Women in “Herstory” You’ve Never Heard of
Martha Gellhorn was an American journalist in the 1940’s. While she was married to Ernest Hemingway for a brief time, she made her career as a war journalist in a male dominated field. She reported on almost every major conflict during her career and was a driving force in the careers of women journalists now.
Margaret Hamilton was a coder who went to MIT, and is credited with writing the code for the Apollo program and helping with their successful landing on the moon. She wrote the in-flight software that included troubleshooting instructions, which ensured a safe and successful landing. She also coined the term “software engineer” before that was a well known field.
Edith Wilson is known as the wife of President Woodrow Wilson, but many don’t know that she essentially ran the country while her husband struggled with medical issues. The 25th amendment was not passed until the 60s, so the Vice President did not have the expectation to step up as much as they do now. She made sure communication was successful to and from her husband, and she ended up making big decisions, including the Treaty of Versailles.
Susan Kare is the woman behind many technology advances in user experience that we still use, including the trash can icon, the photoshop lasso tool, the command key, and many others. She was a major developer for Steve Jobs and is one of the main reasons why Macs are so popular and as user friendly as they are today.
While you have heard of Marie Curie, you probably haven’t heard of Rosalind Franklin, a lesser known, yet as influential female scientist. Franklin took the first photo of a DNA double helix structure, despite not being credited with its discovery.
Zelda Fitzgerald was the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and most likely his inspiration for many of his works, such as Great Gatsby. Despite being his inspiration, she actually published many of her short stories under his name. She was an artist and a writer, yet overshadowed by her husband because of the times she lived in.
Francis Perkins was the Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1945, as well as the first woman to be appointed to the cabinet. She was a workers’ rights advocate, and while she helped build a lot of policies that are not conservative, such as the minimum wage and social security, she was a strong leader in politics in a time when that was very uncommon.