This year I want to talk about “Aber Comp Sci Ladies”. I’ve long thought it would be nice to have a local group of women in computing- I have been active in the whole “girl geek” field for a long time, and I’m now in Aberystwyth, so obviously the idea of a local group is very appealing to me. So I was over the moon when an undergrad decided to start up a women in computing group in my department. The group is called Aberystwyth Computer Science Ladies, or ACS-ladies for short.
The group has a facebook presence, and has had one social, and it’s not clear where they’re going next, but there’s talk of big-sister/little-sister style mentoring groups, and more socials, and general support. There’s been talk of entering an ACS-ladies group in a programming contest. There’s been talk of tea afternoons and pub crawls and other social activities. They’re contributing to university-level committees on women in science. There’s also been quite a bit of antagonistic banter on social media (“women only groups? that’s sExIst!!!”” kinda stuff, and also “I don’t need any support i’m a woman and i’m fine” kinda stuff); and the local organisers have been generally very accomplished in their handling of these complaints.
So my ALD2012 blog post is to the Aber Comp Sci Ladies: Well done with having the idea, acting on it, handling the criticism, and generally being good people trying to do good.
I’ll support you much as I can:-)
There are as many different ways of being a woman in computing as there are of being a woman. And not everyone wants or needs support. But if you can be there for those who do want support, you’re doing a marvellous thing.
Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging about women in science. I actually started my blog. on 24 march ’09, on ALD writing about Sue Black a post you can find here. Then in ’10, also on March 24th, I wrote about Julie Greensmith http://www.hannahdee.eu/blog/?p=433. Last year, it moved to 7 October, but I managed to keep track and wrote about Sarah Winmill http://www.hannahdee.eu/blog/?p=791. This year, it’s today (17 October, or something). So I’m writing about women in science now. I think ALD is a great initiative, but I wish it would stop moving dates:-)