Ada Lovelace Day – Celebrating women in tech

Today (March 24) is Ada Lovelace Day, a great idea organised by Suw Charman-Anderson. Over 1,000 people have signed up to write a blog post about a woman in technology whom they admire. Although I didn’t sign the pledge I’m doing a post anyway. I knew about Ada since the day I read about her semi-fictionalised character in that amazing steampunk novel, The Difference Engine, and well, I was impressed. Plus I like the aim of the whole project.

Ada Lovelace Day was founded to raise the visibility of women in tech, and rightly so. This sector is woefully bad at getting more gender balance into the industry, and that is partly why I’ve put a debate about the issue into Geek ‘n Rolla next month.

Ada Lovelace herself was fascinating. Born in 1815 she became the world’s first computer programmer. In 1842 she translated some notes on Charles Babbage’s invention, the Analytical Engine, and then created a method for calculating Bernoulli numbers with it. Thus the first computer program was born.

The first computer programming language was thus named Ada. In 1942 the ENIAC was programmed not by men but by six women. A woman, Grace Hopper inspired the development of the COBOL programming language. So computers are steeped in female history.

The Guardian has a great list of women in tech. But I’ll be honest. I don’t know many of them, so allow me to list some of the great women in this business today I that have had the privilege to meet, aside from Suw herself, and some I’d like to meet. This list is not comprehensive and yes – before you ask – it includes people who don’t code because there are plenty of men in tech who don’t code but still consider themselves in tech. Including me! Capeesh? And besides, these women have to put up with all us guys, so I think they deserve a roll of honour don’t you?

In addition to which, the next time you see an advisory board with no women members, or a tech event with no women speakers, then at least now you might have a list to refer to for some ideas, right? Right. (see also

Adriana Lukas,
Aleks Krotoski, The Guardian
Alicia Navarro, Skimbit
Amanda Lorenzani, Excite
Amanda Rose, Twestival
Anna Bance,
Anna Colclough,
Avid Larizadeh, Accel Ventures
Basheera Khan, journalist
Bena Roberts,
Bindi Karia, Microsoft
Caroline Roberts, WE Connect
Carrie Marsh, Mydeo
Cate Sevilla, BitchBuzz
Catherine Williams, Osborne Clarke
Christina Domecq, Spinvox
Clare Logie, HBOS Women
Daniela Arens,
Deirdre Molloy,
Elizabeth Varley,
Elizabetta Camilleri, Tereca
Helen Keegan,
Helen Lawrence, Dare / MeasurementCamp
Hermione Way, Newspepper
Inmaculada Martinez, Stradbrokeadvisors
Isabel Fox, IF Communications
Jamilla Knowles, BBC
Jane Houghton, British Venture Capital Association
Janet Parkinson, Quirk
Jemima Kiss, Guardian
Jenny Fielding
Joanne Jacobs, Amplified 09
Joanna Geary, The Times
Judith Clegg, 2nd Chance Tuesday
Julie Meyer, Entrepreneur Country
Karen Hunton,
Katie Lee, Shiny Media
Katie Lips, Treasuremytext
Katie Moffat, PR
Leisa Reichelt, Freelance user experience consultant
Linda Bernardi, Straterra Partners
Lisa Bilton,
Liz Bolshaw, Lymehound
Margaret Gold, Betavine
Maria Dramalioti-Taylor, Protos Capital
Martha Lane Fox,
Melissa Geffert, Opal Telecom
Meriem Aissaoui, Smarta
Michelle Dewberry,
Michelle Martin, Digital Planet
Miranda Munn,
Natalie Diep, Morrison & Foerster LLP
Nicola Maguire, Reed Smith
Peggy Anne Saltzman, MsearchGroove
Petra Johansson,
Priya Prakash,
Rachel Armitage, Zoombu
Rachel Bremer, Spark PR
Rassami Hok Ljungberg, Rassami PR
Renate Nyborg, Poken
Reshma Sohoni,
Sally Goodsell, Finance South East
Sarah Blow, Girl Geek Dinners
Sarah Cebik, DLA Piper UK LLP
Sarah Eaton, GLE Growth Capital
Sarah McVittie, Texperts
Sasha, “sashinka”
Sayula Kirby, Index Capital
Shaa Wasmund,
Sharon Vosmek, Astia
Sherry Coutu, Cambridge Angels
Simone Brummelhuis, The Next Women
sMary harrington, School of Everything
Sonia Calvo, BlueandPink
Sophie Cox, Worldeka
Sophie Hobson, Smarta
Steph Bouchet, Rougefrog
Sue Guerrieri, SugarPlum Shop
Sue Lawton, WE Connect
Swannny, Gadget Girl
Thayer Prime, just unique
Vero Pepperrell,
Wendy White, Moonfruit / Gandi Group
Yuri Bacas Hosaka, CityAmigo
Zoe Margolis , Girlonetrack
Zuzanna Pasierbinska-Wilson,

(Apologies if I’ve accidentally left you off the list!)