During World War II, a computer was a job title, not a device: A computer solved equations and created ballistics tables that soldiers used in aiming artillery. And more often than not, a computer wore a skirt: More women than men were employed as computers, generally because they were considered cheaper to pay and more plentiful.

Out of this environment came one of the most famous women in computing, Grace Hopper, who among many computer-related accomplishments invented the compiler. Legend has it that she did so because, she said, she was lazy and wanted to get out of compiling and back into mathematics.  

Hopper has moved on to the Great Server Room in the Sky, but women in IT can still find inspiration and information at The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. The annual conference brings researchers in computing together with women in IT to educate, inspire, and collaborate to push the boundaries of computing. This year's conference will be in Keystone, Colorado, in October 2008. The deadline to apply for scholarships for the conference is June 15. For more information go to

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.

To read one woman's opinion about women in IT:

"Can You Hear Me Roar Now? Looking for women in Windows IT Pro"

To learn more about Rear Admiral Grace Hopper:

"Biographies of Women Mathematicians: Grace Murray Hopper"

To see what our reader survey statistics revealed about the state of women in IT in 2004:

"Women in IT"

To join the Women in IT forum at Windows IT Pro:

"IT Women's Forum"