Monday, January 15, 2007

top 10 girl geeks

We have a list of 10 (famous) girl geeks from CNET and one from someone else.

The CNET list has Ada Byron, Grace Hopper, Mary Shelly, and Marie Curie. Mary Shelly isn't someone who I'd have listed, but it does seem appropriate now I think about it. Marie Curie is one of the top geeks of all time (killing yourself through science experiments has to score bonus geek points). I hope that there are better alternatives to items 4, 7, 9, and 10 on the Cnet list.

The list from someone else has 9 women I've never heard of. If we are going to ignore historical figures (as done in the second list) but want to actually list famous women then the list seems to be short. If we were to make a list of women who are known globally (which would mean excluding women who are locally famous in Australia, or in Debian for example). The only really famous female geek that I can think of is Pamela from Groklaw.

The process of listing the top female geeks might have been started as an attempt to give a positive list of the contributions made by women. Unfortunately it seems to highlight the fact that women are lacking from leadership positions. There seem to be no current women who are in positions comparable to Linus, Alan, RMS, ESR, Andrew Tanenbaum, or Rusty (note that I produced a list of 6 famous male geeks with little thought or effort).

Kirrily has written an interesting article on potential ways of changing this.


Anonymous said...

You must have heard of Erinn Clark! :p

One other woman I would have put on there is Val Henson.

etbe said...

There is Erinn and 9 women I have never heard of...

If you know of a woman who can be #2 on the list after Pamela then let me know. One of the pre-requisites should be appearing in computer news.

Moranar said...

I think earning two Nobel prizes in sciences (Physics and Chemistry) would be enough for anybody, even without radiation death. Has to be noted, nobody else has achieved yet what mrs. Curie managed.

About women geek, I see plenty on the various planets I read, like Amaya Rodrigo, or Meike Reichle. Nobody in high positions, but if they manage to avoid the behaviour of ESR I'm good.

etbe said...

Moranar: Good point about female geeks tending not to emulate some of the bad behaviour that some of the male geeks are known for.

You are correct that there are plenty of women on Planets writing good things and making good contributions to free software projects. But they don't seem to be taking leadership positions.

If Amaya was to run for DPL then I'd vote for her!