Ada Lovelace’s story is remarkable. A daughter of the Romantic poet Lord Byron, she grew up to become what is now recognized as the first computer programmer – ever. Not just the first woman, but ever. And a woman whose contributions to the birth of computing are inspiring women today.
As a young woman in the early 1800s, Ada demonstrated great talent and interest in the distinctly un-feminine subjects of math and science. But could anyone (including Ada!) have imagined such an important outcome from her choosing to stick with it?
Her story reminds me that by ignoring cultural expectations and following your passion you might just surprise yourself and others with what you are able to achieve.
Ada Lovelace Day gives us a chance to recognize how far we have come as a society, and how much further there is to go to create a more inclusive IT industry.
As Martin Fowler, our chief scientist, noted in his recent interview on Huff Post Live on the “Brogrammer Effect”, there are fewer women now in computer science than there were in the 1990s.
There have been many articles and theories about why that is, and it often comes back to the lack of role models for women in STEM careers.
So how do we change that? At Thoughtworks, we know that if we don’t have women at the table, we are missing half the picture. And being part of Thoughtworks means agitating for change. From active participation in programs across the globe to train and inspire women to our own hiring and internal leadership programs, we are determined to make a difference.
Slowly but surely, we are embracing our own inner Ada and defying expectations.
I am gathered, ready and empowered to change the face of IT. Are you with me?
Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.