Women and Computing

In early December the New York Times had an obituary of Evelyn Berezin who apparently “built the first true word processor. The Times has been trying to include more diversity in its obituaries; this one is probably part of that process.

It interests me because both my mother and my aunt were involved with the computing industry from its earliest stages. Coding and computer science are still overwhelmingly male so it was nice to hear about a woman pioneer.

An untended consequence of Berezin’s work was the elimination of most secretarial tasks since ultimately everyone could be their own secretary¬† with their own computer. I became a feminist at an early age and I vowed not to learn typing because I was not going to be a secretary. To this day, I rue that decision since the inventions of Berezin and others has meant that I have to type to do this blog, write my book and complete a myriad of other modern tasks.

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