THE “ENIAC GIRLS”. This article by Brenda Frank on the Stanford Gender News site tells how all of the software that made the “ENIAC” machine work was created by six women who were known by contemporaries as the “ENIAC Girls”. Frank writes: “In the early 1940s, the University of Pennsylvania hired six women to work on its ENIAC machine, which was one of the world’s first electronic computers. These six women, known by contemporaries as the “ENIAC girls,” were charged with “setting up” the ENIAC to perform computation tasks. They are widely celebrated as the world’s first computer programmers….[M]anagers hired women because they expected programming to be a low-skill clerical function, akin to filing, typing, or telephone switching.”
Programming was considered a woman’s profession through the mid 1960’s.