Museum hosts Women in Tech panel

When it comes to the pioneers who built Silicon Valley, they weren’t only men. Women made a significant contribution, and the Los Altos History Museum is scheduled to spotlight the innovators in the webinar “Women in Tech: Then and Now,” set for 5 p.m. Thursday.

The presentation will focus on key technologies that advanced the progress of computing, the women who played roles in the advances and the status of their careers today.

A panel of women technologists will discuss their experiences in the field and the challenges they overcame.

Nomi Trapnell, a pioneer in software engineering and management, will lead the presentation, based on her work as a docent at the Computer History Museum.
Since the 1960s, Trapnell worked in software product development for Silicon Valley computer companies including Hewlett-Packard, ROLM, IBM and Tandem. She retired in 2007.

“In the 1970s, there were a lot more women in the computer science field, but those numbers steadily declined beginning in the ’80s as high-tech became viewed more as a man’s field,” she said. “This webinar will address the ways women’s contributions have largely been ignored, and current efforts to attract more young women to STEM careers.”

The program is offered in conjunction with the museum’s exhibition “Rise Up! The Fight for Women’s Suffrage,” on display on the porch of the J. Gilbert Smith House through Feb 21.

“Although women won the right to vote 100 years ago, the struggle for equality is ongoing,” Trapnell said. “Silicon Valley has recently come under scrutiny for its treatment specifically of women in the tech field, and this panel explores that question from a historical perspective.”

To learn more about the webinar, visit


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