Women in technology

Ada Lovelace Day in October celebrates the achievements of women in science and technology.

Ada Lovelace, who was born in 1815, was a mathematician who worked on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine. She is often called the first computer programmer. During WW2 women played a vital role in the UK’s code-breaking operation at Bletchley ParkGrace Hopper’s work was invaluable in the post-war development of computer programs in the US.  How are women doing in tech jobs in the 21st century?

Encouraging more women into tech jobs

Women form just 30% of the workforce at Google and Twitter.  At Yahoo the figure is 37%; 40% at Pinterest. 

This week Box, Facebook and Pinterest have announced they are joining forces to launch a pilot mentoring programme for women in tech.  Called WEST (Women Entering and Staying in Tech) the pilot will launch in California next year.

It’s not just Ada Lovelace Day in October – it’s also Europe Code Week.  Women make up fewer than 10% of Europe’s computer science graduates.  A key priority for Europe Code Week 2014 is to encourage more girls to take up computer science. A number of initiatives have been announced including hosting Hangouts with tech industry role models.

Celebrating women of science in the theatre

In Sweden, the RATS (Research in Artistic Technologies) Theatre has celebrated women in science with the creation of a modern trilogy of plays – including one on Ada Lovelace.  You can download the full scripts and more here.

You can find out more about Ada Lovelace Day here and about Europe Code Week here.