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Mary Coombs - world's first female business programmer

10th October 2019

Today, on Ada Lovelace Day, we celebrated the many and varied contributions women have made to computing history and the roles they play now in today's computing industry; Mary Coombs was one of the women featured. 

We know that role models are so important for young girls so we invited girls from 2 schools to come and take part in activities and tours to learn about remarkable women in computing. Mary Coombs (or Mary Blood as she was then), one of the earliest LEO programmers, was one of the women we featured on our displays and in our activities because Mary was in fact the first woman in the world to work on business programs. 

Mary's father was Lyons' company doctor and she joined the company because Maths was one of her strongest subjects, going on to sit Lyons "computer appreciation course", which consisted of a gruelling week of daytime lectures and evening written assignments designed to test the candidates' aptitude for computer work. Of the 10 people who took part in the original selection process, she was the only female; she became one of the company's earliest recruits to the LEO project.

Posted by: Lisa




Photograph of Mary Coombs - world's first female business programmer Click for a larger version


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