Oct 072011

October 7 2011 is Ada Lovelace Day – a day of blogging that celebrates women in engineering, science, technology and mathematics.

(If you think that is a bit odd, – yes, the date was in March in previous years.)

In 2010 I blogged about the wonderful Bess Sadler who created the Open Source Discovery Layer, Blacklight – but even more importantly is firmly committed to Open Source as a social justice issue.

Today I was sitting in a session at THATcamp Canberra bootcamp, all about using the Aus-e-Lit’s LORE Firefox Plugin. In a role reversal, the person contributing the humanities subject knowledge to the project was Roger Osborne, while the technologist who coded the project was a younger woman, Anna Gerber. I thought about interviewing Anna (and still would be interested), but then I looked around the room and thought “this event is FULL of women. If they are here, they cannot deny that they are women in tech. I could talk to them. I wonder if they identify as women in tech?”.

So – during the break I found six generous women who agreed to give a quick summary of what they do in tech. I explained to them that I have a lot of women in my introductory technology unit at Curtin University, who may not think of themselves as techie…. but if they listened they may realise that you do not need to know 20 different coding languages to be a woman in tech. Thanks very much for your time Liz, Suse, Janet, Abigail, Cath and Nileshni.

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