Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace Day – why we should celebrate challenging the norm

This blog post was written by Sarah Musselbrook in our Business Technology Team.

“That brain of mine is something more than merely mortal; as time will show”

Today we celebrate Ada Lovelace Day in honour of Augusta Ada Byron, who is widely accredited with building the first scientific computational engine. As a literature student, I was generally more au fait with the works of Ada’s famous father, Lord Byron, though Ada’s achievements resonate with me far more as a woman in the world of technology.

In fact, as a woman crossing over into the field of technology, I wish I’d learnt more about Ada before. Ada didn’t know Byron well – after all, he left the country never to return shortly after her birth – but she was fascinated by him and, driven by her mother’s fears, she had inherited his ‘madness’.

Ada had a brilliant imagination, which might have been seen at the time as the madness her mother feared, but it drove her on. Unlike a lot of young girls at the time, Ada was schooled in the fields of maths and science. She had a great logical mind but believed intuition and imagination were integral to getting the most from scientific concepts. It was that ability to defy convention that makes her someone to look up to today. Take for instance when measles left Ada only able to walk on crutches – she wanted to fly, so went about it logically and started constructing wings.

It’s that thinking outside the box that made Ada the focus for a day celebrating women in STEM careers. Others had started work on machines that could be deemed ‘early computers’, but the most important aspect Ada brought to the engine was bringing creativity to it – challenging the ordinary to imagine it as something that could think for itself beyond a series of numbers and algorithms. For anyone – male or female – looking for a career in any STEM subject, what a role model for showcasing the great, innovative work that’s done day in and day out.

With Ada Lovelace Day, we celebrate the achievements of women in STEM careers – and, at Brands2Life, we’re focused on helping clients tell their women in tech stories all year round. Whether campaigning for more women in technology like this Nominet campaign, the recent blog post my colleague wrote on women in tech or developing award-winning STEM campaigns. After all, we want to help encourage more people to be more like Ada – to take risks, challenge the status quo and achieve greatness.

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