back to top

11 Female Inventors Who Helped Power The Information Age

These women changed the world. See how Intel is changing the face of tech — with an unprecedented initiative aiming for diversity in the workforce.

Posted on

3. Grace Hopper

Cynthia Johnson / The LIFE Images Collection / Getty Images

A century after Ada Lovelace, Rear Admiral Grace Hopper became one of the first to program computers in WWII. She invented the compiler — an English to computer translator — and popularized "computer bug" after a moth shorted out a Mark II.

4. Stephanie Kwolek

Harry Kalish / Chemical Heritage Foundation (CC BY-SA http://3.0) / Via

From body armor to fiber optic cables, Kevlar carries a variety of applications — and you can thank industrial chemist Stephanie Kwolek for producing the fiber in 1965. Five times as strong as steel and fire resistant, her invention is still invaluable today.

5. Annie Easley

NASA (CC0) / Via

Annie Easley didn't have a college degree when she started working at NASA in 1955, but that didn't stop her from creating programs that measured solar winds, optimized energy conversion, and controlled rocket boosters in a 34-year career.

6. Marie Curie

Science Source / Getty Images

Of course, we couldn't forget Marie Curie, the chemist and physicist whose groundbreaking work on radioactivity won her two Nobel Prizes — the first awarded to a woman. Today she remains one of the most famous female scientists of all time.

7. Mária Telkes

New York World-Telegram and Sun / Library of Congress (CC0) / Via

Not satisfied with developing saltwater stills, solar ovens, and "coolness"-storing air conditioners, Mária Telkes helped build the first solar-heated house in the 1940s — which managed to keep a cozy temperature through a "cold Massachusetts winter."

9. Katharine Burr Blodgett

Alfred Eisenstaedt/ Pix Inc. / The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images

The first woman to earn a Ph.D. in physics from Cambridge University, Blodgett invented non-reflective glass in 1938 — which would later find use in cameras and windows. If you're wearing glasses, you can partly thank Blodgett for the lenses.

10. Ida Henrietta Hyde

The Physiologist, Vol. 24, No. 6 / / Via

A champion for women scientists, Hyde invented a microelectrode capable of stimulating cell tissue, a device that later revolutionized her own field of science. In 1902, she became the first female member of the American Physiological Society.

11. Virginia Apgar

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

If you're a nurse, you might know the Apgar score — a system for assessing the health of newborns. It came from Virginia Apgar, an anesthesiologist who did "more to improve the health of mothers [and] babies ... than anyone in the 20th century."

Inspired by Marie Curie, the Intel Curie module is a new chip driving innovation to wearable tech. A tribute to one of the many brilliant women in science.