Ada Lovelace is regarded by many as the first computer programmer. It was her writings on the engine that recorded what we now know to be the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine. Although she died at the young age of thirty-six, Lovelace’s mathematic and analytic skills, combined with her work with Charles Babbage, mark her as an icon of women in technology. Today, 11th October, is #AdaLovelaceday. An international day of celebration for women in STEM.
We’ve all heard enough to know that women in tech are a rare breed, particularly at board level (some stats here if you’re interested), but what’s weird is that a US study in 1984 found that 37 per cent of all computer-science graduates were women. Today, that figure stands at 18 per cent.
It’s not just the women coding and programming that are in the minority – only 35 per cent of tech journalists are female, according to a Colombia Journalism Review report. And almost two thirds of them have experienced sexist abuse in their time because of their work.
But then, there are always the pioneers – outstanding journalists who have carved out their careers as technology enthusiasts, putting gadgets and gizmos on the radar for all to be astounded by. So, we’ve picked out some of our favourites – women who make the #GirlsinTech here at PHA proud of our sector. Ladies, we salute you.
Lynsey Barber, Senior Reporter, City A.M.
Previously at PRWeek, Lynsey joined City A.M.’s online team in 2014, and has since developed a particular passion for the UK digital economy, and the policies and regulations that govern it. If you’re looking for the latest in fintech, crowdfunding or fun apps that make city living better, you’ve come to the right journalist.
Holly Brockwell, Editor, Gadgette (a.k.a. Queen of the Drone Age)
It would be impossible to compile a tech influencer list without mentioning Holly. A true champion of all that is tech for women, as well as a keen Twitterer, Holly has a knack for bringing out the geek in us all, particularly with their Happy Buyday Friday round-ups… Bonus points for her video answering kids’ questions about tech journalism.
Katie Collins, Senior Reporter, CNET
What better places to get all tech’ed up than WIRED and CNET? Well Katie’s written for both. Splitting her interests between future-gazing and the never-ending cycle of tech vs. safety, her articles are often hard-hitting and add a healthy dose of reality to coverage of tech developments, but also demonstrate its incredible power to do good.
Sophie Curtis, Technology Editor, The Mirror
Having only been at The Mirror for 1 short year (she joined them from the Telegraph), I think it’s safe to say Sophie has already made a considerable mark on their tech department. The tone is certainly different compared to her previous role to cater to the mass consumer market, but Sophie creates addictive and fun content that’ll get you talking for sure! Some more bonus points, this time for her Mother’s Day gift guide for gadget-loving mums.
Lucy Hedges, Technology Editor, Metro UK
There’s probably no spread I look more forward to in the week than the Metro’s Connect supplement now that Lucy Hedges is at the helm, making tech unapologetically and effortlessly cool. Her in-depth looks at how tech is blending into all areas of our lives, from ‘haute-tech couture’ to educational robotics to sex are a force to be reckoned with. And how about that Lust List?
Kitty Knowles, Reporter, The Memo
I don’t know if Kitty would have previously considered herself a tech geek – when she joined The Memo team last year, she’d seemingly covered everything but tech, including film and TV, food & drink, fashion and sport. But as promised last summer, Kitty has done an incredible job at expanding the fast-growing tech site’s audience, showing how technology impacts everyone across society and uncovering some great personalities along the way.
Lara Lewington, Presenter, BBC Click
Believe it or not, Lara spent six years as a weather forecaster before turning her hand to technology. But now, with a regular slot on BBC Click, as well as her Tech Savvy column in Woman magazine, she certainly puts the ‘glam’ back in gadgets and makes sure there’s something for every member of the family.
Phoebe Luckhurst, National Editor, The Tab
Ok, so Phoebe isn’t strictly tech-only, but boy did she answer many a prayer with her extensive app round-ups for the Standard, from nutrition apps to pedometers to simply the best apps for getting around the city on a bank holiday. Now flexing her muscles as a freelancer, we’re looking forward to more witty app-tastic insights in a publication near you.
Mary-Ann Russon, Technology Reporter, International Business Times
Mary-Ann certainly doesn’t shy away from the nitty gritty details, with her specialisms including drones, 3D printing and robotics, IT and mobile security, aerospace and defence and “a little bit of outer space too”. She’s written for a plethora of tech trade titles, so expect to be grilled – Mary-Ann really knows her stuff.
Olivia Solon, Freelance
Deputy Editor at WIRED, Technology Editor at The Mirror and Innovations Editor at Bloomberg – it’s hard to find a tech journalist with a more impressive CV than Olivia. Now she’s decided to relocate to the motherland that is Silicon Valley but continues to freelance for the likes of The Guardian and the New Scientist.
Jane Wakefield, Technology Reporter, BBC News Online
Whether WIRED, CES or TED talks, Jane seems to regularly be first on the scene when it comes to the unveiling of new technologies. Other than events, Jane tends to focus on the big tech issues, such as piracy, privacy, net neutrality and our progress towards AI. Make sure to tune in to her appearances on the BBC Tech Tent radio show!
Rhiannon Williams, Technology Reporter, The Daily Telegraph
I’m going to put it out there – I think Rhiannon likes phones. If you want to catch up on the latest and greatest mobile news, she’s the queen of all that is Apple, Samsung and Chinese challenger brands – with a little Netflix, VR and gadget love thrown in for good measure. Snappy and straight to the point, you’ll feel techier in no time
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