Museum Kicks off 2021 with Women in Tech Panel

By December 22, 2020Press Releases

LOS ALTOS, CA (Dec 22, 2020) When it comes to the pioneers who built Silicon Valley, it wasn’t only men. Women made a significant contribution, and Los Altos History Museum brings these innovators to light in a webinar entitled “Women in Tech: Then and Now,” slated for Jan 14 at 5pm.

The presentation will focus on key technologies that advanced the progress of computing, the women who played roles in these advances and the status of their careers today. A panel of women technologists will discuss their experiences in the field and challenges they overcame.

Nomi Trapnell, who was a female pioneer in software engineering and management, will lead the presentation, based on her work as a docent at the Computer History Museum. Since the 1960s, Nomi worked in software product development for several top Silicon Valley computer companies, including Hewlett-Packard, ROLM, IBM, Tandem, and IBM, and retired in 2007.

“In the 1970s, there were a lot more women in the computer science field, but those numbers steadily declined beginning in the 80s as high tech became viewed more as a man’s field,” she said. “This webinar will address the ways women’s contributions have largely been ignored, and current efforts to attract more young women to STEM careers.”

This program is offered in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibit, Rise Up! The Fight for Women’s Suffrage,” on display on the porch of the J. Gilbert Smith House through Feb 21, 2021.

“Although women won the right to vote 100 years ago, the struggle for equality is ongoing. Silicon Valley has recently come under scrutiny for its treatment specifically of women in the tech field, and this panel explores that question from a historic perspective,” said Trapnell.

The webinar is free to join, but registration is required on the Museum’s website at

Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the J. Gilbert Smith House historic farmhouse, built in 1905. In 2001, the Los Altos History Museum opened its modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collections, permanent and changing exhibits, store and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available for rent during evenings and weekends. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.

The Museum’s indoor galleries and the J. Gilbert Smith House are temporarily closed. The gardens, outdoor agricultural exhibits and picnic area are open to visitors. Admission is free. For more information, visit:, email, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.

Media Contact:
Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10,