It’s Ada Lovelace day again today and what I only just realised is that my daughter shares the same birthday as Ada, albeit 194 years apart. Still, I like that fact. It somehow gives me hope for her.
Hope? I hear you wonder – what are you talking about – women are equal to men nowadays. Well, thats not necessarily the case. We all know that around the world the view of women does differ radically, and that in the West we are the lucky ones. But even in the Western world where we expect equality this is not the case and it’s not necessarily men who are being sexist. So many times I hear parents including mothers telling their children what is for boys and what is for girls, reinforcing the gender stereotypes. And the effect? Each year the percentage of females in the technology workforce is declining, yet plenty of women who at school are great mathematicians.
I’m shocked that here in Bavaria women are expected to choose between career and childbirth. Women who go back to work full-time are frowned upon. I really hope by the time Bella is grown up this view is changing and I for one am going to try to teach her she can be and do anything. She already has a good head for numbers.
It’ll be no surprise to most people who know me that I made sure Bella had cars and building blocks, train sets and books on diggers and fire engines all through her life. What’s actually more surprising to me is that apart from her beloved cars – she is also obsessed with her dolls and princesses and has the pinkest room I’ve ever seen (much to my dismay!) But thats not a bad thing either – I said I wanted her to be anything she wants to be – perhaps one day she is a Princess but the next she’s lining up her cars in a traffic jam (thats what growing up near the M25 does). She tells me she wants to be a Doctor (only because she heard bus drivers don’t get paid as well – there’s that numbers head of hers) and I really hope she has the freedom and courage to follow her dream whatever that may be.
You can read about Ada Lovelace here