University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

History of Science and Technology/Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science Colloquium

Friday, November 13th 2009
Speaker: Jeffrey Yost, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota
Subject: Programming Enterprise: Women Entrepreneurs in Software and Services, 1965-1990
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

This talk will begin by postulating that the early predilections and particular trajectories of women's history and business history have contributed to the dearth of historical literature on women entrepreneurs and the complete absence of historical literature on women and entrepreneurship in computing. The core of the talk (based on several case studies) will focus on a hitherto unexplored, but significant segment of the computer services industry—IT independent contractor brokerages—and the critical role of women in launching firms and subsequently leading the primary trade association in this industry (NACCB). In doing so, it will seek to balance the important, nascent historical studies emphasizing educational and workforce barriers to women in computing, with narratives where initial barriers give way to entrepreneurial moments, and the themes of women's agency and leadership come to the fore.

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