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Ada Lovelace Day to end due to mistaken view that gender inequality in STEM has been fixed

Ada Lovelace

ARTICLE SUMMARY

The founder of Ada Lovelace Day (ALD) has announced that this year’s celebration will be the last, due to the mistaken idea that gender inequality in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) has been addressed.

Founded in 2009, ALD was created by Suw Charman-Anderson to celebrate women in STEM by remembering Ada Lovelace who is widely regarded as the first computer programmer.

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.

According to Charman-Anderson, ALD could no longer continue due to a lack of corporate sponsors and the mistaken notion that the lack of women working STEM fields has been fixed.

In an interview with the BBC, she said: “We just couldn’t raise the funding to continue.” She noted that there are several reasons for corporate cutbacks, including Brexit, the pandemic and the energy crisis, however, she also suggested the boardrooms seem to believe that the lack of women in STEM has been addressed.

“Women are still struggling to fulfil their ambitions and engage with work and industries that they love because they’re being pushed out”, she said.

Data from STEM Women indicates that the number of women working in STEM in the UK increased only marginally between 2016 and 2019 from 21% to 24%. Women will still hold under 30% of the jobs in the sector by the end of the decade, according to STEM Women.

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