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17 March 2022

Breaking Down Barriers and Forging Ahead: CMD-IT Celebrates Women’s History and Gender Equality Month

The contributions of women in computing and tech innovation and advancement have been critical in the field–not only in the ways that women move the industries forward but also in the invaluable perspectives women bring that make products and services more equitable and effective for all. Women’s History Month is another opportunity for us at CMD-IT to do what we do every day: celebrate and champion the impact of people from diverse backgrounds in computing and tech, past and present. 

However, inclusion also means there must be room for intersectionality. At CMD-IT, we work to ensure computing and tech fully represent the diversity of women who contribute meaningful work to the industry. Join us as we applaud these amazing women who made–and are making–history.

  1. Ida Holtz 

Ida Holtz is an Uruguayan engineer, computer scientist, professor, and researcher who pioneered advancements in computing and the Internet. While serving as director of the Central Information Service of the University of the Republic, she led the development of Uruguay’s Internet. She played a prominent role in the country’s evolution and implementation of information technology.

  1. Dorothy Vaughan

Dorothy Vaughan served as head of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA’s) segregated West Area Computing Unit from 1949 until 1958 and was NASA’s first African-American manager. With the abolishment of segregated divisions in 1958, Dorothy Vaughan and others joined NASA’s Analysis and Computation Division (ACD), a racially and gender-integrated group leading discovery in electronic computing. Vaughan became an expert FORTRAN programmer and contributed to the Scout Launch Vehicle Program.

  1. Valerie Thomas

Enthusiasts of immersive experiences have American scientist and inventor Valerie Thomas to thank for creating the illusion transmitter–the first technology that allowed for 3D image display. The unique shape of the transmitter’s mirrors produces an image that appears real. NASA later adopted Thomas’s technology for satellite imaging. It has been used in surgical imaging and consumer TV screens and paved the way for the hyper-realistic digital experiences we enjoy today.

  1. Synge Tyson  

Synge Tyson is a force for inclusivity within UX Design-Digital Operations.  Her positions within the federal government, industry, and nonprofit have guided policy and empowered people with disabilities.  As research faculty at Georgia Tech, she focused on human computer interaction and barrier-free design with wireless technologies. Her current work places her firmly on the cutting-edge of research in accessible wireless emergency notifications, barrier-free designs, and improved access for meetings and conferences for people with disabilities. Tyson applies her immense knowledge and insights across various industries, including creating an accessible online platform for fantasy sports teams. 

  1. Jenny Lay-Flurrie

As the Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft, Jenny Lay-Flurrie uses her relentless honesty, contagious energy, and communication prowess to guide the development of internal initiatives and external products that keep the company aligned with its inclusivity-focused mission. In 2015, she helped create a hiring program through which the company identifies and trains people with autism, increasing productivity and belonging across the organization. 

  1. Andrea Delgado-Olson

Andrea Delgado-Olson is the Founder and Chair of Native American Women in Computing. As a member of the Ione Band of Miwok Indians, she works to reach Native Communities to teach various levels of Computer Science education and Gaming. Her efforts to preserve her native language within her own family grew into a collaboration with Google and Udacity to create a course for Multiscreen Apps using the Miwok language. Delgado-Olson is building on those efforts to gather teaching materials and resources for other tribes to develop a curriculum to preserve language and culture for many indigenous tribes worldwide.

  1. Alicia Chong Rodriguez

Alicia Chong Rodriguez is the founder and CEO of Bloomer HealthTech; a company focused on eliminating the high mortality rate from heart disease for women around the globe. She and her team seamlessly integrate sensors into everyday clothing to collect information that can build robust clinical data sets that help researchers and clinicians better understand female cardiac health across ethnicities. This approach allows for personalized universal healthcare that optimizes women’s heart treatment by monitoring and preventing adverse outcomes.

A single month doesn’t contain enough hours to duly note the remarkable accomplishments of women in computing and tech. CMD-IT is honored and committed to elevating the achievements and visibility of women across these industries and leading the charge in creating opportunities for generations to come.