#International Women's Day - Women in Cyber History

Updated: Mar 7, 2019

Historically, women have always been at the forefront of cyber security, computing and innovation.

In the 1840’s, Ada Lovelace worked on the ‘Analytical Engine’ – which earned her the title of the World’s First Computer Programmer.

During World War II, Women further emerged as stand-out pioneers in security; Hedy Lamarr developed a frequency hopping signal, also known as the ‘Secret Communication System’ which helped combat the Nazi’s.

The Bletchley Code Breaking Operation, which consisted of 10,000 code breakers of which 75% were women, also helped combat the opposition during the war. The work of Mavis Batey, Margaret Rock, Joan Clarke and Ruth Briggs allowed for the decryption of Nazi Germany secret communications, which further acted as one of the keys to the success of D-Day.

In the 1950’s, Ida Rhodes designed the original computer program used by the Social Security Administration and in the 1960’s, Margaret Hamilton helped write the computer code which helped Apollo 11 go to the moon.

Despite the pivotal role these influential figures played in the development of cyber, a recent study by PwC found that only 15% of employees working in STEM roles in the UK are female, with only 5% of leadership positions in the technology industry being held by women.

Furthermore, research conducted by Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that women will represent more than 20 percent of the global cyber security workforce by the end of 2019.

These figures highlight that there is a serious gender gap in the world of Cyber and collectively, we must do better.

On March 8th, the world will celebrate International Women’s Day with the theme #BalanceforBetter – calling for the creation of a more gender-balanced world. This International Women’s Day – Curious Frank is raising awareness by celebrating the achievements of all women involved with SBRC and Curious Frank - from our diverse ethical hacking team, to the achievements of our CEO Mandy Haeburn-Little, who has been a key partner in the development of the Tay Cities Deal and future cyber hubs across the UK.

Do you want to get involved? Check out the International Women’s Day Website.

- Curious Frank

Are you curious about Cyber Security? We’ll be frank about it! For more information and advice about Curious Frank’s services, please email us at

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