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Ada Lovelace Day: Let’s celebrate the achievements of women in STEM!

Ada Lovelace Day

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Today (11 October) marks Ada Lovelace Day (ALD), a celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Ada Lovelace Day is marked annually on the second Tuesday of October, and aims to showcase the amazing women in STEM and serve as encouragement for girls to get into the field.

Here at SheCanCode, we take a look at the history, significance and how to get involved this Ada Lovelace Day.

So, who was Ada Lovelace?

“That brain of mine is something more than merely mortal; as time will show.”

Portrait of Ada Lovelace, first computer programmer
Alfred Edward Chalon, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Ada Lovelace is widely regarded as the first computer programmer. She was a mathematician and writer, known for her work on Charles Babbage’s proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine.  

Ada was the first to recognise that the machine had applications beyond pure calculation and published the first algorithm intended to be carried out by such a machine.

Born in London on 10 December 1815, Ada was the only legitimate child of the poet, Lord Byron. Her mother, Lady Byron, encouraged Ada’s interest in mathematics and through her education, she was brought into contact with Michael Faraday, Charles Dickens and Charles Babbage, the “father of computers”.

Sadly, Ada died of cancer at the age of 36 on 27 November 1852. Upon her request, she was buried next to her father at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire.

You can find out more about Ada and her life here.

What is the significance of Ada Lovelace Day?

Ada Lovelace Day was founded by Suw Charman-Anderson in 2009, after she recruited people to honour influential women in STEM. The reason behind the call was Charman-Anderson believed women in tech were invisible and more needed to be done increase their visibility.

Ada Lovelace Day continues to remain an important fixture in the calendar, as the tech industry calls out for more diversity. As it stands, women currently only make up 19% of the tech workforce.

More clearly needs to be done to help promote women within the industry and to encourage girls into a career in STEM. SheCanCode are firm believers in that ‘you can’t be, what you can’t see’ and Ada Lovelace Day continues to help raise the platform of female role models in tech and STEM.

How can we get involved?

Across the day and the upcoming week, there are hundreds of events taking place in honour of Ada Lovelace Day – both virtually and in person.

The network, Finding Ada, are hosting an online event celebrating Ada Lovelace Day, which will be live streamed via Facebook and YouTube. Talks on the day include how health tech is revolutionizing patient care; why maths is for everyone; and the science of the human voice.

You can reserve your spot for this event here.

You can also keep up with events and news on the day via social media. Follow the hashtags #AdaLovelaceDay and #ALD22 on Twitter and Instagram.

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