How to organise an Ada Lovelace Day Live watch party

Ada Lovelace Day is an annual celebration of women in science, technology, engineering and maths which will be held this year on Tuesday 8 October. Our flagship event, Ada Lovelace Day Live, will once again be hosted by The Royal Institution in London, where seven women will talk about their work or research in front of a packed crowd.

If you’re not able to make it to London, you can still take part by watching our livestream. Indeed, why not organise a watch party? Here’s our handy guide to help you get started.

What’s a watch party?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a watch party is “an occasion when people watch a broadcast event together” or “an occasion when people in different places watch a television show, video, etc. at the same time and discuss it using the internet”.

Watch parties are a great way to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day and to feel a connection to everyone else who has gathered, in person at the Ri or at their own events around the world, to enjoy the show.

Prof Pen Holland, who organised a watch party at the University of York described it as “a fantastic opportunity to enjoy and celebrate Ada Lovelace Day live from your home or office, with your people, and a great way to make cool science and brilliant women in STEM accessible to everyone, everywhere, all at once.”

Tia Lush, creative director and trustee at STEM Wana Trust in Tauranga, New Zealand, organised a breakfast event, and said:

“When you live in a tiny country at the bottom of the world, it can be hard to feel connected to all the marvellous events taking place across the world, often in different time zones.

“By bringing a group of women together to mark Ada Lovelace Day and celebrate the amazing achievements of women, while watching the livestream from London, we were able to feel connected to a global movement.

“It was so successful that STEM Wana Trust has added this breakfast watch party to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day, to our annual event calendar and we will be encouraging our friends and partners on this side of the world to do the same.”

Organising an in-person watch party

All you need for an in-person watch party is a room with a screen or projector, an internet-connected computer to access the live stream, speakers for sound, and somewhere for people to sit.

Our performance usually starts at about 19:30 GMT, so how you structure your event will depend on where in the world you are. In Europe, the event will start a bit later, in the Americas it will be mid-morning to mid-afternoon, or breakfast in Hawai’i. In Australia and New Zealand, it will be an early breakfast on the Wednesday.

Key things to consider:

  • How many people can your room hold?

  • Do you want to provide food and/or drinks, or can people bring their own?

  • Do you want to invite a speaker to talk before or after the livestream (which is about 1.5 – 2 hours long)?

  • How will you let your community know about your event?

You could even organise a networking session as well, so that attendees can get to know one another.

Organising an online watch party

In 2023, tech company Docker, Inc organised an online watch party for their entire staff. As a fully distributed company, it wasn’t feasible to organise an in-person party, so they bought and distributed tickets for every employee so that they could watch from home.

Online watch parties are, in many ways, much easier to organise. You just provide your staff or community with tickets and use an online chat space for people to talk as the event unfolds. For some that might be a channel in the work Slack, or it could be a specific WhatsApp group or Facebook chat. Any tool that allows people to talk in real time will work.


Livestream tickets will be available to buy nearer the time and we will be offering discounts for organisers who’d like to buy in bulk and follow Docker’s lead.

For public-facing events where you aren’t sure about how many tickets you will need, you have two choices: Either gather numbers ahead of the event and then buy the appropriate number of tickets from the Ri, or you can ask attendees to buy their own tickets and check them at the door.

If you’re organising a watch party for any educational institution, or work with an underserved community, or live in a low-income country, then just pay what you can – if that’s one ticket per group, that’s fine. Carers can get free tickets by emailing the Ri.

Equally, if you can pay a little bit more, there’s an option to include a donation which will go a long way towards ensuring that we and the Ri can continue to support girls and women in STEM.

Let us know what you’re doing

Every year, people around the world organise lots of different types of events for Ada Lovelace Day. Whatever you put on, don’t forget to let us know by adding it to our map so that we can share your events with our community.

Need more help and advice?

Take a look at our Indie Event Organisers Pack, which includes flyer and poster blanks with our logo on, and our Indie Event roundel that you are free to use.

Save the date

Don’t forget to put Tuesday 8 October (or Wednesday 9 October for those in the Antipodes) in your calendar now, and set a reminder in July to start thinking about your plans. And if you want to be the first to know who’s going to be speaking this year, sign up for our newsletter!

See you in October!

Why we’re offering a discount to sponsors who commit long-term

Long-term sponsorship commitments are a win-win for both sponsors and recipients: Sponsors save money, time and effort whilst enabling crucial long-term financial planning and strategic growth for beneficiary organisations.

At Ada Lovelace Day, we tirelessly champion the achievements of women in STEM while simultaneously striving to find the sponsorship that allows our work to happen, all against a backdrop of a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) defunding crisis in the technology industry and beyond.

According to Tech Talent Charter’s annual report tracking diversity in the UK tech sector, DEI initiatives are increasingly being overlooked in favour of other business goals, while DEI role-holders say that they are finding it increasingly difficult to get their work done.

A recent report published by the grant-making charity ROSA highlighted that only 1.8 per cent of the £4.1 billion worth of grants awarded in 2021 went to the women’s and girls’ sector. Not only that, a third of all grants made for women’s and girls’s activities went to organisations with no such focus.

So, it is perhaps unsurprising that we often face an uphill battle to secure enough funding to sustain our mission. On average, we need to replace over 50 per cent of our sponsors each year. Given our aim is to invest in long-term growth – in our website, staff, strategy, and events like Ada Lovelace Day 2024 – long-term financial commitments that will see us through inevitable financial ‘ups and downs’ are needed more than ever.

That is why Ada Lovelace Day is now offering its sponsors a range of discounts, with up 20 per cent off for commitment of five years or more.

What’s in it for sponsors?

There are multiple potential benefits of long-term funding commitments for sponsors, both existing and new:

  1. You will increase your visibility and recognition: Sustained partnerships allow for greater visibility and recognition within our community and the wider women and girls’ sector.

  2. We will establish a more meaningful collaboration: Long-term relationships enable you to forge a more meaningful connection with us, and allow us to get to know you and your community better and to work more closely towards our shared goals.

  3. You will demonstrate your commitment to diversity and inclusion: Supporting Ada Lovelace Day on a long-term basis will demonstrate an unwavering commitment to advancing equality and empowering women in science and technology.

  4. Your investment will be more predictable: Knowing your support is secured for an extended period (at a reduced rate) allows you to more easily plan your CSR or marketing spend.

  5. You’ll save time and money: No more telephone tag or email ping-pong, and no more long discussions with your team to decide whether or not to go ahead with sponsorship this year. Instead, you can proceed knowing that our relationship is secure.

How do long-term commitments benefit Ada Lovelace Day?

Long-term financial support is revolutionary for small organisations like Ada Lovelace Day, not unlike the women we support.

  1. We can more easily plan for the long-term: By creating income predictability, long-term funding paves the way for strategic financial planning and business growth, enabling us to amplify our impact year-on-year.

  2. We can build strong relationships with subcontractors: Like many small organisations, we primarily work with freelancers and other small businesses, who also have unpredictable incomes. It is far easier to develop meaningful relationships with these individuals when the budget it set for the coming years and we can commit to working together in the long term.

  3. We can invest in strengthening our foundations: Income predictability allows us to commit to long-term projects, such as reworking our rather tired website, or developing new community building initiatives.

  4. We can save time and money, and can focus on what really matters: Sponsor acquisition is very time-consuming, so the more time we save looking for funders, the more time we can spend on what’s really important: supporting women in STEM.

If you’re interested in becoming a long-term sponsor of Ada Lovelace Day please download our prospectus via the form on our website or email me!

Everything you need to know about Ada Lovelace Day

Rosie Curran Crawley at Ada Lovelace Day Live 2024. Photo: Paul Clarke.

Someone’s suggested that your company should sponsor Ada Lovelace Day, perhaps as part of your CSR or marketing work, and you’d like a quick and easy primer on what we do and who we help. Congratulations! You’re in the right place!

What is Ada Lovelace Day?

Held on the second Tuesday of October every year, Ada Lovelace Day is an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). On the day, we focus on two activities:

Ada Lovelace Day Live

Our flagship event showcases the work, research and talent of a variety of women from across the STEM landscape. Our specially selected speakers talk for about ten minutes about their specialty, sometimes with a comedic or musical contribution from a performer who straddles STEM and the arts.

Past speakers have included such luminaries as Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnel, Dame Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Maggie Philbin, Chi Onwurah MP, Prof Sophie Scott and Dr Hannah Fry.

The Ada Lovelace Day Online Blog Marathon

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have published one blog post per hour in our 50-hour long online celebration. We’ve posted short biographies of modern and historic women which outline their achievements, as well as drawing attention to books and podcasts by, for or about women in STEM. You can read through our archives for 2023, 2022, 2021 and 2020 on our blog.

Who else celebrates?

Since 2011, people from around the world have organised their own grassroots events to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day. We have had over 1,000 events held in 239 towns and cities, across 41 different countries.

Events are organised by all sorts of organisations, from businesses to universities, museums, schools, learned societies, professional organisations and women’s groups. And we’ve had lots of different types of events, from Wikipedia Edit-a-Thons to cream teas in the village hall, from fun hands-on educational events for children to panel discussions and talks for adults, and everything in between.

What are Ada Lovelace Day’s goals?

Ada Lovelace Day’s goals are:

  • To raise the profile of women in STEM
  • To inspire girls and young women to study and pursue a career in STEM
  • To encourage women, especially in the middle of their career, to stay in STEM
  • To provide women in STEM with a platform to share their knowledge and expertise
  • To position women as figures of authority in STEM, not just for girls and other women, but also for boys and men

We do this through our events, our content, and our conversations on social media.

What else has Ada Lovelace Day done?

Over the years, we’ve done lots of things to support women and girls in STEM, including publishing a podcast, two books, an education pack and free downloadable posters for schools. We ran a very successful mentoring program for three years, ran two online conferences through the pandemic, and published three free crochet patterns.

We’ve organised events for International Women’s Day, and our founder, Suw Charman-Anderson, has spoken at countless events and been interviewed on TV and radio.

We’re never short of ideas for how we can entertain and inspire girls and women to consider a STEM career!

What impact has Ada Lovelace Day had?

Since it launched in 2009, Ada Lovelace Day has achieved a huge amount on a tiny budget. We’ve been featured on the BBC including TV, radio and the website, as well as The Guardian, New Scientist, The New York Times and many more, with an estimated combined audience of more than 350 million viewers, listeners and readers. Our website has had 1.8 million visits and our YouTube channel over 2 million impressions.

But the most important impact has been on the women we’ve brought onto our stage and the girls and young women that our work has inspired. We have had speakers whose participation in Ada Lovelace Day Live has resulted in book deals, invitations to prestigious conferences, and higher public profiles.

We also know that some of the girls and young women in our audience have been encouraged to study STEM and have found new role models to inspire them.

How can I get involved?

Ada Lovelace Day is predominantly funded by corporate sponsorships so the most important thing you can do is download our prospectus (just fill in the form below) and discuss our opportunities with your colleagues. If you’re not sure whether sponsorship is right for you, take a look at our checklist!

If you’d like to engage your staff or community with Ada Lovelace Day, why not organise a livestream watch party for our flagship event on the evening of Tuesday 8 October 2024? We will be providing a generous discount for bulk ticket purchases, and it’s a great way to get involved!


Why we’re increasing our sponsorship prices


It’s never easy to put up prices, but after keeping the cost of sponsorship stable for most of the last fifteen years, the time has come for me to bite the bullet. Our sponsorship tiers will now begin at £10,000 per year.

Like many small businesses, I have been significantly affected by the ongoing economic crises caused by the pandemic, the invasion of Ukraine, and Brexit. Over the last few years, everyone’s costs have gone up, including ours. Many companies are looking to cut budgets, and particularly the kind of discretionary spending that turns into sponsorships. Indeed, my contacts in the third sector have all told me that fundraising has become incredibly challenging. So it’s not a great environment to put prices up.

Yet if Ada Lovelace Day is to continue and flourish, then I need to put prices up not just so that I can cover my (rising) costs, but also so that I can grow the business. My goal for 2024 is to have enough multi-year sponsorship agreements in place that I can hire that all important second employee to help me run the event and expand our activities.

As part of these changes, I’m offering much more of my time and expertise to our sponsors. Over the last 15 years, I’ve built up a lot of experience and knowledge of gender equity, including a deep understanding of the business policies that attract women, equitable recruitment processes, and how to mentor, retain and promote women. Sharing that knowledge with my sponsors is right at the top of my agenda.

ALD is a small and nimble organisation, with one full time employee – me! – and two freelances that I can call on when I have enough budget. I have a great venue partner in the Royal Institution and some wonderful pro bono partners in Synergy and, last year, Stylist. Despite ALD’s diminutive size, it regularly punches above its weight. I mean, how many one-person businesses do you know that have created a day that’s celebrated globally? I often can’t believe that this is a thing I did!

Ada Lovelace Day is unique in the calendar. We remain not just the first but the only day devoted to women in science, technology, engineering and maths around the world. Ada Lovelace Day has been celebrated by global brands worth hundreds of billions of pounds. And the value we bring to women around the world and to the sponsors that support us is incalculable. So please consider becoming a sponsor and making sure that Ada Lovelace Day continues to thrive!


Why we pay our speakers and why we want to pay them more

Prof Jennifer Rohn at Ada Lovelace Day Live 2024. Photo: Paul Clarke.


I came up with the idea for Ada Lovelace Day because I was frustrated at how few women were invited to take the stage at tech conferences. On one memorable occasion, not only was I the only woman on stage, I was the only woman in a room of about 100 people. Several of us raised this paucity of women as an issue with organisers, but all we got were excuses about how there ‘weren’t enough women in tech’ or ‘they all said no’.

So I thought that if I could persuade enough people to write blog posts about the work of women in tech, conference organisers wouldn’t be able to say that they couldn’t find any women to speak at their events. We’d be able to point at an archive of blog posts highlighting the work of some of the most amazing women in the industry and organisers could take their pick.

Ada Lovelace Day immediately expanded to cover women in science, engineering and maths, with that first day on 24 March 2009 seeing blog posts sharing the achievements of a wide array of historic and modern women. And a wider movement to encourage organisers to ensure gender balance at their events has improved the stats somewhat.

But one large problem still exists: Pay.

We still have a large gender pay gap in the UK, with the ONS reporting that the “median hourly pay for full-time employees was 7.7% less for women than for men in April 2023”. Women also do the majority of unpaid domestic and caring work. And in many larger companies where there are diversity programs and ‘employee resource groups’ (ERGs), women are often tasked with championing their own equality on top of their day jobs for no additional pay. Furthermore, most gender equality groups are run by women, either on a volunteer basis in addition to their jobs or on low pay.

When it comes to events, it’s widespread practice not to pay speakers at all. That’s not so much of a problem if it’s a part of your speaker’s job to prepare and give talks, and if their time and expenses are covered by their employer. But for many women in STEM, who perhaps work part-time or whose jobs don’t explicitly cover the time and expense of preparing a talk or speaking at an event, agreeing to speak at Ada Lovelace Day creates an additional burden.

‘Exposure’ doesn’t put food on the table. And it’s my belief that you can’t be an advocate for gender equality if you ask women to work for free. So I don’t.

Even though Ada Lovelace Day has a tiny budget as events go, we still offer our speakers and helpers an honorarium and to cover expenses, and have done ever since we first raised enough sponsorship to do so in around 2012. Despite running Ada Lovelace Day on a shoestring, I have always made sure that I set aside enough budget to cover speaker costs.

Not all of our speakers and helpers will accept – for some, it would create a conflict of interest, others prefer to leave the money with us as a form of donation. But we offer it to everyone and we make sure we pay in a timely fashion.

At the moment, our honorarium is £100, which is a nice token of appreciation, but it’s not the market rate for a professional talk – it doesn’t reflect the time and effort that goes into writing, rehearsing and giving a talk. A lot of our speakers are self-employed, so time that they spend working on a talk for us is time they aren’t spending on other work, something that I understand only too well as a self-employed person.

In order to increase our honorarium, though, we need more sponsors. Can you help us to pay market rate, so that we can ensure that women are properly paid for their time, effort and expertise?