Celebrating Women’s History Month with Women Inventors

Throughout history, famous women inventors and scientists have played an essential role in innovation and discovery. Women have become increasingly prevalent in the fields previously “reserved” for men. 

Ignoring the gender stereotypes and discriminatory barriers that stood at every corner, these female inventors demonstrated consistent perseverance and paved the road for the next ones to come. 

In honor of their achievements, G&W Electric named the majority of our newest building’s conference rooms in Bolingbrook, IL, after those famous women. 

Edith Clarke was a pioneer in electrical engineering who used math to improve our understanding of power transmission. She was the first professionally employed female electrical engineer and the first full-time female professor of electrical engineering in the country.

Hertha Ayrton was a British engineer, mathematician, physicist, and inventor, also the first female member of the Institute of Electrical Engineers. She was an outspoken advocate for women’s rights in science and voting. Her Ayrton fan dispelled toxic fumes from WWI trenches, and her research on London’s lamp functioning landed her the first Hughes Medal awarded to a woman.

Annie Easley was a computer programmer, mathematician, and rocket scientist. She was one of the first African-Americans to work as a computer scientist at NASA. She developed and implemented code used in researching energy-conversion systems, analyzing alternative power technology—including the battery technology used for early hybrid vehicles and the Centaur upper-stage rocket. 

Grace Hopper was a computer pioneer and naval officer. She received a master’s degree and a Ph.D. (1934) in mathematics from Yale. One of the first three modern programmers, Hopper is best known for her trailblazing contributions to the development of computer languages. Our programming in LaZer today can trace its roots to “Amazing Grace” Hopper’s work.

Lillian Gilbreth was a psychologist and industrial engineer who, with her husband, developed methods to increase the efficiency of industrial employees, most notably time-and-motion study. She was the first woman elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Marie Curie was a Polish-born French physicist and chemist famous for her pioneering work on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first and the only woman to win the Nobel Prize twice, and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two scientific fields. She was the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris in 1906.