How can playing cards combat gender inequality?

cards

Can playing cards help combat gender inequality in tech? The internet certainly seems to feel that way, as a Kickstarter campaign to make card decks promoting promoting women in computing raised over $15,000 from over 350 backers.

Jessica Dickinson Goodman, one of the card deck’s creators, was overwhelmed by the response.

“I knew something special was happening when we reached that $3,000 goal in the first 2 days. We’re now at 400% of funding and climbing,” she told Project Ada on Friday.

In its last 24 hours, the Kickstarter campaign raised another $1,000 to land on just over $15,000.

The idea is to promote the many women who’ve been leaders in computer science, from Project Ada’s own namesake Ada Lovelace, to Grace Hopper, inventor of the first compiler for programming languages – and credited with the term ‘debugging’.

Ada Lovelace

Photo: Wikimedia

According to the creators, no enough of women’s contributions to the tech industry are remembered. The card deck is a way to promote role models for today and tomorrow’s women in computing.

“When I was a little girl, my Mom gave me a deck of cards with names and stories of women who fought in the American Civil War. I played a lot of Hearts and Poker growing up, and those cards were a constant reminder that women change history,” Jessica Dickinson Goodman said.

Notable Women in Computing card deckShe created the card decks along with her mother Katy Dickinson, and sponsors Everwise and Duke University. The Kickstarter campaign was launched to get the playing cards into their second edition – and in less than a month has already quadrupled its goal of $3,000.

The back of every card includes the text ‘Keep our history: Create or expand a Wikipedia page for a notable woman in computing.’  Indeed, getting more women onto Wikipedia was an important goal for the creators.

Less than 1 in 10 Wikipedia editors are female, a 2011 survey from the Wikimedia Foundation showed, and the gender gap hasn’t closed since.

“I figure if Donald Trump has 12,000 words dedicated to him on Wikipedia then Chieko Asakawa, a leader in accessibility research and a role-model in the visually impaired technical community, deserves at least as many,” Jessica Dickinson Goodman said.

Read more about all the women included here.

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