Ada Lovelace Day needs your support to survive! As a sponsor-funded event, we have been badly affected by Brexit as companies cut their marketing and CSR budgets and delay spending decisions. So we need you to help us out and ensure that we can continue our work supporting girls and women in STEM.
What's the story?
I had the idea for Ada Lovelace Day back in the autumn of 2008, and initially envisioned it as a day of blogging about the achievements of women in technology. The very first ALD, on 24 March 2009, saw about 3,600 people sign up to blog about a women in tech whose work they admired, but it was clear from the very beginning that people wanted to celebrate women across science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), so the next year, that’s what Ada Lovelace Day became.
In the decade since then, ALD has changed immensely. It’s now a global day of events celebrating and supporting women in STEM – we’ve seen nearly 650 independent events held in 216 different towns or cities, in 38 countries across all major inhabited continents! For the last eight years we’ve held Ada Lovelace Day Live, a ‘STEM cabaret’ showcasing some of the most interesting research and work being done by women across the UK.
Our work has changed too. Since ALD began, we’ve produced two anthologies of biographies of women in STEM , free women in STEM crochet patterns , a podcast , several careers posters , and a free education pack . We have run an Online Recruitment Fair for Women in STEM , and our Twitter campaigns have included a Christmas STEM advent calendar and the Twelve Days of STEMmas .
We recently launched the Finding Ada Network , a unique mentorship and knowledge sharing platform for women in STEM and the people who act as advocates for gender equality.
All of this work takes money, and since 2015, we have had enough sponsorship for me to work full-time, allowing us to do much more work year round. But Brexit has thrown the UK into a state of paralysed confusion. Companies are cutting their marketing and corporate social responsibility budgets, or holding off on making decisions until they they have some clarity over what the future holds. Where they do still have budget, businesses are swamped with requests for sponsorship so are becoming much more specific about what they’ll fund.
We need to raise £30,000 before the end of August. The majority of the funds will go to covering our day-to-day overheads, including wages, freelance costs, and marketing. Whilst these are very unsexy things to spend money on, Ada Lovelace Day literally can’t happen without us paying for the services we need. We are not a charity, and we do not believe that an organisation should rely solely on volunteers – asking women to work for free is not empowering them.
Just a fiver!
If just a third of our Twitter followers chucked us a fiver, we’d hit our target and Ada Lovelace Day’s future would be secure through to next spring. If they gave us a tenner, then we could guarantee that Ada Lovelace Day Live! 2020 takes place.
So please chip in, and make sure that our global movement celebrating girls and women in STEM not just lives on, but thrives in the next year!
What will the money be used for?
I'll use the money to pay the day-to-day costs associated with running Ada Lovelace day, such as my wages, freelance costs, web hosting, video and photography for ALD Live etc. It's literally going to keep the lights on.
What's the deadline?
I need to know by the end of August whether or not I need to get another job.
What happens if you don't raise the full amount?
I will meet the obligations I have committed to, which includes Ada Lovelace Day Live! 2019 and 2020, plus my work on diversity and inclusion with the University of York. But everything else will be put on hold as I'll have to find other work to pay my bills. And by everything else, I do mean everything – all our social media work, our special projects like our posters, our educational projects, our seasonal campaigns, our blog, everything.
How do I sponsor Ada Lovelace Day Live?
UK sponsors who'd like to take out a yearly sponsorship of £1,000 per year can sign up online via our new Sustaining Sponsor option. Non-UK companies who'd like to become a Sustaining Sponsor should email me .
If you have a bigger budget, then take a look at our sponsorship prospectus and get in touch! We'd really love to hear from you.
- Lesley Curwen
- Una Cunningham
- Alan Hunter
- Alice Sheppard
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