Microsoft Research Gender Diversity Lecture Series 5: History of Women in Computing and Women Leaders in Computing

Technology innovation is at the heart of the world’s positive future, and there is no question that innovation and business success benefit when women and men are together at the table creating technology. Today, women make up about 25% of the technical workforce and earn 18% of computer science degrees. Women technologists and leaders have been making important contributions since technology’s inception, but they are often under-recognized. This talk will explore the history of women’s contributions to computing, and some of the great resources that are available that recognize some of the great contributions by women.

Dr. Whitney, a recognized leader in the area of women and technology, will talk about the landscape of women’s contributions, and include anecdotes from the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.

Dr. Susan Rodger, a distinguished computer science educator, will talk about her efforts in starting the Notable Women in Computing Wikipedia Project and highlight women featured in this project.

Katy Dickinson, who joined forces with Susan, will discuss what grew out of their combined vision, including the Notable Technical Women playing cards distributed to schools around the world, and many of the remarkable women whom she discovered along the way.

The three speakers will together introduce the audience to many remarkable achievements of women, and illustrate the importance of role models.

Speaker Details

Dr. Telle Whitney has held senior technical management positions with Malleable Technologies and Actel Corporation, and co-founded the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference. She serves on the advisory boards of Caltech’s Information Science and Technology, California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, and Illuminate Ventures. She has received ACM Distinguished Service award and the A. Nico Habermann Award for her role in founding and sustaining NCWIT. Dr. Whitney received her Ph.D. from Caltech, and her bachelor’s degree at the University of Utah, both in Computer Science.

Susan H. Rodger is Professor of the Practice in the Department of Computer Science at Duke University. Prior to joining Duke in 1994, she was a faculty member in the Computer Science Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She received her PhD in Computer Science from Purdue University, and her B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics from North Carolina State University. He r research is in visualization, algorithm animation, and computer science education. She developed JFLAP, educational software for formal languages and automata used worldwide, and is co-author on the book JFLAP: An Interactive Formal Languages and Automata Package. JFLAP was recognized as a finalist in the NEEDS Premier Award for Excellence in Engineering Education Courseware in 2007. Rodger leads the nationwide Adventures in Alice Programming project to teach computing to K-12 teachers. She is Chair of ACM SIGCSE, a board member of CRA-W, and a member of the ACM Education Policy Committee. In 2012 she started the CRA-W project on Writing Wikipedia Pages for Notable Women in Computing. She is an ACM Distinguished Educator and a recipient of the ACM 2013 Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award.

Katy Dickinson is the Founder of Mentoring Standard. She has designed and managed successful mentoring programs in the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. She has held senior executive roles at Everwise, People to People, MentorCloud, Huawei, and Sun Microsystems. At Sun, she created and managed the global Engineering mentoring programs for ten years. Katy Dickinson was the Process Architect for the first class of the U.S. State Department’s TechWomen mentoring program. She was a Member of the Anita Borg Institute Advisory Board, and a Lecturer for the University of California at Berkeley Engineering class on entrepreneurship for many years. She is an author, speaker, and popular blogger on

Telle Whitney, Susan Rodger, and Katy Dickinson
Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, Duke University, Mentoring Standard
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