The strength and power of Ada Lovelace Day
Ada Lovelace Day is an international event celebrating the achievements of women in STEM. Ada Lovelace was a nineteenth century English mathematician and the first computer programmer.
Today serves as a reminder of the brilliant work done by women throughout history – in times where such brilliance may not have been appreciated – and gives us a chance to look forward.
To this day, women are underrepresented across the STEM sectors, in particular the tech industry where they make up only 19% of the workforce. But the sector is aware of its diversity problem and employers and non-profits are working hard to remedy this. One way to do this is to amplify the great work of women and highlight female role models. The importance of representation cannot be underestimated.
By raising the profile of women in STEM, Ada Lovelace Day looks to create new role models to inspire women. It is essential we enable young women to make informed decisions about the subject choices and education pathways that could allow them to develop the skills and mindsets they need to succeed. Today is also valuable for parents and guardians to understand alternate pathways into tech careers.
With Ada Lovelace being a trailblazer in the areas of maths and science, the Ada Lovelace Institute was established by the Nuffield Foundation in early 2018, in collaboration with the Alan Turing Institute, the Royal Society, the British Academy, the Royal Statistical Society, the Wellcome Trust, Luminate, techUK and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. The mission of the Institute is to use technologies such as data and AI justly and equitably to support people and society.
techUK is proud to continue Ada’s and the Institute’s work throughout the year. By redoubling our efforts to increase diversity in tech, we can not only work towards the normative and societal good of equal representation in the sector, but at the same time take important steps towards ensuring an ethical and sustainable approach to the development and use of technology. Read about techUK’s ongoing commitment to improving diversity.
With the work being done on Ada Lovelace Day, and every day in between, I’m grateful for the powerful women I’m surrounded by and hope that girls and women of all ages can be inspired by those around them too.
Nimmi Patel is the Policy Manager for Skills, Talent and Diversity at techUK.
She works on all things skills policy, focusing on upskilling and retrain. She is committed to embedding diversity in the UK tech pipeline from classroom to boardroom working with partners such as the Tech Talent Charter and the WISE Campaign. Nimmi also leads techUK’s immigration work, collaborating with techUK members and stakeholders to create an environment that attracts the best talent to the UK.
Prior to joining the team, she worked for the UK Labour Party and New Zealand Labour Party and holds a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Manchester and is currently studying MA Strategic Communications at King’s College London.
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