It’s the second Tuesday in October which means it’s Ada Lovelace Day!
Ada Lovelace, born over two centuries ago, wrote the first ever computer programme — 100 years before computers were even invented!
I graduated with a computing degree thirty years ago. Three decades on — in a world exponentially more dependent on tech than when I graduated — there is a smaller proportion of women studying and working in tech than when I was a computing student!
The proportion of girls choosing computing qualifications at school, college and university is stubbornly low. Yet, throughout history, women have played an important role in computing. Ada Lovelace Day stakes our claim in this exciting world by celebrating women from the past and present.
Two years ago, we created our first bespoke cyber security lab at West Lothian College. On the wall leading up to the lab we charted a history of computing that includes many pioneering women and men.
While it’s important to recognise and celebrate the contribution that women have made in the history of computing, it is even more important to acknowledge today’s women in computing.
Women like West Lothian College cyber security lecturer Christine Eckford and pioneering computing science teacher Toni Scullion.
Thirty years after I graduated in computing, women like Toni and Christine give me hope that we will address the gender gap in computing in my lifetime!