Mary Gorden

Born in 1944, Mary Gorden had dreams of becoming an astronaut and a scientist. But during the 1950s and 1960s, traditional attitudes about women  prevailed. Mary’s searing memories of being told “girl don’t,” in response to her aspirations, opens a compelling memoir of her journey through the new world of computer programming, Life Without Ceilings.

After graduating from college in Wisconsin with a degree in mathematics, Mary moved to Washington, D.C. and began her first programming job.  She then followed her heart to San Francisco in 1969, meeting her husband along the way.

With natural gifts in logical problem-solving, Mary excelled in programming, yet was constantly pressured to leave the work she loved and go into management, an unusual problem for a woman to have in the 1970s.

Writing in a no-nonsense style, Mary recounts challenging years in management and marriage––eventually discovering that she needed to leave both. She also writes about the outdoors as her passion and escape, the freedom of horseback riding and cross-country skiing, navigating the skies as a pilot, world travels, and her love of horses and dogs.

Business computing evolves from punched cards to the internet, and opportunities for women continue to grow.