Celebrating Women in Digital Technology: Portraits from the 1960s to Today

Celebrating Women in Digital Technology: Portraits from the 1960s to Today

The CNIL (the French Data Protection Authority) has created a series of portraits to celebrate the contributions of women in computer science, engineering, research, and teaching. These portraits highlight the history of women's rights, from the 1960s to the present day, and challenge gender stereotypes associated with digital technology.

In 1965, Marion Créhange became one of the first women to study computer science in France. This milestone was followed by the celebration of International Women's Day in March 1975 and the first World Conference on Women held in Mexico that same year. During this conference, a ten-year action plan for the advancement of women was established.Elizabeth Feinler is recognized as a pioneer in the field of Internet development. Joëlle Coutaz, a French computer scientist, was awarded the European Ada Lovelace Prize in 1983 for her contributions to human-computer interaction.

In 1999, Muriel Tramis became the first black woman to receive the French Legion of Honor in recognition of her significant achievements in video game design.The year 2000 saw the adoption of Resolution 1325 by the United Nations Security Council, recognizing the different impact of war on women and calling for their inclusion in conflict resolution processes. This led to the appointment of Helen Nissenbaum as head of the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, making her the first woman to hold such a position in the department's 60-year history.

In 2014, Véronique Cortier received the CNRS Bronze Medal for her research in computer science, while Rediet Abebe, an Ethiopian-American computer scientist, continues to make strides in machine learning and algorithmic fairness.

Finally, on 8 March 2024, the French Parliament approved a bill enshrining abortion in the Constitution, making France the first country to do so. This achievement marks a significant step towards gender equality and the protection of women's rights.

Overall, these portraits serve as a reminder of the important and often overlooked contributions made by women in technology. They also highlight the progress that has been made in terms of women's rights and the continued need to challenge gender stereotypes in the field of digital technology.