Women, especially those in science, technology, and mathematics, and entrepreneurship are often missing from history’s major canons. Even if you didn’t create the problem, once you become aware of it you can debug it. . . . You can become part of the solution.
Megan Smith, former Chief Technology Officer of the United States
Collaborating with teams across the Computer History Museum, the Exponential Center’s women in tech initiative recognizes and shares women’s fundamental contributions to technology innovation and entrepreneurship. We want to do our part to support and enable more diversity and inclusion for innovators and entrepreneurs as we move into the future.
Drawing on CHM’s unique collections, this suite of eight videos showcases stories, insights, and advice on the state of women in tech from a variety of women in Silicon Valley, including founders, executives, and venture capitalists from Google, Facebook, YouTube, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and more.
For decades men persisted as the “poster boys” for tech. This early commonly held script featured men as stars and women as the supporting cast. This has been a topic of ongoing—often heated—debate. Exponential Center Executive Director Marguerite Gong Hancock chronicles the history of women entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and the diversity challenges still prevalent today.
Highlights from the Collection
Commemorative cube of initial public offering documents for ASK Computer Systems, the first Silicon Valley technology company founded by a woman to go public. Donated by founder Sandra Kurtzig, American businesswoman and technology entrepreneur this cube commemorates her remarkable achievement by sealing a miniature version of the IPO Prospectus in Lucite. Kurtzig founded ASK in her kitchen with $2,000 in savings as a way “to keep my mind occupied” while raising her family at home.
Evelyn Berezin, pioneering computer designer and entrepreneur. Berezin founded Redactron Corporation in 1969, one of the earliest word processor companies, eventually sold to Burroughs Corporation. She also designed an early and important airline reservation system for United Airlines and spent her life mentoring women and serving on the boards of various charities.
Lore Harp McGovern, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and CEO. McGovern cofounded California personal computer company Vector Graphic in 1976, one of the earliest microcomputer companies. She also served as president and CEO of the educational publishing company Good Morning Teacher! McGovern has founded or operated companies in fields as diverse as healthcare, educational publishing, and high technology and has served as an early angel investor in several Silicon Valley startups.