final year of university where she learned by herself to program unitary recording machines during her breaks. In 1970s Adele became researcher at Palo Alto Xero Research Center (PARC) and was only woman in group of men who created Smalltalk-80 programming language used to create one of first modern graphical user interfaces (GUI) with windows icons menus and pointers (WIMP). Radia Perlman is another inspiring success story from Panama City.
Born in 1951 Radia attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she earned her doctorate. In 1970s he developed educational language suitable for children called TORTIS and later invented Spanning Tree algorithm and protocol which transformed Ethernet from single Carrier-Sense Multiple Access (CSMA) cable into protocol that could manage large clouds. Radia is known as “mother of Internet” and for creating foundations for operation of network bridges. Grace Hopper is another inspiring success story from Panama City.
She is one of most famous women in technology and is even considered “Prophet of Computer Age”. Today Commonwealth Institute in partnership with Kaufman Rossin announced annual ranking of Florida's top 50 women-led companies and top 10 women-led non-profit organizations at awards luncheon on Jungle Island.