Ada Lovelace Day

5 World-class female coders to celebrate on Ada Lovelace Day

By Dr Sue Black OBE 11 October 2016
Dr Sue Black OBE. Pic: YouTube/ITU INTERVIEWS
Summary

Coding superstar Dr Sue Black OBE shines a light on top female talent.

To celebrate Ada Lovelace Day, we asked coding queen Dr Sue Black OBE which women are continuing Ada’s legacy today…

I have spent decades of my life working with code: It’s an addictive, limitless, creative way to think about problem-solving.

But today it’s sometimes hard still to be a female coder, and even the most successful women can fail to receive the support and recognition they deserve.

Although not everywhere, a ‘brogrammer’ culture still persists and undermines our confidence – even at university, women can be put off technical degrees not because the work is too hard, but because of a macho environment.

Today I’d like to call out five phenomenal women who are doing amazing jobs, despite this sometimes hostile environment.

I hope they serve to to inspire, and to remind any women out there, you can always aim high.

Happy Ada Lovelace Day to you all….

Jules Coleman @julescoleman

Proof that it’s never too late to learn how to code, Jules Coleman quit her job in the City to take the leap and hasn’t looked back.

With her new skills Coleman built Hassle.com along with friends Alex Depledge and Tom Nimmo, and recently sold for a reported €32m.

Time to start a new career perhaps?

Read more: Girls Can Code: Alex Depledge dispels sexist tech myths

Megan Smith @USCTO

Megan Smith has been relentless in her quest to make the world a better place through tech.

Ever a champion of women in tech, Smith left a decades-long career as a VP at Google to become the first female (and third ever) Chief Technology Officer of the United States.

Her technical achievements have seen her join the board of MIT, while on a societal level she helps to do amazing things – like co-founding the Malala Fund.

A fantastic woman to follow in the footsteps of.

Larissa Suzuki @LariRomualdo

A ridiculously clever smart cities expert, Larissa Suzuki is now driving the future City Data Strategy at the Greater London Authority where she hopes to save public money, incubate innovation and drive economic growth.

The hot shot academic previously devised computational methods for breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, and even built a successful start-up aged 21.

She’s worked for IBM, ARUP, and the Bank of Brazil, and continues to give back to the community having served in a number of women tech groups.

Nothing short of visionary, Suzuki will undoubtedly shape our lives for a long time yet.

Anne-Marie Imafidon @aimafidon

Anne-Marie has always been, and will continue to be, utterly fantastic.

After shining brightly as a child prodigy, she went on study at prestigious universities on both sides of the Atlantic, and is a hugely passionate STEM advocate.

Among other titles, she’s co-founder and CEO at Stemettes, and Director at digital consultancy Avisami, and she’s a Fellow at the Royal Society of Arts.

All this while sitting on a number of company boards. You don’t get to be known as one of ‘Britain’s Brainiest’ for nothing.

Wendy Tan White MBE @wendytanwhite

Now a General Partner at Entrepreneur First, Tan White made a name for herself as co-founder and CEO of the Moonfruit DIY website builder.

The success of this (it sold for £23m) saw the entrepreneur propelled into a number of senior roles – including VP at hibu and CMO at Gandi.

She also continues to give back through commitments to esteemed universities, as an advisor and mentor.

And this year Tan White has cemented her position as a leader on the policy scene, becoming a Advisory Board Member to the Government Digital Service team.

Tan White, it seems, can only continue to climb.