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Be a WiC Leading Light, Like Hedy Lamarr!

Sarah Thomas

You may recognize the name Hedy Lamarr from the silver screen in the 1930s to 1950s, but the "most beautiful woman in Europe" was much more than a pretty face. She also co-invented the spread spectrum technology that serves as the backbone of digital communications today.

Like many females of the time, she wasn't given the credit she was due until much later in her life, but the "Secret Communication System" she built during World War II helped take down the Nazis by manipulating radio frequencies at irregular intervals between transmission and reception, preventing classified messages from being intercepted. Principles behind the technology are still in use in today's wireless and WiFi networks.

She was one badass woman in comms, which is why we're renaming one of our inaugural Women in Comms Leading Lights award in her honor: The Hedy Lamarr Award for Female Tech Pioneer of the Year.

Hedy Lamarr, co-inventor of spread spectrum and all-around badass woman in comms
Hedy Lamarr, co-inventor of spread spectrum and all-around badass woman in comms

Do you know a woman in the comms industry today who is changing the game and pioneering technology like Lamarr did before her? If so, you have a few more days left to enter her in the competition! Nominations close on Friday, April 8, so be sure to cast your vote on the Leading Lights 2016 home page today.

Join Women in Comms in Austin, Texas, on May 23 for a one-day conference and job fair. Register here!

In addition to the Hedy Lamarr Award for Female Tech Pioneer of the Year, which will go to a woman in the next-gen comms industry who has had a remarkable influence in technological contributions to the sector in the past year, we will be issuing two other very special awards:

Most Inspiring Woman in Comms: A special award, voted on by the WiC Board of Advisors, that seeks to recognize a woman who has worked tirelessly and effectively to advance the cause of women and girls in the next-gen comms industry.

Female-Led Startup to Watch: Awarded to a startup that the WiC Board of Advisors sees as having considerable potential to disrupt the industry, advance technology and have a lasting impact.

These three categories are in addition to the usual impressive list of awards and will be announced alongside the famous -- and often infamous -- Light Reading Hall of Fame, where Lamarr certainly belongs.

The WiC awards will be judged by our esteemed Board of Advisors, made up of 22 top female executives in the industry, with help from the Light Reading editors and Heavy Reading analysts, and will be presented at the Leading Lights gala following our one-day WiC conference and job fair .

Honor Hedy, and enter today!

— Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editorial Operations Director, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Sabre
4/15/2016 | 1:58:19 PM
Re: Yeah!
And Lamarr's innovaton of wide spectrum communications is used now by nearly all law enforcement and fire fighting agencies in the 800mhz band, allowing not only more privacy but expanded use of the the radio frequency bands by more users.
User Rank: Light Beer
4/11/2016 | 2:06:10 AM
She was amazing. Lovely, beautiful, elegant and so, so smart! And yet society tends to overlook that last part because of her pretty face...
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/5/2016 | 11:57:35 AM
Calling all female-led startups!
We already have a ton of great entries for the Most Inspiring Woman in Comms and Hedy's Tech award, but female-led startups are harder to come by. Know one you think fits the bill? Be sure to nominate them this week! It's free to enter.
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