Celebrating Ada Lovelace: encouraging women to consider a career in IT
Posted on October 12, 2021 by Louise Howland
The 12th of October is Ada Lovelace day.
Ada Lovelace is famous for being the first computer programmer, the Daughter of Lord Byron, Ada was born in 1815 she was an English mathematician and writer, but she was most famous for working with Charles Babbage on his proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. She was the first person to recognise that the machine had applications beyond pure calculation, and she published the first algorithm intended to be carried out by such a machine.
Ada Lovelace Day (ALD) is an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). It aims to increase the profile of women in STEM and, in doing so, create new role models who will encourage more girls into STEM careers and support women already working in STEM.
To celebrate this day, we are spotlighting 3 of ramsac’s female technicians to find out what encouraged them to pursue a STEM career.
Sam Dabkowska – IT Operations Technician
“My introduction into a career in Technology was for a Space and Engineering Company, talk about male dominated! I was hired for my Customer Service and ability to make the internal IT Team (who were all men) more approachable. Well, I succeeded.
I didn’t have any previous training or experience in IT except using computers in previous jobs and I remember being overwhelmed at first, would I fit in with the ‘blokes’ would they find it irritating to have to teach me the basics, even the HR Director worried about putting me with the guys. All I can say is we were all people who wanted to make others working lives easier, it was about problem solving, talking to people, it didn’t have to get more technical than that.
Over my years at the company, I saw so many women in male dominated areas and it felt pretty good to be part of that, to showcase the different aspects of not only being part of an IT Team but being part of an Engineering Company.
Friends and family have been surprised by my continued career in IT, my little brother even followed me into it, but for me it’s always been about helping people, making others not so scared of technology and knowing that sure I might work in IT but I do not know everything, so let’s find the solution together.
I’m not the ‘Typical IT Technician’ and you know what that’s good, that shows the true diversity of IT and how you shouldn’t be scared by it, you should be able to showcase your skills and abilities across any profession and if you find that you have an interest in learning about IT along the way, that’s even better, your learning new things.
Here at ramsac, I’ve felt that has always been the case, everyone puts you at ease whatever ‘level’ of IT understanding you have, we have a complete mix of peoples and that’s what makes us pretty awesome.
Being in IT or any technology based job, isn’t defined by your gender, its defined by you as person, you can be as ‘girly’ or as ‘macho’ as you like (or anything in between), at the end of the day what are you interested in, what makes you get up in the morning with a spring in your step, find what that is and don’t let anyone tell you it’s not right for you based on something as narrow as your gender.”
Hadia Jaja – IT Operations Technician
“As a young Muslim I was criticised and judged for choosing a STEM course at university as they thought technology was for ‘men’ and that ‘women’ should be doing other subjects. This motivated me more and I was able to graduate in BSc Computer Networks and Security and prove them wrong.
Choosing what I loved was what made me consider a career in technology. If I listened to all the negative people in my life I wouldn’t be here where I am. I was lucky I had the opportunity to get a degree and graduate with a First-Class Honours. This was incredibly satisfying, showing myself and other people what I am capable of.
I joined ramsac in this year as an IT Operations Technician. Honestly as a first job after graduation I feel honoured to be working with an amazing and successful company. I was able to learn as training was provided and I am slowly getting the hang of things. I am excited for the future to see myself grow with ramsac.
Something that I would say to other women who are considering a career in technology is to do it! If you feel it’s for you then definitely go for it. Don’t think about ‘what will people think’ as this is your life, and you have the right to do what you want. Never stop believing.”
Abbi Walker – IT Support Consultant
Before ramsac I worked as 1st Line Support for the NHS Supporting over 6000 internal and community users through a team of 4/5 staff. However, I then continued to pursue my dream of becoming an actress by auditioning for drama school for the second year in a row and got in. I completed my BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen training in July 2021, graduating with an acting agent and first-class honours in my degree. I also started ramsac a week after my last show ended
My mum was the person who made me consider a career in tech, she has been working for IT in the NHS for over 20 years and has worked in a wide variety of roles from 1st Line Support to coaching. Initially tech wasn’t something I thought I would be good at but I started working for as a IT Engineer 2 weeks after my A-Level exams finished and immediately found my feet, I also loved getting to socialise with a different person each time the phone rang and found fixing problems and seeing my knowledge grow very fulfilling. Also, as a young girl I used to admire how fast my mum could touch type so practised and self-taught myself how to touch type really fast which has become very handy- especially when writing the majority of my dissertation within a week!
I enjoy how I am challenged with a different way of thinking in tech and I believe that you can actually see yourself improving and it is extremely fulfilling. It is often a job that people are surprised when I say I work in IT as they usually associate it with being a very male dominated industry, but it is nice to stand out and be able to bring in a different way of thinking and different experience to help find solutions to problems and make things easier. I also often find people admire the knowledge behind people who work in tech- I have had several users say to me “there is no way that I could do what you do”.
I would say to any woman who is considering a tech career to jump in with both feet, from someone who was not initially interested in this industry and trained in an industry that is the opposite end of the spectrum, I do find a career in tech extremely fulfilling, it has given me the opportunity to learn so many new things and I have so many avenues that I can progress in, whether that is still in Support, Projects, Training. No one job will ever be a one size fits all, but I believe in tech it gives you the freedom to put your own spin on things and bring your own knowledge and creativity to mould the job to fit you.
I think it is important to remember, especially when joining a male dominated environment, that you can keep all your femininity and still be considered a strong woman.”
If you are interested in a career in IT and would like to speak to ramsac about our opportunities, please get in touch.