Grace Hopper

Two female tech pioneers won the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Grace Hopper, known as the “first lady of software,” and Margaret Hamilton, regarded for her leadership role in a NASA software team that helped land a man on the moon, continued to break the glass ceilings in computer science upon receiving this prestigious award.

Hopper was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I and a pioneer in computer science until she passed away in 1992.

When discussing Hopper’s achievements, U.S. President Barack Obama said, “If Wright is flight, and Edison is light, then Hopper is code.”

Margaret Hamilton

Margaret Hamilton

Hamilton played a major role on the 1960s NASA team that got a man to the moon. She was critical in developing the on-board flight software for the Apollo space program.

President Obama said, “Luckily for us, Margaret never stopped pioneering. She symbolizes that generation of unsung women who helped send humankind into space.”

From cellphones to cyber command, the work of these women has helped shape the world we currently live in.