2 Neurones & 1 Camera

Olivier Thereaux

#ald10: looking for female role models

Ada Lovelace Day, a yearly opportunity to give praise to women in science and technology. Last year, on the same occasion, I wrote a research piece on Hypatia, a most interesting and inspiring character, but definitely not the most contemporary role model one could hope for. This year, I feel stumped; as much as I could think during the month leading to ALD 2010, I could not come up with the name of one woman whom I could honestly write about as a woman in science or tech whom I praise for being a great role model.

Of course, I could write about my mother. She worked in the tough, male-driven industry of petro-chemistry. She mostly raised me alone, giving me a taste for culture, the arts, and science all at once; she taught me that nothing comes without hard work; I owe my odd sense of humour to her.

Of course, I could write about Stephanie, my wonderful life partner who not only inspires me, supports me through the most difficult choices, leads me with her vast experience, but also is an awfully talented and respected Web professional.

Of course I could write about some of my Web geeks friends who also happen to be women: Carine, Judy, Libby, Mia, and so many others.

And yet… I wish there were more. I wish there was one of my female teachers, or one of my female current co-workers, whom I could honestly call a role model, and I can’t. I do remember a couple of female physics teachers quite fondly (wait… were all my math teachers male?), and I love my female colleagues to bits, but every time I seriously think of the role models in my life, the statistics of a science/tech world ruled by men win.

Today I can only hope that boys in the following generation – the ones who probably don’t blog and might not know they can speak up for ALD this year – will, or do, have more female role models in their life, as teachers, co-workers, or peers.


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