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Continuing the Long Legacy of Women Innovators in Tech

Andrea Rufino
March 8, 2024

Every year, International Women's Day is celebrated across the world as a powerful reminder of the need to acknowledge, celebrate, and advocate for the invaluable contributions of women worldwide. This celebration is particularly significant for those of us in the technology sector because we are in a field that has been served well for generations by the advancements of women. 

Even though there is a long way to go to achieve equity in our field, there is also a long legacy of women who have played pivotal roles in shaping the world of technology that we’re in today. From the early days of computing to the present, women have been instrumental in driving innovation and progress, and as a member of the Prove Marketing team in Brazil, I’m proud of this legacy and work to carry it forward.

I’m often reminded of the contributions of people like the amazing pioneer, Grace Hopper, who was a trailblazing computer scientist. She is credited with co-inventing the COBOL programming language, which laid the groundwork for modern computing. In fields like space exploration, women have played vital roles at organizations like NASA, contributing to groundbreaking missions and advancements. 

Ada Lovelace, often regarded as the world's first computer programmer, made groundbreaking contributions to technology innovation in the 19th century. Her work with Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine involved writing algorithms, foreseeing its potential beyond mere calculation to become a universal computing machine. Lovelace's visionary insights laid the foundation for modern computing and continue to inspire generations of innovators worldwide.

Figures like Katherine Johnson, whose calculations were essential to early space missions, highlight the indispensable role of women in advancing human knowledge. And closer to my world, women have made significant contributions to internet development. Radia Perlman, known as the "Mother of the Internet," has been instrumental in designing the protocols that underpin its functionality.

The work done by Prove and by our partners, customers, competitors, and a host of other companies, are directly descended from the work done by these pioneers, and others, and the world they helped create. The impact of women in technology now extends far beyond historical figures and is manifested in the work being done by Prove and others who want to ensure that the spirit of International Women’s Day is embedded into the work being done every day.

Today, women continue to make significant strides in technology, breaking barriers and fostering innovation. Programs aimed at empowering and encouraging young women to pursue careers in STEM fields are gradually helping to increase female representation. These initiatives take various forms, including mentorship programs, workshops, scholarships, and outreach activities. They aim to provide young women with the support, resources, and encouragement they need to pursue careers in traditionally male-dominated fields. By exposing girls to STEM from an early age and challenging stereotypes about who can succeed in these fields, these initiatives help to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

Organizations like Black Girls Code, Women in STEM, Project Include, and many others actively support women in technology, offering mentorship, networking opportunities, and resources to bridge the gender gap. Through initiatives like these, women in technology are able to connect with peers, access professional development opportunities, and gain visibility in their fields.

In Brazil, I’m proud to be part of initiatives like the @Risk Women community which is placing women at the forefront of cutting-edge technology, particularly in fraud prevention, money laundering prevention, authentication, and verification. With over 500 professionals, this community fosters unity among women in fraud, sharing best practices, news, and content, while also serving as a powerful network for reporting and addressing fraud.

The diversity of thought, experience, and creativity that women bring to the tech industry is crucial for driving innovation and tackling complex challenges. In an era where fraud prevention is paramount, women have emerged as leaders, contributing their insights, analytical skills, and dedication to developing robust systems that protect individuals and organizations from cyber threats.

This International Women's Day, let's celebrate the past, present, and future contributions of women in technology. Through continued support, education, and advocacy, we can ensure that women continue to shape and enhance the technological landscape for the benefit of all.


RELATED: Championing the Efforts of Women in the Payments Industry on International Women’s Day 

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