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Women’s History Month: Moving the Energy Industry Forward

Each March, we celebrate Women’s History Month by dedicating time to share inspiring stories about women who broke barriers within their fields. This year, we’re sharing the contributions three women made on the energy industry. From research in energy conversion to technology used in solar panels, these women made contributions that are still moving the industry forward today.

3Katharine Burr Blodgett (1898 – 1979)

Physicist and Chemist

Katharine Burr Blodgett was the first female scientist to be hired by General Electric Laboratories in 1918. She was only 20 years old. One particular project she worked on involved reducing glares on glass. She eventually patented a process that achieved invisible glass that cast no reflection. This process is considered foundational in shaping modern day solar panels.



2Edith Clarke (1883 – 1959)

Electrical Engineer

As an electrical engineer, Edith Clarke brought sophisticated electrical engineering concepts to dam building in the United States. Clarke spent most of her career (26 years) at General Electric, where she had the distinction of becoming a salaried engineer after two years on the job. In addition, Clarke won awards for her papers and a patent for a calculator that specialized in math for determining electrical characteristics of transmission lines.


1Annie Easley (1933 – 2011)

Computer Scientist, Mathematician, and Rocket Scientist 

Annie Easley was a mathematician and scientist who was often called a "human computer." She was one of four African Americans employed by NACA, the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (which later became NASA), in the 1950s. She was involved in energy conversion research, including work with solar and wind projects. She also worked on battery technology for early hybrid vehicles.

Because of the discoveries and influence of these scientists, inventors and mathematicians, we continue to see advances in the energy industry made by women who, just like Burr Blodgett, Clarke and Easley, continue to make energy more accessible, safe and efficient.