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Ada Lovelace Day: Supporting women & girls in STEM

£7,675 of £30,000 goal

Raised by 199 people in 1 month
Video: Suw talks about the work Ada Lovelace Day has done over the last decade at Ada Lovelace Day Live 2018. 

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.

Our target

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!


FAQ

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.
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We are heading into summer and things are slowing down for a lot of people as holidays beckon, but here we’re in the run up to Ada Lovelace Day, and in particular our ALD Live! ’STEM cabaret’ on 8 October at The IET in London.

We have just released our Early Bird tickets, which are just £10, and they are selling quickly so if you’d like to grab some yourself, get over to Eventbrite now to snag yours:

https://ald19.eventbrite.co.uk/

We have the most amazing speaker list this year:

- Dame Professor Jocelyn Bell-Burnell, astrophysicist
- Dr Bala Chaudhary, ecologist
- Katie Steckles, mathematician
- Hayley Loren, marine engineer
- Roni Savage, chartered engineering geologist
- Dr Sally Le Page, evolutionary biologist and science communicator

Our compère will be geek songstress and one third of Festival of the Spoken Nerd, Helen Arney!

You can find out more about our speakers on our website at

https://findingada.com/events/ada-lovelace-day-live/

Thank you all for donating, and for helping to keep ALD on the road! I’ve not been able to sit and thank you all personally, but believe me that every single donation is appreciated, and without you I wouldn’t be in the position to make this announcement.

Whilst we haven’t reached our target here yet, because of this campaign and because of your support, we’ve been able to attract some new sponsors! We’d like to thank J. P. Morgan especially for taking our Platinum sponsorship package and helping to secure ALD’s future.

We would also like to thank new sponsors Red Hat, Jane Street, Huge Shark, and WORK180, plus returning sponsors Siemens Rail Automation, UCL Engineering, Digital Science, SchoolDash, Present Indicative and Meromorf Press for their support this year. We are still in talks with a few more possible sponsors, so keep your fingers crossed for that!

We still have a way to go before we’re financially secure past next February, so I’ll be keeping this GoFundMe open, and hopefully we’ll gather enough support to see us through to next summer. Don’t forget to share this GoFundMe with your friends and colleagues and let’s try to hit £10k before the end of August!
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In my last update, I promised to do a few more Facebook Live videos as the London leg of my trip unfolded. Well here I am on the train to York, typing instead of talking because the last week has been solid with back-to-back meetings, and the little pockets of time I thought I would have in-between were packed full of admin, or just trying to catch my breath.

It has been a brilliant week though. I had some meetings with potential sponsors, all of which look very promising indeed. I shall be working hard to finalise those agreements in the coming weeks. I also had some fascinating conversations with companies that provide services such as coaching, speaker training, and stakeholder engagement training, whom I hope to collaborate with for the Finding Ada Network.

On Wednesday evening I was at the Arthur C Clarke Award, honouring excellence in science fiction. I’ve worked with the Clarke Award’s Tom Hunter on gender issues in the past, as the problems seen in the science fiction world are startlingly similar to those in STEM. And in May, I analysed 13 years' worth of Clarke Award submissions list data and compared it to the situation for women in STEM:

https://medium.com/@arthurcclarkeaward/yes-more-women-are-publishing-science-fiction-but-so-are-way-more-men-e3cdb91dcb0

Tom and also had a meeting the next day where we came up with a few ideas for future projects, so more on that soon!

And, of course, I spent quite a bit of time with Lorna, who produces Ada Lovelace Day Live, to finalise some of our plans for this year’s event. We’ll soon be announcing our confirmed speakers, and I look forward to adding to that list and to soon launching our ticket sales.

I’m now on my way up to York, and will be spending a week with ecologists Dr Thorunn Helgason and Dr Pen Holland, working on the NERC funded i-COMET project to increase diversity in ecology alongside a global investigation of fungal spore dispersal. You can read a bit more about that project on our blog, and I hope to have a new update by the end of the week:

https://findingada.com/blog/2018/10/04/ald-partnering-with-international-universities-to-develop-professional-network-in-ecology/

Hopefully I’ll have a little bit more time this week to do a Facebook live, so if you have any questions please leave a comment here, on FB ( https://www.facebook.com/AdaLovelaceDay/) or on Twitter ( https://twitter.com/findingada).

Finally, thank you all for your very generous donations. I am hoping that we will hit £10,000 by the end of July, so if you haven’t already shared this fundraiser with your friends and family, please do. Every share helps, and so does every penny!
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As promised, I've started doing some short Facebook Live videos to give you a wee glimpse behind the scenes. The first one is here:

https://www.facebook.com/AdaLovelaceDay/videos/374047689967678/
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It's been two and a half weeks since we launched this fundraiser, and it's great to see the total continuing to rise! We're nearly at £7,000, and I'm hoping that we'll continue up to at least £10k by the end of the month.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting more videos to give you a peak behind the scenes of Ada Lovelace Day. I’ve always thought that advocacy and event organisation would make the worst spectator sport ever – it mainly involves me sitting at a computer, typing. But tomorrow I head to the UK for a couple of weeks of meetings, so I’ll be doing my best to give you a glimpse of the more exciting parts of my job. I’ll live stream through Facebook, so if you don’t already follow our page there, please take a look and like us: https://www.facebook.com/AdaLovelaceDay/

And if you have any questions, then leave a comment here and I’ll do my best to answer them, perhaps including why I live in the USA when Ada Lovelace Day is based in the UK!

In the meantime, thank you again for your generosity and kind words. Your support means the world to me and everyone involved in Ada Lovelace Day.
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