The NCWIT Pioneer in Tech Award recognizes technical women whose lifetime contributions have significantly impacted the landscape of technological innovation, amplifying the importance of capitalizing on the diverse perspectives that girls and women can bring to the table. Pioneer in Tech Award recipients also serve as role models whose legacies continue to inspire generations of young women to pursue computing and make history in their own right.
The 2020-21 NCWIT Pioneer in Tech Award is sponsored by Facebook.
Congratulations to Gladys West—the 2021 recipient of the NCWIT Pioneer in Tech Award!
Dr. Gladys West started her career at Naval Proving Ground in Dahlgren, Virginia, now called the Naval Surface Warfare Center, in 1956, and she worked there for 42 years as a mathematician and computer programmer. When she began, she was the second Black woman ever to be hired at the site, and one of only four Black employees total. Inspired by the civil rights movement that was unfolding around her, she countered prejudice within her workplace through hard work and intellectual achievement.
Past Pioneer in Tech Award Winners
Ruzena Bajcsy has spent much of her career at the intersection of human and machine ways of interpreting the world, with research interests that include
After her graduation in 1969, Lorinda Cherry worked for a few years as a Fortran programmer, but she found it “very boring” to constantly write
Barbara Liskov became one of the first women in the U.S. to get a PhD from a computer science department and has led a noteworthy
Cynthia Solomon’s focus has been on creating fun-filled, thoughtful, personally expressive, and aesthetically pleasing learning environments for children. Her work has spanned several important collaborations,
As a NASA mathematician, Katherine Johnson’s calculations include the trajectory for the space flight of Alan Shepard, the first American in space; John Glenn, the
Eleanor Kolchin graduated from Brooklyn College in 1947 with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. She was treasurer of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national honorary mathematics