Ada Lovelace Day was first launched by Suw Charman-Anderson in 2009 on PledgeBank. Nearly 2,000 people made a pledge to blog about a woman in technology whom they admired on 24 March 2009. The day was a great success with blog posts, newspaper columns and media coverage emerging to celebrate in honour of the woman who is widely regarded as the first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace. On Tuesday the 13th of October 2015, celebrations will be taking place worldwide to recognise of the achievements of women in STEM, with both online and public events taking place all day. 2015 in particular is an extra special year, as it marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Ada Lovelace.
Today at Verify Recruitment, we have a double-celebration underway; October 13th is International Ada Lovelace Day, which highlights the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) worldwide, with grassroots technology community events taking place worldwide. We are also delighted to announce that this past week saw five female technology professionals visit over 400 pupils to tell their story for The Ada Lovelace Initiative.
In August of 2015, The Ada Lovelace Initiative (A.L.I) was proudly announced by Verify Recruitment in Dublin, Ireland. A.L.I. – My Story aims to address with one of the main contributing factors to the low numbers of women entering STEM careers; a lack of access to female role models in this field.
To help change this imbalance, we are working with the technology community in Ireland to connect female professionals working in technology with Transition Year secondary school students for one hour once a year each. We are delighted to announce that there are over 3000 students registered for a visit from an A.L.I. role model and there are role models from over 75 Irish technology companies signed up to help reach these students.
In the spirit of Ada Lovelace Day 2015, we would now like to write about the women we wish to celebrate in STEM. Each role model we have signed up has agreed to stand up and be visible to help encourage more young women to join our industry and that, to us, is very admirable.
In the spirit of celebrating our very first week of school visits with A.L.I. – My Story, we would like thank the 5 A.L.I. role models who visited over 400 pupils between them over the past week. With the help of these role models, we have kick-started our mission of reaching 5000 pupils with ‘A.L.I. – My Story’ this year! Thank you to Dublin’s Startup Commissioner Niamh Bushnell, Fiona Savage from Concern, Amanda Hay from TripAdvisor, Aisling McMahon from Strata3 and Ursula Clarke Everett from CoderDojo. Check out some of the photos from the first visits below!
Aisling McMahon (Strata3) visiting the pupils of Mercy College Coolock Transition Year.
Dublin’s First Startup Commissioner Niamh Bushnell visiting Muckross Park College
Amanda Hay of TripAdvisor visiting her two groups of pupils at Mount Carmel Secondary School
The feedback from the very first ‘A.L.I. – My Story’ visits has been overwhelmingly positive so far from the teachers, the pupils and the role models themselves. All of our role models above had one thing in common; they all had fun telling their story! We are well on our way to reaching hundreds of students across Ireland thanks to support of the Irish technology community, but we still need more role models to reach our goal of 5000 students this year!
If you would like to take part in The Ada Lovelace Initiative, or if you know someone who might be interested, please share this form today with someone in your network. If you would like to join the fun of Ada Lovelace Day 2015 on Twitter, don’t forget to tag #adalovelaceday on Twitter mentioning someone you admire and tag your friends with #alimystory if you think they would make a great A.L.I. role model!
Last but not least, Happy Ada Lovelace Day from Verify Recruitment!