Celebrating International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is March 8. The theme for 2021 is: Choosing to Challenge.

It’s a call for us all to challenge instances of gender bias and inequality. To celebrate women’s achievements. To raise awareness against bias.

Here at Hyland, our HylandWIN (Women in Networking) group focuses on the achievements of women year-round, including an annual event celebrating International Women’s Day.

HylandWIN is a global employee resource group with a mission to overcome barriers that have traditionally held women back in their careers, empowering them to excel while striving to promote the strengths of all our female employees.

Hyland’s WIN group is all about celebrating the women trailblazers of STEM; women who made careers and educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math possible for all females today. In honor of the women who helped shape its history, we share the impact of three important women in STEM: Grace Hooper, Katherine Johnson and Susan Kare.

3 women who shaped STEM history

First up is Grace Hopper, a legendary American computer scientist, mathematician and a United States Navy rear admiral. Grace was a pioneer of computer programming, was a key inventor of the computer language COBOL and used her programming skills in the Navy during World War II.

“There, she helped build Mark I, one of the world’s earliest computers,” according to St. Scholastica.” After the war, she continued her work at Harvard on Mark II and Mark III.”

Next up is Katherine Johnson, a woman who is celebrated for her work in mathematics, as well as her work with NASA and her overall impact on the space program.

“When Katherine was 34, she heard that NACA (later called NASA) was hiring African American women to solve math problems,” according to NASA. “These workers were called ‘computers.’ But Katherine was different from the other human computers. She asked a lot of questions. She wanted to learn more.”

And learn more, she did. In fact, by studying geometry, she figured out the paths spacecrafts use to orbit the Earth and land on the Moon. Due to her astonishing intelligence, calculations and impact on the history of STEM, in 2015, Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Our last woman in STEM is Susan Kare, a modern-day American artist and graphic designer best known for her typeface contributions to the first Apple Macintosh.

Her breakthrough designs include commonplace icons we are familiar with today, including the trashcan for recycling, a smiling computer on startup and the spinning computer disk when saving files, notes Smithsonian Magazine. Her creative work is so recognizable, its legendary.

Known as “the woman who gave the Macintosh a smile,” Kare earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

#ChooseToChallengeInternational Women's Day

Whether you’re involved in STEM or not, make sure to mark your calendars for March 8, 2021 to celebrate International Women’s Day.

But you don’t have to wait until then – you can participate today. Raise your voice of support by submitting a photo on social media using the hashtags #IWD2021 or #choosetochallenge. Strike the #ChooseToChallenge pose with your hand high and pledge your commitment to choose to challenge inequality, call out bias, question stereotypes and address all forms of gender inequity.

If you’re a Hylander, also tag Hyland and use the #HylandLife hashtag.

While International Women’s Day is more than a century old, what it stands for is as important today as it was back in 1911, when women couldn’t vote, wear pants in public or shop without an escort. We’ve made a lot of progress since then, but we still have work to do – together.

Colleen Heine

Colleen Heine

Colleen Heine is an Agile process manager within the Research & Development department at Hyland. She started at Hyland as a Software Consultant within Global Services and has years of... read more about: Colleen Heine

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