I was delighted to be asked by Mookychick to talk about sexism in science, Ada Lovelace Day and whether there’s a female Brian Cox out there. Here’s a snippet that’s particularly apposite, but do pop over and read the whole thing:
Ada Lovelace Day has set up a fundraiser this year. Well done on running it so long with volunteers. How will those funds help women in technology?
SCA: My key aim is to create a charitable organisation that can provide support to women in tech all year round, not just on one day. One project we’re working on is to create a database of all the different support groups that exist for women across different sectors, to make it easier for women to find the right kind of group for them. When I started in tech, I felt very isolated, a problem made worse by the fact that I was a freelance so didn’t spend long at any one company, and certainly not long enough to build a social support structure around myself. There are many more groups around now than there used to be, but like us, most of them have almost no budget and they don’t always have the reach they need. We’d like to help bridge that gap.
I’d also like to be able to help women with skills development, particularly around things like media training so that we can get more women experts on the TV and in the newspapers. Whenever there’s a big tech story, the pundits are almost always men, and it’d be great to be able to matchmake knowledgeable women with journalists so that we can even out the ratio a bit.
And finally, there’s a huge need for educational materials around women in technology and science. I’ve had a number of teachers come to me and ask if we have lesson plans that they could use for Ada Lovelace Day, but unfortunately we don’t. It would be great for us to be able to provide teachers at all grades with lesson plans that they can adapt for their classes. We need to inspire a new generation of girls and show them that women can be successful in technology, and this would be one way to could do that.