Ten Female Innovators Who Made a Difference in Their Fields
There are many female innovators who made their mark in the past and present. Some examples include Marissa Mayer, Beulah Louise Henry, and Maria Telkes. These women have created products that are still in use today. These women have helped shape the technological and scientific world around us. Here are ten women who made a significant impact on their fields.
Marissa Mayer is one of the most successful female entrepreneurs of her generation, and she is also one of the most highly profiled women in the tech industry. Before joining Google in 1999 as an engineer, Marissa served as Yahoo!’s president for five years, helping to reinvent the company for the mobile age, creating $40 billion in shareholder value in the process. Marissa Mayer also spent 13 years as an engineer at Google, becoming their twentieth employee and the first female engineer.
In her role at Google, Mayer oversees Google’s geographic and local services, which deliver relevant information based on location. She also serves on the company’s operating committee, which determines its strategic direction.
Beulah Louise Henry
Beulah Louise Henry was a brilliant female inventor of the early 1900s. She had a gift for mechanical inventions and believed in following her instincts and her ideas. In her early years, she learned how to repair and improve things around her home and was able to take those ideas and implement them into useful products. Later, she studied at North Carolina Presbyterian College. Her inventions included a vacuum ice cream freezer, a handbag, and an umbrella.
Beulah Louise Henry was born in North Carolina and received her first patent for her vacuum ice cream freezer. This freezer was much easier to use than earlier manual ice cream makers. Beulah Louise Henry also developed an umbrella that had snap-on cloth covers. Her early creations were so successful that she moved to New York City and opened her own business.
In the 19th century, a North Carolina-born woman tapped into the growing industrial trend to make barrels for wine and spirits. She developed a passion for mechanical work and learned to make barrels from her grandfather. After completing high school, she pursued her dream of becoming an inventor.
While her name may not be immediately associated with women innovators, she has earned the status of one of the most prolific female inventors in history. Her innovations changed the way people travel and are used today. In 1882, Beasley created the life raft that was still used today. It was made of airtight containers and collapsible metal floats. The design was revolutionary and eventually paved the way for modern-day life rafts made of nylon and polyurethane. In total, she was granted 15 patents. Most of these inventions aimed at improving transportation safety.
Born in Budapest, Hungary, Maria Telkes has an accomplished career in solar energy research. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Budapest and then worked as an instructor there. After coming to the United States, Telkes toured the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, where she met and worked with Dr. George Washington Crile. Together, they developed a photoelectric mechanism to measure brain waves.
During World War II, Dr. Telkes worked on materials to protect temperature sensitive instruments. She also helped NASA develop undersea applications. After becoming a chief scientist at the MELPAR Company in 1963, she began to explore the possibility of obtaining fresh water from sea-water.
Xaviera Kowo is an innovator and a female entrepreneur. She has designed a robot that collects and transports trash and other debris to designated disposal sites. Her goal is to further develop this robot and expand its reach. In addition, she plans to continue studying computer engineering.
Collection of waste remains a problem for Cameroon’s cities. In response to this issue, Xaviera Kowo developed a waste collection robot, which has already won an international competition. The robot automatically collects rubbish and deposits it in designated areas in record time.
Alice Zhang has built a successful biotech company, Verge, by using a combination of computer science and new technologies to decipher the human genetic code. As the CEO of the company, she has a proven track record for fundraising. Her Series A financing was led by Threshold Ventures, a venture firm that has invested in companies like Tesla, Twitter, and SpaceX. Her company is also backed by a number of biotech investors.
Having graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology, Zhang went on to pursue her Ph.D. at UCLA, where she worked in the laboratory of neurogeneticist Daniel Geschwind. Before graduating in 2015, she founded Verge, which applies genomics to improve cancer treatments.