13 Famous Women Who Changed Tech History Forever


Evelyn Boyd Granville: Race, Space, & Education Advocacy

Growing up in Washington, D.C. during the Great Depression, Evelyne Boyd Granville perpetually saw her glass as half-full. “I was aware that segregation placed many limitations on Negros,” she wrote. “However, daily one came into contact with Negroes who had made a place for themselves in society…”

Granville’s daily contact with such role models began at Dunbar High School, where highly educated teachers (white and black) instilled a belief in Granville that, regardless of race and gender, all deserved access to knowledge. “We accepted education as the means to rise above the limitations that a prejudiced society endeavored to place upon us.”

Pinched pennies, financial aid, and academic scholarship made her continued education possible. Granville attended Smith College and then Yale for her Ph.D, becoming just the second African American women to receive a mathematics doctorate at any American University.

After a few years of teaching at Fisk University, an all-black college in Nashville, Granville began her professional career performing real-time’ calculations for satellite launchings. She studied rocket trajectories and methods of orbit computation as a part of the U.S. involvement in the space race. In 1967, Granville returned to the classroom, where she began an impressive 30-year commitment to education advocacy.

Next Up: Sister Mary Kenneth Keller (click here or below)

11 Responses to “13 Famous Women Who Changed Tech History Forever”

    • Sophie Wilson was born Robert Wilson…a transwoman who started a career as a man should not take a space or attention away from a woman who was born female and socialized and raised female.

      • As a matter of fact, I am making a website for a webdev college course highlighting contributions of ALL WOMEN past, present and future and I have been looking for transwomen to feature on my site. I appreciate your bigotry because it just lead me to someone I can add. 🙂

      • I agree. A trans woman who grew up socialized as a MALE did not suffer the setbacks of a society putting him in “his place.” His contributions were already being recognized before he became a female. To equate his “struggle” for recognition and acceptance is to compare apples to oranges.

        To grow up socialized as a female effectively EXCLUDES one from all STEM-related expectations, and further INHIBITS, if not downright IMPEDES her being taken seriously in male-dominated fields. I know it because I lived it! He never did.

  1. False. The current climate of women in the tech industry is all-inclusive and we welcome transwomen. There is no place for discrimination in a field dedicated to advancement both in technology and social justice. Take a seat.

  2. ianpenfold

    what about Margeret Hamilton, who wrote most of the software for the 1969 apollo lunar landing, and invented the job title ‘software engineer’ which is still used today.

  3. Jim Austin

    The ladies who programmed the ENIAC didn’t use any programming languages with text editors and compilers. They were reportedly given blueprints of the machine and told to program it.