4. Radia Joy Perlman

women in tech

Photo Credit: nae.edu

One of just a few dozen women in her class of about 1,000 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the 1960s and 70s, Perlman is a network engineer and software designer who is best known for the development of the spanning-tree protocol (STP). That set the stage to build massive networks using Ethernet, which enabled the creation of the internet. As a result, she is sometimes called the “Mother of the Internet,” but does not like that title.

Perlman holds more than 100 issued patents. Her inventions are many, but include pioneering developments in teaching programming to kids through a kid-friendly version of the programming language LOGO.