What would Ada Lovelace do?

It’s Ada Lovelace day and social media is full of people sharing names of their favourite female engineers and scientists, and events to celebrate women in science and engineering, all in homour of the woman who was the first software engineer (and more).

My attention was drawn to an interesting article in The Guardian that looks at whether there is increased diversity in well-known big Silicon Valley companies since Ada Lovelace day started in 2009. It’s mostly not a very positive read – it’s 2016 and Apple has the highest number of women in tech roles at 23% and the others are all below 20%!

What can we do?

We have to encourage change. We like to think that pioneers like Ada would approve. She’d probably also be quite surprised at the low numbers of women in tech roles in 2016.

We need to be sure why women aren’t staying in tech. There is some Bristol research being done by Bristol Women’s Voice & UWE into women’s experiences of returning to tech from maternity leave, which we hope to share the outputs of soon.

But what other factors are there? Is it the workplace culture? Do the generally low numbers of women co-workers in tech companies put women off staying? What do people think? Tell us!

Women’s Tech Hub wants to increase the level of conversation and action locally around women in tech.

We aim to encourage women to actively progress their careers in tech and develop peer support networks. We share jobs and opportunities with our members and on our website. We are already seeing results with women who attend our Free3Fridays.

We support tech companies that are keen to increase diversity and hope to engage with more local companies at Bristech2016 on November 3rd – if you’re there then come along to our table to say hello and find out more about what we can offer.

Bristech have made a big effort to engage with and attract more women to their event and we hope to build on this together. We will be collecting ideas about what else we can do to increase diversity at future events as well as in the local tech workforce.

We want to encourage more women to think like Ada Lovelace and make their mark in tech.