Tag Archives: role models

The topics we’re talking about on #womenintech

women in tech word cloud

Mapping the month’s Tweets on #womenintech gives us a great insight into the key issues and concerns for women within the technology industry.

hashtag women in technology word cloud visualisation

Newtech, computing and hackathons are all words which – unsurprisingly – feature often on the hashtag.

@Stemettes has a big presence on the hashtag. It’s a group showing that “science, technology, engineering and maths are for girls”. @Hackbright, a women’s academy for software development, also dominates the hashtag.

Our namesake, Ada, also makes a presence within the #womenintech noise on the Twittersphere.

The following word cloud shows the key words in a Twitter search for the general phrase ‘women in tech’.

women in technology word cloud visualisation

This throws up some potentially more interesting words. First of all is the very timely #Gamergate controversy, which has been generating lots of comments throughout Twitter since August.

Alongside ‘data’, another key word is ‘startup’, showing that there’s a proactive sense of innovation within the community. There is also a key emphasis on ‘work’ and ‘campaigns’, reflecting the amount of activity within the women in tech scene.

A general theme across both word clouds is optimism and enthusiasm. Words such as ‘interesting’, ‘amazing’ and ‘talented’ reflect the positive attitude within the community to create positive social change and technological innovation within the industry.

How can playing cards combat gender inequality?


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.

9 accounts you need to be following for women in tech


Women are underrepresented in digital and tech industries. And both paychecks and attitudes show we’re still some way from gender equality.

This is why it’s both heartening and important to find inspiring role models – and there are many of them out there.

There’s lots of amazing work being done, both by organisations and passionate individuals, to create online and offline communities, where women can get together, network and learn from each other.

If you want to stay abreast of these communities, we’ve made a Twitter list just for you.

1) @Womenintech

Women in Technology recruits women for careers in information technology. And their active Twitter accounts retweets interesting links about gender equality and tech from several other accounts, so it’s a great starting point if you’re just getting into the topic.

2) @Womenshiftdigi

Since gender balances are still skewed in digital careers, WomenShiftDigital encourages women towards pursuing these fields. They also retweet, drawing information about women in tech from many different sources right into your feed.

3) @ggmUK

Geek Girl arrange un-conference style meetups, by and for women who’re looking to be inspired, and build communities. But they also have a strong online community, blogging and tweeting inspiring stories, and have plenty of guest writers writing for them.

4) @genderreport

Gender Report, a project exploring how gender is represented online, also tweets plenty of interesting links about women in media and tech.

5) @Stemettes

Dedicated to showing that ”girls do science too”, Stemettes‘ quirky name comes from the acronym STEM – science, tech, engineering and mathematics.

6) @ladygeek

Sick of the “pink it shrink it” approach with which lazy marketers sell tech products to women? Creative agency Lady Geek is campaigning to end it, and make technology more accessible to women.

7) @KathrynParsons

Kathryn Parsons, the co-founder of coding academy Decoded, works to demystify code and increase our coding literacy. She often tweets about the intersection of tech and entrepreneurship.

8) @BelindaParmar

Belinda Parmar is the CEO of aforementioned Lady Geek and also works with STEM education.

9) @Girlsintech_uk

Girls in Tech arrange monthly events with different high profile speakers. The idea is to empower women by “providing them with more visibility”.

Think we’ve missed anyone important? Tweet us at @ProjectAda_ or @cguibourg!


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