Empowering female innovators around the world.
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.CO is celebrating great female inventors, entrepreneurs and tech trailblazers of our time. We are inspired by these women who took risks and challenged the norm to create history.
Pioneers like Ada Lovelace, inventors like Grace Hopper and research scientists Gertrude Elion all had one thing in common; they fought against great opposition for what they believed in, at a time when women were overwhelmingly in the minority not just in Science and Tech roles, but in the professional field altogether. They were persistent in their ideas and courageous with their acts - their discoveries changed history.
Even today the gender gap of women entrepreneurs, and specifically women in high-tech fields lags greatly behind men. That’s why .CO is a proud to support businesses like Springboard Enterprises, who is dedicated to building high-growth technology-oriented companies led by women. We want to encourage women to follow in the footsteps of Ada, Grace and Gertrude and take their business idea, invention or prototype, to the next level. We want you to be .COurageous - to make your story, history and launch your idea with a .CO domain today!
With .CO, you get more than just a web address
From Startup Weekend tickets to free online subscriptions, as part of the .CO community we offer perks to help connect you with fellow innovators and promote your business online. Whether it’s featuring your startup on our website, helping you get publicity or talking you up in social media, as you continue to build your idea, let us help you get the word out about your new venture. Check out what some of our female innovators are building on a .CO here.
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*To view our sources used to create this infographic visit www.go.co/infographicfootnote
Trailblazers of our Time
Programming Pioneer‘Amazing Grace’ Hopper invented the first compiler for a universal computer programming language, and is also credited with coining the phrase 'debugging’.
From a young age, Grace was encouraged by her parents to pursue an education at a time when it was rare for women to do so. She pursued a career in academia, after which she joined the war effort in 1943. In order to be accepted Grace had to get a special exemption to enlist due to being older (the ripe old age of 36) and 15lbs under the minimum weight. Despite pushback, Grace remained in the Navy and worked her way up to rear admiral before retiring in 1986.
It was during the war she that she worked with the Mark I, and later Mark II and Mark III computers. In 1952, she was instrumental in creating the first compiler for a computer programming language. This compiler was a forerunner to Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL), which is a widely adapted language still used around the world today.
More than two decades after her death, Grace Hopper continues to inspire women in technology. The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference is the world's largest gathering of women technologists, produced by the Anita Borg Institute. And most recently, Grace was honored posthumously with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President Barack Obama in 2016.
Algorithm EnchantressAda was a brilliant mathematician, and is believed to have written instructions for the first computer program in history.
Born to famed poet Lord Byron in 1815, Ada’s education in mathematics and science was at the insistence of her mother. This was particularly unusual for the time, because women were rarely exposed to education in these fields, if at all.
Around age 17, Ada met Charles Babbage – the ‘father of the computer’. This is where she became captivated by the ‘difference engine’ which inspired her to develop plans for what was known as the ‘analytical engine’. Ada speculated that the Engine 'might act upon other things besides number... the Engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent.' She also theorized a method for the engine to repeat a series of instructions, a process known as looping still used today.
It was this vision for which Ada Lovelace is recognized as a visionary, and the world’s first computer programmer. Her contribution to computer science is still remembered today, 165 years later, in the celebration of Ada Lovelace Day on October 13.
Pharmacology WhizGertrude was a biochemist and pharmacologist, who earned the 1988 Nobel Prize in Medicine for her development of leukemia and herpes drug treatments.
Gertrude was inspired to pursue a career in science and chemistry as a result of her grandfather’s death. She and her grandfather shared a close bond and after he passed away from cancer she was determined to find a cure for the disease.
After graduating college at the age of 19, Gertrude entered graduate school in 1939 as the only female in her chemistry class, and upon graduation Gertrude started as an assistant at Wellcome (now GlaxoSmithKline) in 1944.
It’s here that Gertrude began a 40-year partnership with Dr. George H. Hitchings. Elion and Hitchings began studying the chemical composition of diseased cells and their team developed drugs to combat leukemia, herpes and AIDS
Although Gertrude was never able to obtain an official PHD, due to her obligations during World War II, she was eventually awarded an honorary Ph.D from Polytechnic University of New York and an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Harvard University.
By the end of her career, Elion had developed 45 patents in medicine and had been awarded 23 honorary degrees. More importantly, her curiosity and determination also saved millions of lives.