Today (9th December) marks the 107th birthday of Grace Hopper. Google has even dedicated their Doodle to her today. Have a look here. But who is Grace Hopper?
Grace AKA as ‘Mother of COBOL’, COBOL being one of the first computer languages. A graduate with a Doctorate in Mathematics from Yale University and the first woman to do so. Grace believed that there needs to be language closer to the English language so that people can understand it, as opposed to languages only computers understand. In 1959 Grace with many of her colleagues came up with COBOL (an acronym for COmmon Business-Oriented Language), which later came to be used in our daily lives and automate actions such as ATMs and filing of taxes.
There are important women in the IT/Computing history; I have talked about Ada Lovelace and now Grace Hopper. However reading this article on the Telegraph Website it is such a shame that the gender gap between boys and girls still exists when it comes to subjects such as maths and science. The gap seems to be widening and not narrowing. Schools, parents and Ministers need to make a concerted effort to ensure this gap is removed or at least gets smaller.
In our school we offer a Botball Robotics after-school activity which I run. It is in its third year running and each year we have seen greater interest from girls. Currently a group of 7 now has a majority of girls on the team. It’s slow progress but with greater collaboration, we can bridge this digital divide.
Every step helps.