Advancing Gender Equity & Female Leadership
GRACE HOPPER LAB & INITIATIVE
Companies succeed when being diverse and willing to establish a more inclusive environment to build a better future for women in tech
Grace Murray Hopper
(1906 - 1992)
Grace Murray Hopper, a computer programmer and US Navy rear admiral, played a significant role in the development of computer languages and the field of computing. Hopper began her academic career studying mathematics and physics at Vassar College and went on to earn her PhD in mathematics from Yale University. She became a professor at Vassar before joining the US Navy in 1943 to work on the Mark I computer as a lieutenant. After the war, Hopper continued to work with computers as a research fellow at Harvard, where she helped develop the Mark II and Mark III computers.
In 1952, Hopper's team developed the first compiler for computer languages, which led to the development of COBOL, a widely used programming language. Hopper encouraged the adaptation of COBOL, which became popular around the world. Hopper was recalled to active duty in the US Navy at age 60 to standardize communication between different computer languages. She retired as a rear admiral in 1986 but continued to work in the computer industry for several more years.
Hopper's legacy includes encouraging young people to learn how to program. The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women In Computing Conference and the Association for Computing Machinery offer awards in her name. Hopper was posthumously awarded the National Medal of Technology in 1991 and was the first female individual recipient of the honour. In 2013, Google honoured her with a "Google Doodle" on her birthday. Her contributions to computing have been recognized through the commissioning of the guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper and the opening of "Grace's Place," a computer museum at the University of Missouri.
Learn more about Grace Hopper and how we want to honour her name with our new lab and initiative at our launch event!