Computer Girls: Originally a Woman's Profession

I was in the movie theater the other day and saw an advertisement for the upcoming film "Hidden Figures". My friend has commented that she had wanted to see it, so I asked her what is was about. She gave me a brief summary, but then proceeded to tell me something that blew my mind. Before there were "Computer Geeks", there were "Computer Girls".  In the 1960s, young women were encouraged to go into the tech field! (Something that you probably know isn't as encouraged today unfortunately.) 

Even Cosmopolitan Magazine endorsed it and described the limitless opportunities the field could have for their savy readers. 

The movie "Hidden Figures" is relates to the computer girls of NASA, aka the "Rocket Girls". 

Unfortunately, this was deemed a women's job because it was considered "clerical" as opposed to more technical, mathematical or even scientific. Eventually, men started to take over.

Research from Gender News at Stanford University pinpointed the downfall of the computer girls to a T. 

"Male computer programmers sought to increase the prestige of their field, through creating professional associations, through erecting educational requirements for programming careers, and through discouraging the hiring of women. Increasingly, computer industry ad campaigns linked women staffers to human error and inefficiency." 

And now we are back to today, in which the term "computer programmer" is mostly associated with anti-social males. Hopefully by sharing the history of professional women, especially these, we can change that stereotype.