Joan Clarke, the woman who cracked the Enigma with Alan Turing

One of the downsides with the secrecy associated with the breaking of the Enigma machine in WWII was that the stories about what happened there were classified for decades and even then some of the participants were reluctant to talk about it. One was them was Joan Clarke who worked side-by-side with Alan Turing throughout the entire project and after. Due to the rampant sexism that was built in to the system, she couldn’t be hired as a cryptanalyst (men only) but had to be classified as a linguist. She was paid the same as the other “girls” at first but was quickly recognized for her technical abilities.

Women had important roles in the development of computers and the information age we currently live in. It’s time for us to acknowledge them and encourage their contemporaries instead of forcing them out.

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