Today marks Ada Lovelace Day, which is in honour of the first computer programmer.
Ada Lovelace was the daughter of Lord Byron and her mother raised her after her father died. Fearing that her daughter would inherit several of her infamous father’s poetic traits, Lovelace was raised in a strict environment based on logic, science and mathematics.
In 1833 she was introduced to Charles Babbage and she helped to develop a device called The Analytical Engine; an early predecessor of the modern computer. A few years after the publication of her “Sketch of the Analytical Engine, with Notes from the Translator” Lovelace died of cancer, aged just 36. Alan Turing was inspired by her work in the 1940s when he started worked on designs for the first modern computers.
Today, events will be taking place across the UK to celebrate Ada Lovelace as a role model for women in technology and science.
A report from CEB, this week, found that the number of women choosing to work in IT is set to increase over the next four years. According to the data this figure currently sits at only 31% globally and 18% in the UK.
Previous research, conducted to highlight gender breakdown in the tech industry, has found that a more equal balance can have an effect on a company’s bottom line.
A study by McKinsey in 2010 found that companies with the highest representation of women on executive committees had, on average, a 47% higher return on equity.
Furthermore, Credit Suisse research found that companies with one or more women on the board had an average return on equity of 16%, compared with 12% for firms with all-male boards.
You can join in the Ada Lovelace Day conversation on twitter with #ALD2016 and #AdaLovelaceDay.