I will not be posting for a few days because I will be traveling to and from my mother’s memorial service. I posted a little bit about her in a previous blog post shortly after her death on March 23rd. In addition, since then Steve Lohr of the New York Times wrote a very nice obituary about my Mom.
The great cause of my Mom’s last years was promoting a greater role of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. My mother was involved in the early stages of the computer industry, as one of the first six programmers (all women!) on the ENIAC computer. She experienced great joy in some of her work in the computer industry, in particular from working with brilliant people such as Pres Eckert and John Mauchly, the co-inventors of the ENIAC. But after that pioneering work, she also experienced much frustration due to the blatant sexism that prevailed in many technology fields against women. It was a great disappointment to my mother that there has not been more progress in promoting a greater role for women in science and technology related fields.
My Mom spent a lot of time talking to groups about the role of women in the computer industry. She particularly enjoyed speaking to young women, ranging from Girl Scout groups to women engineers at Google. I have been told that they frequently found her story an inspiring one.
At the Memorial Service this weekend, we will be mentioning the following about donations:
“Donations in memory of Jean Jennings Bartik may be made to either:
(2) The Jean Jennings Bartik Women in Computing Scholarship at Northwest Missouri State University, a newly created scholarship for Northwest women students who are majoring in computer science or math/science related majors. Contributions can be made through the Northwest Foundation, Office of University Advancement, Northwest Missouri State University, 800 University Drive, Maryville, MO 64468 or by contacting 660.562.1248 or firstname.lastname@example.org.”
I think both these causes are good ways to promote the advancement of women in technology fields