WW1 and WW2 Women in Cryptography

Discover the women pioneering Cryptography during WWI and WWII

According to the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation, “Over 11,000 women comprised more than 70% of all domestic code breakers during WWII.” Despite this staggering statistic, there is sparse information about their careers.

It was not until 2017 that two journalists published these women’s stories in rapid succession.

Their stories inspired us to further research the legacies and contributions of pioneering women in cryptography. We scoured digital archives to look into the accomplished careers of these women.

While fields of cryptography and computer science are male dominated, the accomplishments of these women remind us that women are exceptionally capable and have historically been pioneers in this ever-evolving field. Our hope is that you not only are able to celebrate the remarkable achievements of these women but that this research also inspires you to similar excellence.

  • Explore a timeline of the legacies and contributions of pioneering women in cryptography during WWI and WWII.
  • Then, read the biographies below the timeline of five select women.