From education to employment

Ada Lovelace Day: Sector Response

woman on laptop

On this Ada Lovelace Day, we celebrate the remarkable contributions of Ada Lovelace, a pioneering mathematician and visionary thinker of the 19th century. Her groundbreaking work in the field of computer science, often regarded as the world’s first computer programmer, continues to inspire generations of scientists, engineers, and innovators.

Sector Response

Elizabeth Seward, head of space strategy at BAE Systems:

“Ada Lovelace day is needed to draw attention to and celebrate women in STEM, but in an ideal world it wouldn’t be necessary. We still need greater normalisation of women in STEM – it needs to be seen as standard for us to study and have a career in the field. Since my school days we’ve made great strides, paving the way for numerous talented women to take on significant STEM roles.

Despite this progress there’s still a persistent perception that science and engineering is for boys, a notion far from the truth. Engaging in STEM is truly exhilarating, especially for me in the field of space during this exciting time of rapid technological progress and the endless possibilities that come with it. We need to make sure that we draw talent from everywhere to fill the skills gaps we have today.  

Let’s ensure that science, technology, engineering and maths subjects are open to everyone to enjoy to the fullest extent, in honour of Ada Lovelace.”

Charli Rogers, Senior Vice President, International Client Solutions & Strategy at Yext said:

“Ada Lovelace Day serves as an essential platform to bring attention to closing the gender gap in STEM fields and inspire young women to pursue careers in these areas. With the rapid rise of AI and its growing impact on various industries, it is the perfect time to encourage more women into the industry – so that they can play a key role in the technology’s development.”

“According to the Alan Turing Institute, only 20% of AI and data professionals and 18% of users across the most significant online global data science platforms are female. Women bring diverse perspectives and fresh ideas to the AI sector, which leads to more innovative solutions and products. By championing and bolstering women in their pursuit of careers within AI, we can forge a more resilient and inventive industry that benefits society at large.”

“Ada Lovelace’s pioneering contributions have not only set a shining example for countless women but have also left an unforgettable impact on the scientific innovation landscape. Her legacy reminds us of the power of perseverance and dedication in breaking down barriers and achieving greatness. She is an inspiration to all who seek to follow their passions, unshackled by the constraints of gender stereotypes.”

“Only by encouraging women into careers in STEM will we create a more equitable and forward-thinking society that can tap into the diverse talents of all its members. By providing a platform for women to contribute significantly to the AI sector, we can unlock their full potential and drive innovation and growth in this field.”

Professor Rachid Hourizi MBE, Director of the Institute of Coding, said:

“With more than 80 per cent of all jobs needing some form of digital skills competency, the need for digital upskilling has never been more important. However, with just one in five tech jobs being held by women, we need a targeted approach to skills development that benefits everyone across the country, no matter their stage in life, sector of work, or location. 

“We need educators, employers and government to work together to take a comprehensive look at the delivery of digital skills, ensuring maximum flexibility of delivery, and broad appeal to people from all walks of life. Women are more likely to be carers of children or relatives and so ensuring flexibility around their existing commitments is vital.

“With future technological development continuing to grow, there’s a real risk that the digital skills gap and widening inequalities will continue to grow with it, unless focused action to develop the nation’s digital skills is taken. We must ensure women are fully supported in a way that suits them in order to create a sector that is fully representative of the people we seek to serve.

“With a diverse network of industry and employer partnerships, the Institute of Coding is helping to deliver these aspirations across the UK.”

Naomi Pearse, Daemon’s Software Developer:

Ada Lovelace Day offers the tech community a chance to reflect on the incredible journey women entering or continuing their STEM careers have made in the last century. She is a true pioneer for all aspiring young girls envisaging a career in this industry. However, for all the fantastic progress we have made, I know there are still more miles left on the long journey to increase the number of women in STEM.  

Daemon is involved in computer science education programs in South Africa, where we have a team based. Here in the UK we have worked with organisations that actively encourage females into the Tech industry after taking career breaks. We hope to play an influential role in inspiring more females to get involved in STEM careers, but it’s vital that all organisations get involved in supporting, promoting and building long-term career paths for women in the STEM sector. 

Opportunities are only growing and the emergence of AI has accelerated this – furthering career paths and the drive towards greater equality for all. As a software engineer, I believe learning the fundamentals of AI is crucial to staying ahead of the curve in a rapidly changing industry. This is an exciting industry to work in and one that is evolving at great pace. My advice is to start researching the endless journeys a STEM course can take you on now! Experiment, make mistakes, it’s all part of the STEM process!” 

Aneela Nasim, Energy & Materials Lead, EuroNorth, DASSAULT SYSTEMES:

Ada Lovelace Day is a momentous occasion to celebrate the remarkable achievements of women in science. Ada Lovelace’s contributions have paved the way for numerous women to follow in her footsteps. By promoting and supporting women to pursue careers in STEM, we can help create a more robust and innovative industry that benefits everyone.

Today, we pay tribute to Ada Lovelace and the countless women who have made significant contributions to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This day is an opportunity to raise awareness of the gender gap in STEM fields and encourage more young women to pursue careers in these areas. Inspiring and empowering women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is critical to fostering a more equitable and innovative society.

Moving forward, the engineering industry must remain committed to closing the gender gap in STEM. This will be a crucial measure of progress and growth for society. Ada Lovelace Day serves as a reminder that women have always been an essential part of the scientific community, and their contributions are just as significant as those of their male counterparts.

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