Support your female staff with our mentoring network

Women are the powerhouse of the economy.

Companies with more women in senior roles are measurably more profitable and more innovative than male-dominated businesses. Women-led businesses outperform, by up to three times, those companies led by men. They are more productive, make better decisions, and have more engaged, happier employees who stay in their jobs for longer.

Women are not just the powerhouse of the STEM economy, they create healthier, fairer and more successful companies.

Leaving in droves

Despite their superior performance, women are leaving STEM in droves. Over half of women in science, engineering and technology careers will leave their industry in mid-career, despite loving their jobs. Why? Because they can’t see a future.

Companies that don’t hire and promote sufficient female talent are not just leaving money on the table, they’re spending unnecessarily: Replacing a single employee costs £30,000, mostly money lost on getting the new recruit up to speed.

The female advantage

Companies that take equality seriously, that nurture and promote female talent, will be most successful in the 2020s and beyond. They will have a gender-balanced workforce, better gender pay gap data, higher profits, better products, and lower staff churn and lower recruitment costs. They will also have a happier workforce that is more productive and innovative. And in a world where publicly traded companies last only ten years on average, you need every bit of advantage you can get.

The Finding Ada Network

The Finding Ada Network, a new mentoring and knowledge sharing network for women in STEM, provides a best-in-class mentoring platform and supports women with exclusive content and private member’s forum.

Members benefit from a structured mentoring plan, with regular check-ins to keep them on track. They will also enjoy a mobile app, profiles, automatic matching, meeting scheduling, goal setting, task lists and more.

And exclusive content covering careers advice, personal growth, and professional development ensures that women have access to the information they need to improve their leadership and soft skills.

Make mentorship work for your business

Decades of evidence shows that mentoring is effective at increasing staff promotion and retention rates, as well as increasing job satisfaction and productivity. Both mentors and mentees are more likely to be promoted and to stay in their jobs. Indeed, mentorship provides a 5x higher rate of promotion for mentees, a 6x higher rate of promotion for mentors, and a 30% improvement in staff retention.

And with the Finding Ada Network, we can rapidly onboard groups large or small, getting your staff invited and on board in a matter of minutes. This means that if you want to dip your toe into mentoring, we can spin up a pilot and get you going fast! If you’re already convinced that mentoring is the way to go, then our program gives you more than any other mentorship network.

So if your business is based in the United Kingdom or New Zealand, and you want to provide mentoring for the women on your staff, get in touch with me here on LinkedIn or by email at suw@findingada.com.

If you’re a woman in STEM, or a small business who’d like to bring up to five women on to the network, you can sign up right now.

Win a copy of Ada Lovelace Cracks the Code!

Ada Lovelace Cracks The Code book cover

Our lovely friends at Rebel Girls have just released their Chapter Book series, which includes the fictionalised biography Ada Lovelace Cracks the Code! The book is beautifully illustrated by Marina Munn, is suitable for children ages 6+, and would make a wonderful Christmas gift! And we have five copies to give away.

For the chance to win, simply email us at admin@findingada.com, using the subject line “Ada Lovelace Cracks the Code”, with your answer to the following question:

For which machine did Lovelace write her Bernoulli Program?

The deadline for the competition is midnight on Wednesday 18 December 2019, so get your answers in quickly!

More from Rebel Girls:

Growing up in nineteenth century London, England, Ada is curious about absolutely everything. She is obsessed with machines and with creatures that fly. She even designs her own flying laboratory!

According to her mother, Ada is a bit too wild, so she encourages Ada to study math. At first Ada thinks: Bleh! Who can get excited about a subject without pictures? But she soon falls in love with it. One day she encounters a mysterious machine, and from that moment forward Ada imagines a future full of possibility—one that will eventually inspire the digital age nearly two hundred years later.

Ada Lovelace Cracks the Code is the story of a pioneer in the computer sciences, and a testament to women’s invaluable contributions to STEM throughout history.

Includes additional text on Ada Lovelace’s lasting legacy, as well as educational activities designed to teach simple coding and mathematical concepts.

Introducing the new Finding Ada Network

MentoringLess than a quarter of women in STEM have ever had a mentor, according to a small Twitter survey that we ran in January, yet mentoring is one of the most effective ways for women to develop their career.

That’s why we’ve launched the Finding Ada Network, a new online peer mentoring and knowledge sharing network for women in STEM and advocates who work towards gender equality. Our aim is to provide affordable long-term peer mentorship opportunities, along with actionable advice on careers, skills, advocacy and more, to women whether they work in industry or academia, or aren’t currently working at all.

According to mentorship platform Chronus (about whom you’ll hear more later), mentoring has benefits for both mentors and mentees, with mentors experiencing a six times higher promotion rate and mentees seeing a five time higher promotion rate. Mentees also benefit from the opportunity to improve their personal and professional skills, including improved confidence, communications skills, ability to process feedback and better problem solving. Mentors develop their leadership skills, develop new professional relationships, gain new insights into their industry/field, and experience increased job satisfaction.

So why aren’t more women benefitting from mentoring? In large part, access to mentoring depends a lot on who you work for. Larger companies are increasingly seeing the benefit of workplace mentoring, but for many small businesses it’s both unaffordable to buy in a world class mentoring platform and difficult to provide enough mentors. Indeed, it can be challenging for mentees if your mentor is too close to you in the org chart, stifling the honesty that’s essential for a mentoring relationship to flourish.

With the Finding Ada Network, your mentor could be anyone! It might be someone within the same industry but working for a different company, or someone going through the same career stage or facing the same challenge, or someone with a completely different perspective. Or all three – you’ll be able to have as many mentors as you need, with relationships lasting as long as required.

Phase 1 launching now

The first phase of the Finding Ada Network has already launched to women and advocates in STEM in the UK. Subscribers have access to exclusive content covering careers, personal and professional development, mentoring best practice, advocacy and HR policy, navigating academia and more. And they can also access a private area of our community forum where they can discuss the challenges they face and ask advice from other members in an informal group mentoring context.

Women in STEM and advocates for gender equality in STEM, whether male or female, can enjoy a 40% discount through until the end of July, bringing the cost down to £5.40 a month, or about the same price as a glass of wine or a pint if you’re down the pub, and almost certainly cheaper than the taxi home afterwards!

Ambitious plans

We have ambitious plans for the Finding Ada Network! We are working with Chronus to bring you their best-in-class peer mentorship platform, providing one-to-one mentoring complete with goal setting, scheduling, file sharing and more. Chronus is used by global companies such as Amazon, EY and more, but for most small businesses and certainly for individuals, it’s out of reach.

Once we have a robust community, we’ll be partnering with Chronus to expand our offering so that we cover all four types of mentoring:

  • Traditional: 1-1 mentoring with a (sometimes only slightly) more senior advisor
  • Reverse: 1-1 mentoring for senior staff with a younger advisor, useful for bridging generational gaps
  • Process: Focused on supporting a mentee through a specific process, eg asking for promotion or organising a conference
  • Group: Asking for advice on an ad hoc basis from the wider community

We also plan to expand to the EU, North America and eventually the rest of the world. If you’d like to know when we do, please join our waiting list and we’ll email you as soon as we arrive in your country.

Supporting advocates

There are many mentoring schemes available for women in STEM, but the Finding Ada Network is different, and not least because we are the only mentorship network that recognises the importance of advocates to the mission of realising equality for women in STEM. According to our research, nearly half (48 percent) of women working in STEM also have a secondary role as advocates for gender equality, with only 11 percent of our survey respondents working solely as advocates (and 57 percent of those are men).

The advocates we spoke to in our research told us that they had ended up in their role because they believed it was important work, but that they’d had no formal training and received less support than they would like. We want to change that, and make sure that advocates get easy access to the information they need to do their job, and that they too can benefit from the wisdom of the Finding Ada Network crowd, as well as sharing their own experience and knowledge.

In it for the long haul

Mentorship works best when the relationship between mentor and mentee is given time to grow, to flourish and to deepen. But few people spend their working lives progressing up the ladder within a single company anymore, and increasingly we must turn to portfolio careers, learning to pivot and adapt as circumstances change. Traditional employer-based mentorship schemes fail participants when they change jobs or temporarily leave the workforce for whatever reason and lose access to their mentor.

The Finding Ada Network will create a stable environment for mentorship, so you can take your mentors with you even if you change jobs, or take a sabbatical or career break. Equally, your expertise continues to be valuable to others regardless of where you work or, indeed, if you work. We recognise that life is changeable, so by focusing on online mentoring that’s independent of your workplace, we will create an environment that fosters long-term mentoring relationships, supporting women wherever they are and whatever they are doing.

Support Ada Lovelace Day whilst supercharging your career

One last unique aspect to the Finding Ada Network is that by subscribing, you’re also helping us to inspire the next generation of girls in STEM and promote and support women currently working in or studying STEM via the wide portfolio of work we do year round. Ada Lovelace Day isn’t just a day, it’s a mission, and you can be a part of that mission by becoming a part of the Finding Ada Network.

So subscribe today, and become part of the genesis of something amazing!

Inspiring Science and Innovating Science Award longlists

An amazing selection of women has been announced for the longlist of the women in science research and advocacy awards, run by Nature and Estée Lauder.

The Inspiring Science Award recognises early career female researchers who are doing outstanding work, and our founder, Suw, was one of the judges. On the longlist are:

  • Dr Cara Battersby, who studies how stars are born in our galaxy’s centre at the University of Connecticut, USA
  • Dr Ilano Brito, who is pioneering systems-level methods to analyse the human microbiome at Cornell University, USA
  • Dr María Natalia Lisa, who is investigating signalling pathways employed by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis at the Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina,
  • Dr Shruti Naik, who studies how environmental stimuli collaborate with genetic factors to control immunity in the skin at New York University, USA
  • Dr Mirjana Pović, who studies galaxy formation and evolution, focused on nuclear activity in galaxies at the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute, Ethiopia, and Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC), Spain
  • Ritu Raman, who is designing synthetic materials that adapt to their environment in the same way as biological materials at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • Rebecca Calisi Rodríguez, who studies how hormones in the brain and body work to make animals, including humans, reproduce at the University of California, Davis, USA
  • Dr Corinna Stefanie Schindler, who studies physical organic chemistry at the University of Michigan, USA
  • Dr Kelsey A Stoerzinger, who studies reactions that convert solar energy into fuels at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Washington State, USA
  • Dr Dawn Tan, who studies the dynamics of light-matter interactions at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore

The Innovating Science award honours those involved with encouraging girls and women into science. The women and organisations listed for this award are:

  • Dr Marja Seidel for Cielo y Tierra, empowering girls through science inquiry activities, focusing on rural areas, global
  • Morgan DiCarlo for Civil Engineering Outreach, an outreach program to recruit high school women into engineering, USA
  • Madison Smither for From Student to Scientist and the Emmy Noether Award and Scholars Program, providing science opportunities to students outside of the classroom, and a $75,000 fellowship for a young female scientist to conduct graduate-level research and a mentorship program giving girls the ability to conduct laboratory research, USA
  • Anvita Gupta for LITAS for Girls, helping girls in computer sciences and STEM, USA
  • Dr Aliyah Weinstein for Letters to a Pre-Scientist, demystifying science careers by creating personal connections between students and real scientists, USA
  • Mambepa Nakazwe for Seeds of Change Foundation Zambia, advocating for girls with special needs to take up interest in information communication technology careers and empowers them with entrepreneurship skills, Zambia
  • Yasmin Kroll for Techbridge Girls, championing equality in STEM education and fair access to economic opportunities for all girls, USA
  • Dr Yvonne Commodore-Mensah for The African Research Academies for Women, providing fully-funded research opportunities for young women to complete a Summer Undergraduate Research Program at African universities, Africa
  • Fanni Szigeti for The Association of Hungarian Women in Science, promoting STEM and computer sciences among girls who are under-represented in these fields of education, Hungary
  • Rethabile Sonibare for Thope Foundation, empowering young girls in STEM, South Africa

The shortlist will be announced next month.

US Senate honours Ada Lovelace

US Senator Ron Wyden has introduced a resolution honouring Ada Lovelace and recognising Ada Lovelace Day to the Senate, the upper chamber of the United States Congress. The senator, who represents Oregon, submitted S.Res.592A resolution designating October 9, 2018, as “National Ada Lovelace Day” and honoring the life and legacy of Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer.

The statement is a Simple Resolution, which is “used to express nonbinding positions of the Senate”. These resolutions often “express public gratitude for distinguished contributions; dramatize the virtues of individuals, groups, and causes; and perpetuate the remembrance of significant events” says a congressional report. “During the past two centuries, commemoratives have become an integral part of the American political tradition,” the report says.

We are delighted that Ada Lovelace’s achievements have been recognised in this way, and that the Senate chose to support our mission of raising the profile of women in STEM by giving Ada Lovelace Day itself official status in the US.

The full text of the resolution (PDF) reads:

115TH CONGRESS
2D SESSION
S. RES.

Designating October 9, 2018, as ‘‘National Ada Lovelace Day’’ and honoring the life and legacy of Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

Mr. WYDEN (for himself and Mrs. FISCHER) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on [25 July 2018]

RESOLUTION

Designating October 9, 2018, as ‘‘National Ada Lovelace Day’’ and honoring the life and legacy of Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer.

Whereas Augusta Ada King-Noel, Countess of Lovelace, now known as Ada Lovelace, was born on December 10, 1815, in London, United Kingdom;

Whereas, from a young age, Lovelace displayed a gift for mathematics, languages, and the sciences;

Whereas, at the age of 17, Lovelace began to study mathematics under the guidance of scientist and translator Mary Somerville and, later, logician Augustus de Morgan;

Whereas, in 1833, Lovelace was introduced to inventor and mechanical engineer, Charles Babbage, and began to study his designs for the Analytical Engine, a mechanical computer;

Whereas Lovelace was the first person to recognize that the Analytical Engine could be used to manipulate symbols and letters and was the first person to theorize that the Analytical Engine could be used to create music and graphics;

Whereas, in 1843, Lovelace published step-by-step instructions for using the Analytical Engine to calculate Bernoulli numbers ‘‘without having been worked out by human head and hands first’’;

Whereas these insights gave Lovelace an unparalleled vision of the future of computer science, and she stated that ‘‘[a] new, a vast and a powerful language is [being] developed for the future use of analysis, in which to wield its truths so that these may become of more speedy and accurate practical application for the purposes of mankind’’;

Whereas the work of Lovelace went widely unrecognized until the 1950s, when her papers were republished, and their significance and her contributions to the fields of computer science and mathematics were finally acknowledged;

Whereas, in the 1980s, to honor the contributions of Lovelace, the Department of Defense named its newly created computer language ‘‘Ada’’ after Lovelace;

Whereas the second Tuesday in October is annually celebrated as Ada Lovelace Day and is intended to honor women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and their accomplishments and contributions to academia and the world; and

Whereas Ada Lovelace died on November 27, 1852, leaving behind a legacy of poetic science and reasoning, in which the arts and sciences are woven together to find new insights:

Now, therefore, be it

1 Resolved, That the Senate—
2 (1) designates October 9, 2018, as ‘‘National
3 Ada Lovelace Day’’; and
4 (2) honors the life and contributions of Ada
5 Lovelace, a leading woman in science and mathematics and the first computer programmer.

Senator Wyden tweeted:

And the British Embassy in Washington tweeted: