Today is Ada Lovelace day. If you work in computer science or the computer industry, and you don’t know who she was, please take a moment and google her. But briefly, without her, we would not have a software industry. She was the first programmer, ever. By remembering her pioneering, yet until recently, unheralded efforts, it brings home the point that we underestimate the impact that women have had, have, and will have on technology and how you make your living.
The state of affairs today is still less than ideal. Look around you. I bet that men outnumber women by 3 or 4 to one. This is not really on. Heck, in the 1960’s the our industry was more welcoming than it is today. Female programmers put a man on the moon.
Many companies and univesities have noble initiatives to help address the problem, yes, attracting women into the industry is a challenge. But the bigger challenge is having them stay and thrive. My view on the main cause of this dismal state of affairs is simple. Men need to change their behaviour. It is time that we actively addressed the issues that drive women out of the industry.
Read this letter.
To the men, reading this. It starts with you.
What are you going to do today, tomorrow and next week to help fix this problem?