Suw Charman-Anderson “Eyafjallakökull, The Little Volcano Who Could (Close Airports Around Europe On A Whim)”, originally uploaded by Dan Sumption, Some Rights Reserved.
I’m probably breaking the rules of Ada Lovelace Day by blogging about Suw twice in the short few years of the day to remember women in science and technology, but as her husband, I’ll claim a special dispensation. That disclaimer aside, I really do want to pay tribute to her.
A few years ago, after being to yet another tech conference where women were poorly represented, she had finally had enough. (She was once asked to blog a conference because in the words of the organiser, he heard she “could type well”.) As with other issues she is passionate about, she decided to do something about it so she decided to create Ada Lovelace Day, a day that encourages people to write about women in science and technology who have inspired them.
I must admit to being initially sceptical. Isn’t there some committee at Hallmark, the greeting card company, that gets to just make up special observances on a whim? However, it’s one of the many things that I love about Suw that she just decides to do things. She really is a social entrepreneur, someone who sees something that needs doing and just does it.
As her husband, I’ve seen how she has worked to make this day what it has become. This year she drew on friends and supporters to really increase the scope of the day. Their help has been invaluable. For the first few years, I saw her struggle to get things off the ground largely by herself, but this year, the day really felt like it had reached a critical moment. I want to thank her friends and also the team at E-Vectors who helped her build such a great site this year to highlight all of the great stories of women in science and technology.
I can’t really do justice to how proud I am of Suw. Some day, I hope that a woman comes up to her and says that after reading a story on Ada Lovelace Day it inspired her to become an astrophysicist, a computer scientist or a geologist. Here’s to Suw, my wife, a woman in technology, who has the audacity to see something that needs doing and does it.