3 Inspiring Black Women in Tech History

Black History Month is dedicated to celebrating the recognition of history, achievements, influence, and history of the black community. Throughout the month of February, Women in Web Dev has been celebrating pioneers who have paved the way for women in STEM.

Here are 3 influential women you should recognize:

Mary Jackson

Mary Jackson at work
Photo: Bob Nye/NASA/Donaldson Collection/Getty Images

NASA Scientist, Mary Jackson was one of the pioneers who paved the way for women in technology. After 34 years at NASA, Mary Jackson had earned the most senior engineering title available.

She later accepted a demotion to become a manager of both the Federal Women’s Program, where she worked to influence the hiring and promotion of women in NASA’s science, engineering, and mathematics careers.

Dr. Gladys West

Dr. Gladys West at Air Force Hall of Fame
Photo: Adrian Cadiz

From the mid-1970s through the 1980s, Dr. Gladys West programmed an IBM computer to deliver increasingly precise calculations to model the shape of the Earth.⠀⁣

Her data ultimately became the basis for the Global Positioning System (GPS).⠀⁣

West was inducted into the United States Air Force Hall of Fame in 2018, one of the highest honors bestowed by Air Force Space Command (AFSPC).⁣

Dr. Mae Jemison

Dr. Mae Jemison in an astronaut suit
Photo: SSPL/Getty Images

Dr. Mae Jemison was the first African American woman astronaut. NASA admitted Jemison to its astronaut training program in June 1987 and after more than a year of training, she became the first African American woman astronaut, holding the title of science mission specialist.

In 1992, Jemison earned the distinction of the first African American woman in space, having launched into space aboard the Endeavor with six other astronauts.

Learn more about these amazing women by reading their biographies. Their stories along with other amazing women’s stories were also represented in the film Hidden Figures directed by Theodore Melfi. It’s a must watch!

Dr. Gladys West

Hi, I'm Jenny. I'm a developer with 3 years of experience. Welcome to the most supportive community for female developers!

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