10 Incredible Women in AV History

In honor of Women’s History Month, let’s celebrate 10 incredible women and their contributions to the AV and technology industries.

  1. Leslie-Ann Jones is a multiple Grammy award-winning recording engineer and Director of Music Recording and Scoring for SkyWalker Sound. Leslie was a true trailblazer as the first female Recording Engineer to work for ABC Studios. In 2018, Leslie was inducted to the TEC (Technical Excellence and Creativity) Hall of Fame.
  2. Barbara Lisckov is one of the first women to receive a Ph.D. in computer science. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Barbara led the design of the CLU programming language that presented the fundamentals for JAVA and other currently used computer languages. Most notably, Barbara was awarded the A.M. Turing award in 2018.
  3. Elizabeth (Betsy) Cohen is not only the first female president of the Audio Engineering Society, but also the first woman to serve on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Technology Council. As an Acoustical Engineer with a Ph.D. in acoustics from Stanford University, Elizabeth has made fundamental contributions to architectural acoustics and pitch perception.
  4. Marion Keiske makes her mark in music history as the first person to ever record Elvis Presley at Sun Records in 1954. Marion continued an incredibly successful career in radio and broadcast that paved the way for future generations of female broadcasters.
  5. Radia Perlman invented the Spanning Tree Algorithm in 1980, which we still use for routing IP today. We can thank Radia for designing a protocol that allows for Ethernet making optimal use of bandwidth. With more than 100 patents to her name and a Ph.D. from MIT, Radia rightfully takes a spot in the Internet Hall of Fame.
  6. Hertha Ayrton broke down barriers as the first Female member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE). Hertha discovered the hiss and flicker of electric arcs were caused by oxygen coming into contact with the carbon rods used to create the arc. In 1906, Hertha was the first woman to be awarded the Royal Societies “Hughes Medal” for her work and discoveries on the electrical arc.
  7. Edith Clarke became the first woman to graduate with and M.S. In Electrical Engineering at MIT. Clarke would go on to invent a graphical calculator called the Clark calculator which solved equations involving electric current, voltage, and impedance in power transmission lines. In 1954, Edith earned a lifetime achievement from the Society of Women Engineers.
  8. Anne-Marie Bruneau laid the groundwork for many of the analysis and measurement techniques we use in acoustical design. Bruneau is most noted for her research in electrodynamic loudspeaker design, as well as co-founding an acoustics research center in France where leading research on acoustical design still takes place.
  9. Hedy Lamarr was awarded the Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award for her invention of spread spectrum technology in 1997. Hedy received the patent for her “Secret Communications System” in 1941 but spread spectrum technology would not be utilized until decades later. Without Hedy’s ingenuity, we would not have WIFI or Other digital communication systems we now depend on.
  10. Megan Watts Hughes turned audio into a visual with her invention the “Eidophone” in the early 19th century. While studying the vibrations caused by the human voice, the Ediophone allowed Megan to record the visual “voice figure” onto glass or ceramic plates. The visual recordings helped engineers and scientist study the relationships between pitch and wavelength.
For more information about Women in AV and to connect with industry peers, learn more about the AVIXA Women's Council