7 March 2014 | Tanya Goodin

8 Inspirational women in digital

Inspired by International Women’s Day on March 8th, here at Tamar we’ve been talking about the inspirational women who have made an impact in our own industry.

As a digital agency with a history of women in senior positions (and founded by a woman), we celebrate the achievements of all women but we have a special affinity for those who have blazed a trail for the rest of us in digital and technology.

Here’s our pick for our TOP 8 Women in Digital

Grace Hopper

1952_hopper-grace_largeAdmiral Grace Hopper (1906-1992) was one of the first female computer programmers, and her list of achievements is ridiculously long. Amongst them: She was the first women to graduate with a PhD in Maths from Yale, the first woman Admiral in the US navy, the inventor of the first computer “compiler” in 1952, the brains behind the computing language COBOL and reportedly the person behind the computing term “debugging”. Amusingly, the term came about after Hopper had to remove a moth from the inside of her machine!

Marissa Mayer

Mayer is the current president and CEO of Yahoo!, and has held the position since July 2012. Before joining Yahoo!, Mayer was a big name at Google, often acting as their key spokesperson at events. She was actually Google’s 20th employee, and their first ever female engineer – staying with the search giant for 12 years before jumping to the top job at their competitor. She is frequently cited in Top “Powerful Women” lists, and sits on the board of a number of major companies, including Walmart.

Radia Perlman

Perlman is a software engineer and designer, frequently referred to as the Mother of the Internet – due mainly to her work on the ‘spanning-tree protocol‘. She was a major contributor to the development of a number of link-stage protocols, including TRILL. Currently employed by the Intel corporation, Perlman also does a lot of work in programs that help you people to learn programming skills – she also holds over 100 patents!

Sheryl Sandberg

_67067210_sheryl_sandberg_bbc640x360Sandberg is the current COO of Facebook, and the first woman to serve on the social giant’s board. Like Mayer, Sandberg first came to prominence in the tech industry as a Googler, where she was VP of Global Online Sales and Operations – as well as being heavily involved in the creation of Google’s charity arm, Google.org. Sandberg also serves on the board for a number of other organisations, including the Walt Disney Company. Sandberg and her husband are big advocates of the “Shared earning/shared parenting” marriage. Sandberg’s ‘Lean In‘ initiative and book have also gained her praise in recent years.

Roberta Williams

Those of you who grew up with early home computers in the 80s and 90s will know of Roberta Williams most famous work through computer games like King’s Quest. Williams was co-founder of the famous gaming designers Sierra On-line, who developed a number of titles which are still played today, decades after their inception. She is now retired, and still married to long-time collaborator Ken Williams – and is frequently cited as one of the most influential games designers of the 80s and 90s.

Sister Mary Kenneth Keller

Keller was the first American woman to achieve a PhD in Computer Science, which she received in 1965 at the University of Wisconsin. As a fully-fledged Nun (she took vows with the Sisters of Charity in 1940), it was Keller’s work in computing which earned her infamy – playing as she did a major part in the development of the programming language ‘BASIC‘. She also wrote a number of best-selling books about computer science.

Kara Swisher

22nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards In San FranciscoJournalist and columnist Swisher is often said to be the most influential writer when it comes to technology journalism. Having come to prominence through her ‘Boom Town’ creation, she went on to found and edit ‘All Things Digital‘ – a site that specialised in technology and start-up news. Her ‘D: All Things Digital’ conferences are renowned for their speakers – notably in 2007 they managed to get Bill Gates and Steve Jobs on the same stage).

Arianna Huffington

No prizes for guessing the site that brought Arianna Huffington to fame – when the Huffington Post was purchased by AOL in 2011 it was worth an impressive $315 million. Prior to setting up the global news and opinion portal which bears her name, Huffington had a long and illustrious career in political commentary, party spurred-on by her marriage to politician Michael Huffington in 1986. Regularly cited in the Top 20 “Most Influential Women in Media” list, Huffington also makes regular appearances in TV show ‘Family Guy’!

So there’s 8 of our favourites – though clearly there are hundreds more that we could have chosen. If you think we made any glaring ommissions from our short-list, let us know in the comments below, or via our Twitter account.

Tanya Goodin

Tanya Goodin

Founder of Tamar