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Celebrating Ada Lovelace Day: Women in Tech Share Their Views on Diversity

Ada Lovelace Day is an annual event that celebrates the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It is held on the second Tuesday of October every year, and this year it falls on October 10, 2023. The event is named after Ada Lovelace, who is widely regarded as the first computer programmer for her work on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine in the 19th century.

The Challenges of Gender Diversity in Tech

Despite Ada Lovelace’s legacy, women are still underrepresented in the tech industry. According to a report by FE News, women make up only 28% of the global STEM workforce, and only 17% in the EU. This imbalance has negative consequences for the industry, as it limits the pool of talent, hampers innovation and exacerbates the skills gap.

Some of the factors that contribute to this gender gap include stereotypes, biases, lack of role models, lack of mentorship, lack of education and lack of opportunities. Many women face barriers and challenges throughout their education and career paths in STEM fields, such as discrimination, harassment, isolation and imposter syndrome.

Celebrating Ada Lovelace Day: Women in Tech Share Their Views on Diversity

The Benefits of Gender Diversity in Tech

Gender diversity in tech is not only a matter of fairness and equality, but also a matter of business and social impact. Research has shown that diverse teams perform better, produce more creative solutions, and generate more revenue than homogeneous teams. Moreover, having more women in tech can help address some of the global challenges and needs that affect women and girls, such as health care, education, security and sustainability.

As Mary-Christine Nolan, VP of Global Professional Services at Pluralsight, said: “A lack of diversity is hampering the technology sector and compounding the skills gap. Women still make up just 28% of the workforce, and at the same time, almost all employers in the UK have experienced skills shortages in the last 12 months. High levels of competition, combined with a small pool of talent – especially women – will continue to stifle growth and innovation if we do not see change.”

The Solutions for Gender Diversity in Tech

To close the gender gap in tech, there is a need for collective action from various stakeholders, such as educators, employers, policymakers, media and society at large. Some of the possible solutions include:

  • Raising awareness and visibility of women’s contributions and achievements in STEM fields
  • Providing more education and exposure to STEM subjects and careers for girls and young women
  • Creating more inclusive and supportive cultures and environments in STEM workplaces
  • Offering more mentorship and sponsorship programs for women in STEM
  • Promoting more flexible and family-friendly policies and practices in STEM sectors
  • Encouraging more collaboration and networking among women in STEM communities

To mark Ada Lovelace Day this year, FE News interviewed six influential women in tech who shared their views on diversity in the industry, their personal experiences and their advice for aspiring women in STEM. You can read their full stories here.

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