Happy Women’s History Month! As we kick off March, we want to recognize the indomitable spirit of women and celebrate their countless contributions to society. Today, we acknowledge a few of the women who have made history in the tech industry and highlight LXT’s commitment to fostering an inclusive environment and supporting women in tech.

In the tech sector, where diversity has long been a challenge, it’s important to highlight the achievements of women who have broken barriers and paved the way for future generations.

“Girls are capable of doing everything men are capable of doing. Sometimes they have more imagination than men” – Katherine Johnson, NASA Mathematician

The early years of women in tech

Many of the pioneers of early computer programming and technological advancements are women. But in a seemingly male-dominated industry, many female scientists and mathematicians are forgotten on the sidelines.

Traveling back in time to the 19th century, Ada Lovelace is attributed to not only being one of the first women in the tech space but also the first-ever computer programmer. As a teen, she was intrigued by a complicated machine created by Charles Babbage. In 1842, she wrote an extensive article explaining the machine’s workings that contained several early computer programs. This led to the first ever computer programming language, Ada, to be named after her.

According to We Are Tech Women, the term ‘computer programmer’ was officially coined by the US Army’s ENIAC project when they appointed an all-female team to set up a machine that would produce ballistic tables. This was during WWII when many women were encouraged to take up wartime jobs including working as “human computers.” The team of women included Kathleen McNulty, Betty Jean Jennings, Frances Bilas, Elizabeth Synder Holberton, Marlyn Wescoff, and Ruth Lichterman.

If you haven’t heard of the ENIAC project, perhaps you are more familiar with the massive code-breaking efforts made during WWII at Bletchley Park. You know the one where machines were custom-built to help decrypt German messages and did so successfully? Maybe you’ve heard about Alan Turing’s code-breaking efforts of the simpler Enigma machines (think ‘The Imitation Game’ starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kiera Knightly). Well, did you know that 273 women were recruited to operate Bletchley Park’s Colossus machines? It’s true. However, after the war, they weren’t allowed to talk about their involvement. Instead had to say they did secretarial work. Eleanor Ireland, appointed the assignment of Colossus operator, was among this group of women. It wasn’t until 1996, when these files were declassified, that Eleanor and these women’s stories were finally told.

There are years and years of stories like the ENIAC team, Eleanor Ireland, and the women who worked with the Colossus machines. Women’s stories are regularly left out of history and that’s no different in the tech world. But that doesn’t stop women from persevering and continuing to impact the field. Of course, it is much better now, but this history and trend of women being left out has cast a shadow over today’s tech landscape. Many girls and women don’t even consider tech careers. At LXT, we want to help change this and shape a new legacy.

LXT’s Women in technology

“Outstanding women can function as inspirational examples of success, illustrating the kinds of achievements that are possible for women around them. They demonstrate that it is possible to overcome traditional gender barriers, indicating to other women that high levels of success are indeed attainable.” – Penelope Lockwood, Psychologist

In June of 2023, we announced our Women in technology community, a professional community that fosters and empowers women to enhance their expertise and unlock their leadership capabilities through collaboration, dialogue, networking, mentorship, and career growth opportunities. We host internal discussions on various topics including mentorship, goal setting and more. Our first external effort as a community was to sponsor the Young Female Researchers in Speech Workshop at Interspeech in 2023.

As over 40% of our company is comprised of women, we wanted to create an encouraging space for the women of LXT to connect with and learn from each other. Through internal events and by engaging with the broader community, LXT Women in technology seeks to create a positive and supportive network that celebrates the contributions of women to technology on a global level.

As we continue to empower the women of LXT and other women in the tech industry, we plan to continue to connect with other likeminded organizations to support women in tech around the world.

Meet some of the women of LXT:

As part of our LXT AI data expert spotlight series, we’ve shared the incredible contributions of our employees, including many of the women at LXT.

You can also check out a webinar hosted by LXT’s Jessica Fernando and Julia Liberty where they discuss their experience working with companies facing AI data challenges and the solutions they developed to help their clients build reliable data pipelines.

What the Women in technology group means to the women of LXT

A few of our members wanted to share their experience as part of LXT’s Women in technology group.

“Knowing how important it is in the tech industry to keep uplifting women and to see the representation of women in senior leadership positions, it’s my honor to keep learning from all of my colleagues and to hopefully also act as a role model to other women at LXT.” – Jess Fernando, Solutions Manager

“[The group] signifies a supportive community where women in the tech industry can come together to empower and uplift each other. For me, it’s a place where we can celebrate our achievements, address challenges unique to women in tech, advocate for greater diversity, and achieve our career path and goals.” – Marwa Samy, Global Quality Assurance Lead at LXT

“I find it very rewarding to have the Women in technology group at LXT where I can meet and converse with my own role models within the company as well as be a positive role model for other women.  In this industry, we have some really intelligent, passionate and ambitious women, and through this group, we can provide meaningful opportunities to boost each other up and grow within an exciting and dynamic field.” Hilary Shirey, Service Delivery Director

“LXT has created an environment where women are not only welcomed but celebrated for their unique perspectives and talents. From the moment I joined LXT, I’ve been met with respect and encouragement from colleagues and superiors alike. Being recognized as a woman at LXT goes beyond mere acknowledgment, it translates into tangible actions that empower us to reach our full potential. I’ve had the privilege of being involved in projects where my ideas and expertise were not only valued but also instrumental in driving success.” Nada Eissa, Human Resources Generalist

Upcoming events honoring women in tech

Throughout March, our Chief Growth Officer Phil Hall will be hosting several female tech leaders on the Speaking of AI podcast. Check out the schedule below!

Episode 7 with Advocat AI CEO, Pradnya DeshMarch 1st  
Episode 8 with Founder of Freshriver.ai, Joti BalaniMarch 8th 
Episode 9 with VP or Product at Verta, Meeta DashMarch 29th

We hope you will join us and learn from these tech leaders. Happy Women’s History Month!