Early pioneers in computer science were women. Women like Grace Hopper, Jean Bartik, Dame Stephanie Shirley and Lynn Conway, were among the first programmers as the field emerged, and left a lasting mark on the industry. In fact, back in its early stages programming was primarily a female-oriented profession and women were the largest trained technical workforce of the computing industry during the second world war right through until the mid-sixties.
Then in the 1970’s things changed. Personal computers came onto the market. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates came onto the scene, job advertisements for programmers started targeting males. Computer games were targeted at boys, and the stereotype of the computer programmer as a reclusive, anti-social eccentric male nerd was born. The number of women majoring in computer science and software development began to drop, from close to 40 per cent in the 1980’s to around 15 percent today. In crypto and blockchain less than nine percent of the current community are female and the number of female programmers in this space is even less.
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