6 Trailblazing Women You Should Thank

If you benefit from solar power, a dishwasher, or YouTube, you have a kickass woman to thank. Throughout history, women have been innovating. Some did it quietly; others with a clap of thunder.

Today, we celebrate all women who are kicking ass and taking names, starting with these six trailblazing women.

1. Grace Hopper

One of the First Computer Programmers

It’s funny to think that the male-dominated computer programming world owes itself, at least partly, to a kickass woman.

In 1944, Grace Hopper and Howard Aiken created the Mark I computer, a five-ton machine that was a room’s size. It was Hopper who created the compiler and the terms “bug” and “debugging.”

Grace was one of the first three computer programmers, and it was her job to enter machine instructions onto tape.

In 1952, Grace and her team created A-0, the first computer language compiler. She would go on to create Flow-Matic, which was the first programming language that used English words for commands.

Grace is celebrated for her contributions to technology and the world of computer programming. When she finally retired from the U.S. Armed Forces at the age of 79, she was the oldest serving officer.

2. Maria Telkes

Invented the First Solar Powered House

Solar power leads the way for green energy alternatives, but the technology used to harness the sun’s power is nothing new. Solar power has been around since at least 1947 – thanks to a kickass woman who designed the first 100% solar-powered house.

Maria Telkes was a famous Hungarian scientist recognized for creating the first thermoelectric power generator. She would use this technology and thermoelectricity principles to create the first solar heating system, which was used in the Dover Sun House in Massachusetts. She’s also credited with creating the first thermoelectric refrigerator.

3. Susan Wojcicki

CEO of YouTube

In 1998, Susan Wojcicki’s Melo Park garage became the birthplace of Larry Page’s and Sergey Brin’s project: Google.

Susan would go on to become Google’s first marketing manager. She’s played a hand in several big Google projects, including AdSense, Google Images, Google Books, and Google Analytics.

Today, she’s the CEO of YouTube, which boasts 2 billion monthly users. In fact, it was Susan that advocated for Google’s acquisition of YouTube. She’s been running the online video platform since 2014. YouTube is estimated to be worth $90 billion.

4. Tracy Young

Co-Founder and CEO of PlanGrid

Tracy Young used her background in construction engineering management to transform the way we use blueprints. Traditional blueprints are costly to print, and every time a mistake is found, a new one has to be reprinted.

To help solve this expensive problem, Tracy founded PlanGrid, which transforms blueprints into adaptable apps.

The venture has been incredibly successful, with PlanGrid receiving more than $69 million in funding.

5. Josephine Cochran

Invented the Dishwasher

In 1872, Josephine Cochran’s idea for a water pressure dishwasher would completely transform the home kitchen. It’s hard to imagine any modern kitchen without one.

Other dishwasher prototypes existed, but Cochran’s idea was to use water pressure instead of scrubbers to remove grime and debris.

What was Cochran’s motivation? She was tired of having to wash her fine china by hand.

“If nobody else is going to invent a dishwashing machine, I’ll do it myself.” – Josephine Cochran.

6. Kamala Harris

First Woman VP of the U.S.

In 2020, Kamala Harris made history by becoming the first female Vice President of the United States. Not only is she the first female, but she’s also the first African-American and South Asian-American woman to hold the office.

Before being named Biden’s running mate, Kamala served as a United States Senator for California.

Kamala grew up in Oakland, California. Her mother, an Indian-American immigrant, breast cancer researcher, and activist, inspired her path. Kamala would earn her undergraduate degree at Howard University and her law degree from the University of California.

These six women will inspire other females for generations to come, but they are just a few of many who have paved the way for women today.

If you need trailblazing women to run your business’s financials, reach out to Jeanine Hall, Quant Solutions‘ founding woman!

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