From early computers, to wartime inventions, the beginnings of the internet and beyond. Women have always been innovators in technology and science breaking down barriers in the process.
In honour of International Women's Day, I've chosen to highlight the women who inspire and influence me. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be showcasing ten women who #ChooseToChallenge, open doors for others, and have changed the world.
The next woman in my series is computer scientist Ida Holz. Ida is known for her work bringing the internet to Uruguay. This was recognised by the Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009, and the Internet Hall of Fame in 2013.
Ida was one of the first Uruguayan computer science students while the country was under military rule. She and her family sought exile in Mexico where she became an expert in computer networking.
After returning to Uruguay she worked for the Central Computer Service for 20 years. During this time she established the top-level country domain and first internet connection for Uruguay in 1993.
“For developing countries like ours, the Internet is a means of collaborating and access to knowledge all around the world alike.”
This groundbreaking work led to collaboration across countries and the formation of the Latin American Network Forum, the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Address Registry, the organisation of Latin American and Caribbean ccTLDs and the Latin American Cooperative of Advanced Networks (RedCLARA). Ida has also given back by creating an initiative to implement the "one laptop per child" model to introduce technology to public schools.
Ida has truly changed the world for South America and her recognition in the Internet Hall of Fame is incredibly well deserved.
“It was amazing, and it happens in a weird way. I got an email saying, “Dear Ida, we congratulate you…” and I just delete it, because I thought it was one of those emails telling you are a millionaire. One week later, I got another email that called my attention because it was from AISOC (Ibero-American Association of Sociology of Organizations and Communication), asking why I haven’t replied. It was there when I found out about the Hall of Fame.”
- Ida Holz — Latin-American Internet Pioneer
- From Uruguay to the world
- Ida Holz: "We Must Change Everything In Education: From Structures To Forms Of Conduction"
- Uruguayan Ida Holz in the Internet Hall of Fame
Image: Women with Science