We believe in celebrating women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics every day, and today – Ada Lovelace Day – is no different. Named after visionary 19th century mathematician Ada Lovelace, today is an opportunity to recognize the achievements of women in the STEM fields.
Lovelace, who is credited with being among the first to recognize the potential of computing, was encouraged to explore the world of mathematics from a young age at a time when few women were actively involved in the field. At 17, she worked on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, and her notes on his machine included what is recognized as the first computer algorithm as well as ideas about the potential of computational machines.
The day’s founder, Suw Charman-Anderson, said in a recent interview that she was inspired to establish the day of recognition after being frustrated with the dearth of women speakers at tech conferences. She wanted to create an occasion for people around the world to discuss and promote role models so that other women will be inspired to get involved in STEM fields.
“It’s essential for girls to see that they have a future in STEM, and for women to see that they can progress in STEM careers all the way to the top,” she said.
The inaugural Ada Lovelace Day in 2009 saw thousands blog about inspirational women in those fields. Since then, the day has grown to include global events, including a London-based event featuring women speakers discussing their work in engineering, physics, science writing, and more.
To celebrate the day, take part one of these events around the world, support opportunities for women in the STEM fields, and use the official hashtag #ALD16 to share the stories of women in STEM that inspire you.