2020 marks 21 years since the announcement of 802.11b, the first standard to be launched under the name ‘Wi-Fi’. It has been over two decades of innovation, global collaboration, and technical evolution that, as the Wi-Fi Alliance has endeavored for, is building towards “connecting everyone and everything, everywhere.”
As the world and Wi-Fi technology continuously move forward and evolve, it’s important to acknowledge those that made it possible in the first place. Our very connected global community owes a big high five, and ‘happy birthday!’ (on November 9th) to its inventor, “the world’s most beautiful woman” and incredible mind behind the technologies for Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth, Ms. Hedy Lamarr. It was decades before she was ever appropriately recognized, but as her birthday approaches, we respectfully pay tribute and recognize how her creation of wireless technologies significantly contributed to the connected society we know and live in today. More so, the efforts of Lamarr have paved the way for extraordinary achievements made by other women in the field.
While women dominate the professional workforce at 56%, they only make up 25% of IT jobs. Although they are consistently underrepresented in nearly every tech company, their contributions have made Wi-Fi one of the greatest success stories of the technology era. In many different roles and capacities and driven by the various backgrounds that got them there, here are just a few of the notable women who continue to innovate in the wireless networking industry and are helping to lead this generation-defining technology on its current path…one of world domination.
Dr. Kathleen Kramer
Dr. Kathleen A. Kramer, a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of San Diego, is also Director and Secretary of the 2019 Board of Directors for the IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.
Women who hold a CWNE Designation
The Certified Wireless Network Expert (CWNE) designation is the final step in the CWNP Program in which recipients have demonstrated they hold the most advanced skills available in today’s enterprise Wi-Fi market. There are currently just over 400 people worldwide that hold this designation; here are the women who have earned this achievement:
Kathleen Holmgren and Ingrid Burton
At Extreme, we believe in diversity and paving the way for all employees. Kathleen Holmgren and Ingrid Burton are two powerful role models as Directors on Extreme Network’s Board of Directors. Amongst their many respected roles, which include holding C-level titles at high caliber tech companies, both Kathleen and Ingrid exemplify what it means to succeed in their careers, and each carry a unique understanding of how women and men can win together in this industry.
Women’s influence on wireless technologies, products, business styles, and innovation are helping to define the path and impact of Wi-Fi on a global level. Thank you to all of the men and women out there significantly influencing the way in which the world communicates.