Today is Ada Lovelace day, a day in which we honor women in tech. For many of us, this day ends up being a bit of a history lesson. We look back through the years and celebrate those women who have contributed to STEM, often ignored in their own time. I have to admit that I myself have written more than one look backwards that started with Ada Lovelace and ended with Grace Hopper. It would be very easy to stop there, these women are in the history books! More intelligent and well educated people than me have done the research and informed me that these are important women who deserve respect!
We can’t stop there though.
Lets look back at Ada Lovelace and consider another, very important part of her story. She wrote her famous Notes, which included what is considered to be the creation of computer programming in 1843. At the time, there were a few who were celebrating Lovelace, Babbage himself calling her “The Enchantress of Numbers”, but she wasn’t really shown the spot light until nearly 100 years later when her Notes were republished in 1953.
Women are underrepresented in STEM, and within the maker community. We see this in maker spaces, in schools, and even in the pages of our own magazine. Even when a company has strong female leadership, like we do, there is a cultural bias that permeates. Women are often forced to prove themselves, to show their project actually functioning, before they are taken seriously. This is why it is important to actively celebrate those women who are out there today, making things.
Don’t let their efforts go ignored for 100 years. Share those women around you with the world!