Tag Archives: Ada Lovelace Day

Not all bad for #womenintech

Ada Lovelace
image: Ada Lovelace

‘There aren’t enough messages to young women that technology is a fascinating area to work in, a fast-moving field, one that rewards hard work, an area where you really can change the world’ (Naomi Alderman, The Guardian, 

The media has been rife with stories lately about women in technology, or rather the lack of them. According e-skills, the number of women working in the tech sector has fallen from 17% to 16% in 2014.

There are numerous initiatives to increase the number of women in the sector from the classroom to big business, yet in the last ten years the number of women in key roles in the technology industry has remained roughly unchanged.

Yet despite the statistics there are causes for celebration. We have very recently celebrated Ada Lovelace Day, who at the start of it all – working in the 1800’s – produced the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine. Because of this, she is often described as the world’s first computer programmer…a woman!

In April this year, the US appointed a female chief technology officer which is inspiring women across the country to break the gender bias in the tech industry. Megan Smith was previously a vice president of Google[x] at Google. Smith has been one of the country’s leading advocates in the movement to get more women into tech jobs*.
(*http://www.wired.com/2014/09/megan-smith-cto/?mbid=social_twitter )

Closer to home, the BSc in Digital Arts Computing course at Goldsmiths has defied the odds and attracted a 65% female cohort this year. A key element of this programme is that it integrates technical programming skills, theoretical and historical conceptions of art into a distinctively computational arts practice. The programme is taught in an integrated way, with a mix of critical studies and computational arts practice elements across both the Art and Computing departments.

We still have a long way to go, but rather than looking at cold statistics, lets focus on the positive stories and inspire the next generation of women programmers.



Putting the HER in Hero for Ada Lovelace Day

In association with Little Miss Geek’s, HER in Hero campaign Goldsmiths Women in Computing Network is holding the above event, an opportunity for women students to meet up and have a cup of tea together and an informal chat about their studies and their experience of Goldsmiths.

We are also asking all staff and students, whether men or women, to do one of the following to promote women as role models for both men and women in Computing and other STEM subjects:

1) Send us a photo of yourself and the name of a woman in Computing or another STEM subject. Tell us why you think she puts the HER in Hero. We will put your picture and your reasons on the blog and our VLE page. The role model you nominate can be anyone at all, from your high school teacher to Ada herself!

2) If you have Facebook or Twitter send a tweet or update your facebook status on Tuesday 15th. Write ‘Happy Ada Lovelace Day’ followed by the name of your role model. Take a screenshot and email us the screenshot so we can add it to the blog and the VLE.

You can send either of these things to r.hepworth[at]gold.ac.uk