International Women’s Day 2022 is today. And we can’t think of a better time to showcase a person who had a significant impact on our world: an engineer, an inventor, a mother, and an icon in our eyes.
The world of VoIP had to begin somewhere. And it started with a brilliant mind who walked into a male-dominated world in 1982 and changed history. To honor this day and International Women’s Month, we spotlight the exceptional Dr. Marian Rogers Croak. Or as we like to refer to her, the Voice over Internet Protocol inventor.
Without her achievements in IP technologies, remote work would be a lot more challenging to maneuver. And VirtualPBX, like many other companies, wouldn’t be here.
International Women’s Day 2022: Meet Dr. Marian Croak
Dr. Marian Croak knew where her interests lay as a child growing up in New York. She credits her father for stoking the fires for her interest in a STEM career by building her a chemistry set. Later, armed with that same curiosity, she attended Princeton University for her undergraduate and earned her Ph.D. from Southern California. Her focus on quantitative analysis and social psychology were the guiding points for what was to come.
Dr. Croak began her 30-year career at Bell Labs, now AT&T Labs. During her tenure, she served many roles in research and development. Her motivation was to work on ideas that would positively change people’s lives. She knew instinctively that the introduction of the “Internet” would become a phenomenon that would change the world. And she was correct.
The Beginning of VoIP
Seeing the potential in digital communications, Dr. Croak put her engineering mind to work. She advocated for IP (Internet Protocol) as the future of communications, and her groundbreaking ideas helped push the momentum forward. Instead of a traditional phone line for voice communication and a separate digital method for internet data, she and her teams realized they could both work digitally.
It was the mic drop heard around the globe. VoIP technology is now widespread and vital for successful remote work and unified communications.
List of Achievements
As we reflect during International Women’s Day 2022, where do we begin with her achievements? They are numerous. She won the Edison Patent Awards two years in a row and was inducted into the Women in Technology Hall of Fame in 2013. With over 200 patents and counting, Dr. Croak (and her team) pioneered the text-to-donate system, which revolutionized how people could donate to charitable organizations.
Last year she was one of the first two Black women inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. And the list goes on. Today Dr. Croak is Vice President of Engineering at Google and shows no signs of slowing down, wanting to push the boundaries of what the Internet can provide. She is humble, soft-spoken, but a powerful force.
In a 2012 letter to budding female scientists and engineers looking for a career in technology, she said: “So be yourself. Fulfill the passions and dreams that you have in the environment that works best for your growth.”
We celebrate International Women’s Day 2022 and Dr. Croak’s fantastic journey, recognizing her contributions that furthered the advancements of digital systems. The next time you take an HD Video call or send a Business SMS, remember to thank Dr. Marian Croak.