In 1962, Evelyn Berezin designed a reservation system for United Airlines that served 60 cities throughout the United States with a one-second response time. It had no central system failures in 11 years of operation. One of the largest systems built at that time, few people had the skills to design it, but Berezin was turned down for a subsequent job at the New York Stock Exchange because she might hear language on the trading floor that was “inappropriate for women.” Undeterred, she started her own computer company, Redactron, which quickly became a success.
Evelyn Berezin was selected by CHM as a 2015 Fellow, honoring her early work in computer design and a lifetime of entrepreneurial activity. CHM captured Berezin’s story in its freely accessible oral history collection and remains committed to ensuring that women are not only acknowledged for their contributions to computing and entrepreneurship past and present but also that their stories are shared.
Berezin’s story is not uncommon—even today. News articles and personal stories about gender discrimination and the sexual harassment of women at work are sparking a much-needed conversation in Silicon Valley and throughout the world.
Women’s Work is a collection of short videos and discussion guides that explore a variety of topics on women in tech, such as gender and job stereotypes, leadership, and unconscious bias. The videos highlight the personal experiences and insights of successful women entrepreneurs and leaders in Silicon Valley and build on ongoing events and programs at the Museum.
The introductory video provides an overview of women in tech, and eight companion videos delve more deeply into specific topics. Watch the videos below and download provocative discussion guides to explore the issues more deeply and consider solutions for positive change. Share your thoughts and ideas on CHM’s Facebook page with hashtags #startsomething, #wetoo, and #tecthtoo.
Technology’s effect on our society and culture continues to grow, yet only 18 percent of those equipped to design our future—and benefit from these high-paying jobs—are women. What effect does this gap have on our products, economy, and future? Some of the most powerful women in tech talk about the gender gap and how we can work together to make change.
The women in these videos are optimistic about improving conditions for women working in tech. They are committed to putting in the time and effort to build a brighter future. CHM, too, will continue to pursue initiatives to help make that future a reality.
What will you do to start something?
View the full live programs and oral histories used to create the videos:
Collaborating with teams across CHM, the Exponential Center’s Women in Tech initiative recognizes and shares women’s fundamental contributions to technology innovation and entrepreneurship. We want to do our part to support and enable more diversity and inclusion for innovators and entrepreneurs as we move into the future.
Learn more about the CHM Exponential Center.