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Oct 14, 2016 12:52 AM EDT

Ada Lovelace Remains an Inspiration in Pursuing Diversity in STEM

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Ada Lovelace's contribution to computer science has been considered as one of the most vital. In honor of her, the second Tuesday of October has been dedicated to remember the contributions she gave to science. Along with her contributions, the fact remains that she still provides the greatest inspiration to women to pursue STEM and an encouragement to promote diversity in this area.

Lovelace, was beyond her era during Victorian England because unlike any other women that time, she pursued science and mathematics. This was possible through the encouragement of her parents. That resulted in her writing the algorithm for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine to write the numbers in the Bernoulli series.

Like Ada, it takes a lot of courage, persistence, patience, and confidence to pursue a career in STEM. Along with that, unwavering support from the system is also needed if women are to thrive in STEM-related careers.

Recent studies and statistics from the National Science Foundation showed that women, regardless of ethnicity and background, are underrepresented in STEM. In fact, despite the growth of STEM-related career opportunities, the number of women holding careers in STEM are decreasing. As of 2013, only 15 percent of women pursued an engineering career while 25 percent are in mathematics and computer science.

Efforts to encourage young girls to pursue STEM are being established around the country to utilize this human capital. For example, Google has its Code Next program which encourages young black and Latino students gain skills in mathematics and coding to prepare them to get jobs in tech hubs, like Silicon Valley.

There's also Girls Who Code (GWC) program which encourages young girls to pursue STEM in adult education. The program also teaches these young girls extra STEM training by offering after-school programs to girls between 6 and 12 years old as well as a Summer Immersion program for 10th and 11th graders. These summer programs are usually held in tech companies, like AutoDesk, Microsoft, ad AT&T.

Among adult women, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) provide support for women who pursue ABET-accredited bachelor's and graduate degrees by offering scholarships, summits, and job opportunities.

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