So I’m going with being fashionably late on this one (yes, fashionable, not dreadfully disorganised and forgetful at all!) yesterday was Ada Lovelace Day; an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology.
The Finding Ada site explains better than I could:
Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines. Entrepreneurs, innovators, sysadmins, programmers, designers, games developers, hardware experts, tech journalists, tech consultants. The list of tech-related careers is endless.
Recent research by psychologist Penelope Lockwood discovered that women need to see female role models more than men need to see male ones. That’s a relatively simple problem to begin to address. If women need female role models, let’s come together to highlight the women in technology that we look up to. Let’s create new role models and make sure that whenever the question “Who are the leading women in tech?” is asked, that we all have a list of candidates on the tips of our tongues.
(it’s just occurred to me that all of the nominees in this year’s Mobile News Awards Industry Personality of the Year were men and the ’08 and ’07 winners were men too.. Are there no women in the Mobile industry? – More on the Awards later..)
The Anita Borg Institute came up with a strong list of women worthy of a blog post:
here are just a handful of the inspiring women featured as award recipients here on our ABI website:
* Frances Allen, IBM Fellow Emerita, the first woman to win the Turing Award, the highest honor in computing (and a member of ABI’s Board of Trustees)
* Karen Banks, who pioneered the use of ICTs for the empowerment of women around the world, 2004 Anita Borg Social Impact Award
* Helen Greiner, whose iRobot products save lives and clean floors, 2008 Women of Vision Award for Innovation
* Susan Landau, whose work at Sun Microsystems on encryption, surveillance, and digital rights management has influenced both corporate and public policy, 2008 Women of Vision Award for Social Impact
* Duy-Loan T. Le, the first woman and first Asian to be named a Fellow at Texas Instruments, 2007 Women of Vision Award for Leadership, and whose inspiring acceptance speech has had thousands of viewings on YouTube
I think Mary Lou Jepsen Founder and chief technology officer of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), could be another good woman to be blogged about.
As Ada Lovelace Day draws closer I’ve been thinking about more role models who will make great blogging subjects on March 24. There are mentors, teachers, volunteers, and other technical women every day who are doing outstanding work or who are making time to support their sisters.
And of course, Suw Charman-Anderson, Londoner, social media consultant, digital rights activist, woman and the person who’s idea this was! It was Suw who issued the challenge via Pledgebank:
“I will publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 other people will do the same.”
— Suw Charman-Anderson
There are many women in technology whom should be admired and applauded, thank you Suw for getting us all talking about them!