Today is Ada Lovelace day – a day to celebrate women not only in technology but also scientists, engineers and mathematicians, the aim is to create new role models for girls and women in these male-dominated fields by raising the profile of other women in STEM.
When I was younger and growing up one of my heroes was Maggie Philbin, who was a presenter on Swap Shop but also Tomorrow’s World, the latter was a programme that I loved it was BBC’s flagship science programme that mixed film reports alongside live experiments as well as examining the changing state of current technology and putting new inventions to the test. It was great as a girl growing up to see a woman in such a key role on television. I have subsequently been lucky enough to meet Maggie who continues to promote science and engineering for teenagers through Teen Tech which she created in 2008.
Currently there are two women who inspire me – the first is Dr Sue Black, who is a Senior Research Associate in the Software Systems Engineering group in the Department of Computer Science at University College London. She has been campaigning since 1998 for equality and more support for women in tech, and also from 2008 to 2011 she campaigned to save Bletchley Park, which has been saved. She also set up the goto Foundation last year, a non profit organisation which aims to make computer science more meaningful to the public.
The other is Emma Mulqueeny who runs Rewired State and Young Rewired state – a campaign to bring coding into mainstream education, an amazing organization that does so much to both engage and inspire youngsters around technology. As well as developing ‘hack days’ bringing digital innovation and revolution through rapid prototyping events.
All three of these women inspire me to promote technology, - who inspires you?