Valentine’s Day might be just days away, but there’s another holiday this week that calls for the same, if not more celebration. And no, we aren’t talking about President’s Day. Did you know? Today is National Inventors’ Day!
We all know the names of famous male inventors like Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and Steve Jobs, but there are quite a few women who have also contributed groundbreaking ideas to science, technology and business who deserve recognition. So to help celebrate the ingenuity and impact of their work we’ve rounded up a list of 5 women innovators and inventors who have made a huge impact on the way we live our lives today.
1. Sande Chen, Video Game Creator
Nearly Ninety-five percent of all video game programmers are male, and the average salary for men is a whopping $15,000 more than women. Despite these statistics, Chen managed to write an award-winning video game and launch a non-profit to help women enter the industry. By the time she was in college, she’d not so much as touched a gaming console, but after attending film school, Chen wanted to push the boundaries of screenwriting for video games—where few employment opportunities existed. She has since been profiled as one of the game industry’s top 100 most influential women by Next Generation magazine, co-authored a book on video gaming, and spoken at conferences worldwide.
2 Françoise Barré-Sinoussi
This French virologist was instrumental in discovering that HIV is the cause of AIDS, and she received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2008 for her work. The following year, she wrote to the Pope protesting his statement that condoms are ineffective in preventing HIV/AIDS.
3. Marissa Mayer
The current CEO of Yahoo, Mayer was the first female engineer at Google, and at 33 was the youngest on Forbes list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business.
4. Eesha Khare
Another impressive young innovator, who at the age of 18 created a tiny device that could charge a mobile phone in 20-30 seconds—a revolutionary technology she calls a “super-capacitor.” She won the 2013 Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award for her invention, and plans to use the prize money to pay for her tuition at Harvard and continue her work as an inventor.
5. Tricia Andrews
Our list wouldn’t be complete with the mention of our very own: Tricia Andrews! Sole Serum’s founder Tricia is an ex-ad exec who spent twelve years dressing professionally every day. For her, this meant wearing high heels from day to night–from giving presentations and walking to meetings, to client dinners and airport travel. She used her experience as motivation to invent –you guessed it– Sole Serum! Now, thanks to her ingenious idea, and countless hours of standing in uncomfortable heels, women have a product that blocks foot pain, and makes it easier to keep up with the demands of a fast paced career and lifestyle.
Who is a woman YOU look up to? Tell us in the comments below. . . Happy Inventors’ Day!