It’s a fact that women are lagging behind men in one of the few areas of the economy where there’s growth in well-paying jobs.

By Laura Sydell (Contributor, Ms.)

In fact, despite the image that it’s geeky guys doing the inventing, if you use the Internet at all, you probably use a product developed by a woman. Today, most of the video you watch on the Internet is animated by a technology called Flash, and it was software programmer Sarah Allen who led the team that developed it.

A major force behind Palm, which created the market for handheld computers, was Donna Dubinsky. At Facebook, director of engineering Jocelyn Goldfein is happy to point out that many of the site’s most popular products were engineered by women. Jing Chen co-built News Feed, the front page where you see your friends’ posts in real time. Yuan Tian was behind Photo Viewer, the latest update to Facebook’s photo-sharing feature. Beluga co-founder Lucy Zhang took her talents to Facebook when her company was acquired by the social-networking giant and built Messenger, a product popular with those who want to chat live with friends on their laptops or their mobile phones.

But maybe the greatest irony of the supposed male dominance in programming is that the field itself was envisioned by a woman.

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Editor’s note / clarification: Sarah Allen led the team that developed Flash video, which was first released with Flash Player 6 in 2002.