How to get the most out of your sponsorship


Ada Lovelace Day has built up a huge amount of goodwill around the world over the 15 years since I founded it, yet very few of our sponsors take the time to tap into that. And they’re missing out. Actively engaging your staff and community in Ada Lovelace Day is both easy and rewarding, and doing so helps you to demonstrate your commitment to gender equity. Telling people you care about them is never as powerful as showing through your actions.

So what can you do to make sure that you get the very best out of your time as an Ada Lovelace Day sponsor?

Engage your internal community

Talking about Ada Lovelace Day to your staff is a great way to foster engagement with both the day itself and your sponsorship of it. If you have a women’s network or employee resource group (ERG), then make sure that they know about us as an organisation and that they are kept up to date with our Ada Lovelace Day Live event at the Royal Institution on Tuesday 8 October.

Encourage your staff to follow us via social media and subscribe to our newsletter, and share our own news, such as new speaker announcements or new grassroots events being held around the world. People like to feel that they are part of a bigger movement and Ada Lovelace Day truly is a global movement with events held every year on all inhabited continents, so talking about what’s happening is a great way to help your staff feel connected.

Engage your external community

When you become an Ada Lovelace Day sponsor, you have a chance to share news about our event with your customers and communities. It’s not just an opportunity for you to demonstrate your commitment to gender equity, it also helps us to reach new audiences. It’s a genuine win-win.

Whether you’re using social media, your community newsletter or talking about Ada Lovelace Day with clients and customers, you can use Ada Lovelace Day as a jumping off point for a broader discussion about the need to support women in STEM and what  your company is doing to move further towards gender balance in the workplace. And you can do this throughout the run up, as well as after the day, not just on the day itself.

You can also encourage your community to attend Ada Lovelace Day themselves, or organise their own grassroots event or livestream watch party. Our aim is to get as many people as possible to take part in Ada Lovelace Day, and that’s a goal we hope our sponsors share.

It’s also important for you to talk to other business leaders in your network about the day and your sponsorship of it. This doesn’t just establish you as a flagbearer for gender equity, it also signals to other companies how they can get involved and what they can get out of taking part.

Use your perks

We also provide all our sponsors with perks such as free tickets to Ada Lovelace Day Live, in-person or online, as well as discount codes and opportunities for me to come and speak to your staff about Ada Lovelace, or a variety of other topics. A surprising number of sponsors don’t use these perks, so rather than see them go to waste, spend a little time planning how you’re going to use them:

  • Free in-person tickets: You can give these to anyone, so you could hand them out to staff, or run a ticket giveaway for your community.
  • Discount codes: All sponsors are given a discount code for in-person tickets to Ada Lovelace Day Live. You can share these internally with staff, or via any private mailing lists or fora you are a part of. Please don’t share them publicly.
  • Free livestreaming tickets: You can use these for your own staff to watch the event remotely, or you can use them to organise an in-person watch-party for your staff or community.

This  year, I am offering all sponsors a one hour presentation that explores Ada Lovelace’s story and how she came to become a computing pioneer, as well as a look at the work we’ve done with Ada Lovelace Day over the years. I’m also offering to organise a webinar – either public or private to your own staff only – with a female leader from your organisation, talking about gender equality, women in STEM or any other relevant topic.

Ada Lovelace Day isn’t just a great event or a global celebration of women in STEM, it’s also a fantastic way for you to engage more fully with your staff and your community around the topic of gender equality. With a little thinking ahead, it can be incorporated into your comms and event planning for the year so that you can truly get the most from your sponsorship investment.


How do you know if you’re ready to sponsor Ada Lovelace Day? 


We have had some amazing sponsors over the years, but we’ve also learnt a lot about when a company is ready to become a sponsor. So here are a few of the things that you should have in place before you get in touch. If you can say yes to the majority of these points, then the process of committing to sponsorship will run more smoothly, and you’ll be able to tick ‘Sponsor Ada Lovelace Day’ off your To Do List that much more quickly.

1. You know how big your budget is

We have a number of different sponsorship packages designed to suit a variety of budgets, but it really helps if you know how much money you have to spend before you get in touch. That means that I can guide you to the right package with the right add-ons immediately, and we can then discuss the more important topic of how you can get the most out of your sponsorship.

2. Your budget is already signed off

We’ve made our sponsorship prospectus, including our pricing information, available for anyone to download. Just enter your email address below and you’ll get the download link by return. This means that you can discuss your options with your colleagues and get sign off – or as close as possible to it – before we have a call. Again, the benefits of this is that it makes the process much faster if you’ve already got budgetary approval.

3. Your decision maker is up-to-speed and engaged

We know that a lot of the people who come to us aren’t the final decision makers, so we understand that you might need to download our prospectus and then have some discussions internally before you can get in touch with me. We have a lot of information on our website and social media that you can show any decision makers so that they can see the kind of event they are supporting and the work that we do alongside Ada Lovelace Day Live.

Here are a selection of links you might like to share with them:

  • Our YouTube channel has videos of all our previous Ada Lovelace Day Live events up to 2019 (2023 is coming soon!) and the events we ran online during the pandemic from 2020–2022.
  • Our most recent newsletters and weekly emails are available to browse here.
  • We have Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Bluesky accounts you can look through.
  • You can take a look at our Ada Lovelace Day content marathons from 2023, 2022, 2021 and 2020 on our website, along with a whole host of other information.
  • And you can learn a little about me, Suw Charman-Anderson, and our Advisory Council, the people who help to steer Ada Lovelace Day and our activities, on our website as well.
  • If you have any specific questions that aren’t answered on our website, please do not hesitate to email me.

4. You have all your own paperwork to hand

Some sponsors require us to sign agreements on how we can use their logo, name, URL or other assets, and/or to sign a contract. That’s absolutely fine. We understand that some companies need these agreements in place to protect their intellectual property and investment. Just send over the paperwork as soon as we’ve agreed your sponsorship package and I’ll get it sorted out.

You will also need to have a high quality version of your logo ready, along with a two paragraph description of your company and your preferred website and social media URLs, so that we can get you up on our sponsor page immediately. If you have an embargo on the announcement that you’re a sponsor, just tell us up front and we’ll make sure we don’t break it!

5. You have your invoicing process details ready

As a very small business, our invoicing terms are 30 days, and we appreciate sponsors who can stick to this. We also understand that you may need us to complete a new supplier form and to then raise a purchase order in order for us to begin the invoicing process. Please ensure that you know your company’s invoicing process and can give us the information we need to smooth the invoicing process. If your company pays on 60 or 90 days, please let us know and ask your finance team if they can expedite payment.

Finally, if you’re a start-up that’s still seeking funding, a small business without enough budget for one of our sponsorship packages, a large business without an engaged decision maker or you’re just not quite ready to sponsor us, then why not support Ada Lovelace Day by organising a watch-party for our event in October? Livestream tickets will be available to buy in bulk in due course, and giving all your employees a ticket is a marvellous way to take part!

You can also talk about Ada Lovelace Day to your staff, encourage them to sign up to our newsletter or follow us on social media, and talk about our work and share our blog posts and other activities with your own community. In an age where it’s getting harder and harder for us to reach new audiences, sharing our work is more important than ever. So whatever your budget, please get involved!


ALD23: The Sloth Lemur’s Song: Madagascar from the Deep Past to the Uncertain Present, Alison Richard

The Sloth Lemur’s Song: Madagascar from the Deep Past to the Uncertain Present, Alison Richard

A moving account of Madagascar told by a researcher who has spent over fifty years investigating the mysteries of this remarkable island.

Madagascar is a place of change. A biodiversity hotspot and the fourth largest island on the planet, it has been home to a spectacular parade of animals, from giant flightless birds and giant tortoises on the ground to agile lemurs leaping through the treetops. Some species live on; many have vanished in the distant or recent past. Over vast stretches of time, Madagascar’s forests have expanded and contracted in response to shifting climates, and the hand of people is clear in changes during the last thousand years or so. Today, Madagascar is a microcosm of global trends. What happens there in the decades ahead can, perhaps, suggest ways to help turn the tide on the environmental crisis now sweeping the world.

The Sloth Lemur’s Song is a far-reaching account of Madagascar’s past and present, led by an expert guide who has immersed herself in research and conservation activities with village communities on the island for nearly fifty years. Alison Richard accompanies the reader on a journey through space and time—from Madagascar’s ancient origins as a landlocked region of Gondwana and its emergence as an island to the modern-day developments that make the survival of its array of plants and animals increasingly uncertain. Weaving together scientific evidence with Richard’s own experiences and exploring the power of stories to shape our understanding of events, this book captures the magic as well as the tensions that swirl around this island nation.

About the author

Professor Dame Alison Richard received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology at Cambridge University, and her doctorate from London University. In 1972, she joined the faculty of Yale University, where she became professor of anthropology in 1986, chairing the Department of Anthropology from 1986 to 1990, and later serving as director of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, where she oversaw one of the most important university natural history collections in the USA. From 1994-2002, she served as Provost of Yale, with operational responsibility for the University’s financial and academic programs and planning. In 1998 she was named the Franklin Muzzy Crosby Professor of the Human Environment.

From 2003-2010, Professor Richard was Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, a position carrying the responsibilities of university president. During her tenure, she led several major changes in university policy, reorganised management of the University’s endowment, expanded Cambridge’s global partnerships, and launched and completed a billion pound fund-raising campaign. Her achievements received recognition in 2010, when she was awarded a DBE (Dame Commander of the British Empire) for her services to Higher Education.

As a researcher, Professor Richard is widely known for her work and writings on the evolution of complex social systems among primates. This work has taken her to Central America, Northern Pakistan and, in particular, to the forests of Madagascar. Professor Richard has been working in Madagascar since 1970, when she spent 18 months studying the socioecology of sifaka, Propithecus verreauxi, for her PhD. Since 1984, in collaboration with colleagues in Madagascar and the US, her research has focused on the demography and social behavior of the sifaka population at Bezà Mahafaly, Madagascar. In 1975, with colleagues from the University of Antananarivo and Washington University, she launched the Bezà Mahafaly partnership for conservation, research and training, and she has been deeply involved in that activity ever since.

Professor Richard is a trustee of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Liz Claiborne & Art Ortenberg Foundation. She chairs the Advisory Board of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative and the Leadership Council of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, and serves on the Advisory Board of Arcadia. She has received numerous honorary doctorates, and in 2005 she was appointed Officier de l’Ordre National in Madagascar.

With thanks to Synergy for their support.

ALD23: Professor Hao Yichun, Palaeontologist

Professor Hao Yichun

Hao Yichun, 郝诒纯, was a Chinese geologist who played a central role in establishing palaeontology as a discipline in her home country. The co-author of China’s first palaeontology textbooks, she was recognised for pioneering the fields of stratigraphy, micropaleontology and paleoceanography. Her research helped illuminate China’s geological history, including the secrets of ancient marine organisms, and supported the exploration of energy resources.

Hao was born in 1920 in Hubei, central China. She studied geology at National Southwest Association University before completing a postgraduate degree in stratigraphic palaeontology (which combines the study of fossils with that of rock layers) at Tsinghua University, Beijing.

In 1946, Hao was hired by Peking University (now Beijing University) to lecture in geology, optical mineralogy and engineering geology. She transferred to the Beijing Institute of Geology in 1952, where she rose to the rank of associate professor and co-founded the major in stratigraphic palaeontology.

Hao was a prolific publisher of scientific research, and in 1956 co-authored Paleontology, China’s first ever academic textbook on the subject. Over her career, she embarked on numerous gruelling geological surveys in far-flung parts of China, mapping out ancient rock layers in the northeast and southwest of the country. Her stratigraphic research spanned the Mesozoic (including Jurassic-Cretaceous) and Cenozoic periods. She is especially recognised for furthering paleontological understandings of foraminifera, single-celled, shelled organisms mostly found in seawater.

Involved with the Chinese Communist Party since childhood, Hao was interested in how her research could enhance national energy infrastructure. She established courses on petroleum geology at the Institute of Geology and spearheaded the production of geological maps that supported the development of coal fields in China.

Her work also took her on research trips to countries that had friendly relationships with China, such as Cuba and the USSR. She was a visiting scholar at Moscow University from 1957 to 1959, a period during which she travelled to the Caucasus and Crimea to continue her studies of foraminifera, ostracods and their biostratigraphy.

Later in her career, Hao was made a professor at the China University of Geosciences, Beijing, and served as chairwoman of China’s Palaeontological and Micropalaeontological Societies. In 1980, she became an academician in the Academic Division of Earth Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Hao died on 13 June 2001, aged 80 or 81. The same year, a genus of pterodactyloid pterosaur discovered in Liaoning, China – the haopterus – was named in her honour. Another pterosaur found in Mongolia, Otogopterus haoae, has since been named in recognition of Hao’s “outstanding contributions on the Mesozoic palaeontology and stratigraphy in China”.

Further Reading

Written by Moya Crockett, with thanks to Stylist for their support.

ALD23: Dr Valeria de Paiva, Mathematician and Computer Scientist

Dr Valeria de Paiva

Dr Valeria Correa Vaz de Paiva is a Brazilian mathematician, logician, computer scientist and computational linguist who introduced the concept of dialectica spaces, a way of modelling the linear logic that is used in advanced programming languages. She has spent many years working in industry at major natural language processing (NLP) labs, ensuring that “language technologies are taken seriously by the AI scientists and engineers and conversely that the engineer’s concerns are heard by the linguists.”

De Paiva grew up in Rio de Janeiro and initially started university studying both journalism and law. After moving on to physics, she eventually realised that what she “liked in physics was the mathematics underlying it”.

She earnt her PhD in mathematics from the University of Cambridge in 1988. Her thesis defined the concept of dialectica spaces, a new way of constructing models of linear logic, a logical form that has been influential in fields including linguistics, programming languages and quantum physics.

Since 2020, De Paiva has been the principal research scientist at the Topos Institute in Berkeley, California, a mathematical and computer science research lab that aims to “advance the sciences of connection and integration by looking at the mathematical frameworks of computation”. She is also a council member of the the Division of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science And Technology with the title Ambassador of Logic, and a lecturer in introductory logic and specifications at Santa Clara University.

Previously, De Paiva worked at top industry NLP labs in the US, including at Samsung Research America, Nuance, Deem, Cuil and Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). She was also a professor of theoretical computer science at the University of Birmingham in the UK and lectured at Stanford University.

De Paiva’s mathematics research involves work on logical approaches to computation, especially applying category theory (the study of mathematical structure and abstraction) to the logics of language. Among many other strands of logic, she has also worked on knowledge representation – how knowledge can be expressed in a computer-readable manner – and natural language semantics, or the study of grammatical meaning in human language. Her goal is to “build logics that reflect the way language is used”.

Encouraging more women into STEM fields, particularly logic, is a key priority for de Paiva. She plays a key role in Women In Logic (WIL), an organisation working to help foster gender parity in the heavily male-dominated field. De Paiva organised the first WIL workshop in Iceland in 2017 and maintains the organisation’s online presence. She also supports the ACM-W Scholarship programme, which enables women undergraduate and graduate students in computer science and related fields to attend research conferences. Her blog, Logic ForAll, aims to make the subject more accessible.

Her goal, she has said, is to build logics that reflect the way language is used and dealt with, “and whose proofs provide traces that make it understandable by people”.

Twitter: @valeriadepaiva

Further Reading

Written by Moya Crockett, with thanks to Stylist for their support.