Ada Lovelace Day

Today is the 24th March and the day of the 2010 Budget. But that’s not all – it’s also Ada Lovelace Day – a day to celebrate the achievements of women in technology, in the name of one of the world’s first computer programmers from the 19th century. We, like thousands of others pledged to blog about the subject today – so that’s what we are doing!

The idea is that today, everyone blogs about a woman in IT that they admire. However over the past few years I have met so many impressive women from the technology world that it’s impossible to pick just one to blog about. So instead I am going to write about ‘the ultimate woman in IT’ – what qualities and characteristics I admire in female technologists and have seen in many women that I have met. So here they are:

  • Skilled – good women in the IT sector have both strong technical skill but also superior soft skills that enable them to do their job well
  • Strong – some would argue that to be a woman in IT you have to be ‘one of the boys’. But I don’t think this is the case – you need to gain merit as a female. However to do this you do need to be pragmatic, strong willed and determined.
  • Sharing – I think it’s important for women in IT to network – share information, contacts and stories. Some female techies don’t want to be recognised as a role model and don’t like being labeled as a ‘woman in IT’. For me it’s important that as many women as possible stand and be counted and share their experiences to encourage others, whether it’s through events, mentoring, school visits or any other means. This can provide great inspiration.
  • Nice! – It’s not a very good descriptor but it applies to any sector – people want to deal with people who are ‘nice’. This means approachable, happy to give advice or speak on a panel and thinking about other people.
  • Passion – The best women in IT that I have met have all had this trait – IT is not just a job, it’s a major part of their life.
  • Supportive – Time and time again we hear women in IT say they would like more support from female bosses and colleagues. The most admirable women in IT will do just this and collaborate, not compete.

Those are my qualities of the ultimate woman in IT. Some examples of great women in IT can be found on our role models page here: http://www.womenintechnology.co.uk/role-models. Who is your most admired woman in IT?

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