Ada Lovelace Day: Women in Technology

Today is Ada Lovelace Day and I pledged to write a blog post on women in technology. So here we are..

It's easy for me to offer examples of women in technology as, for some reason I don't understand, there are plenty of women involved in (mostly opposing) electronic voting. Here are some of the leading lights in no particular order, I apologise in advance for any omissions:

  • Rebecca Mercuri: One of the first people to study electronic voting in computer science terms. Her PhD was on e-voting and she's been a vocal opponent ever since.
  • Barbara Simons: President of the ACM for two years, a former IBM researcher she is an influential critic of electronic voting and was a co-author of the SERVE report which stopped the US government pursuing Internet voting.
  • Margaret McGaley: One of the key activists against e-voting in Ireland and recently completed a Computer Science PhD on electronic voting.
  • Bev Harris: A leading force behind the BlackBoxVoting activist group in the US, a key player in the Diebold security scandals and lead character in the documentary “Hacking Democracy”.
  • Becky Hogge: Becky was until this January the Executive Director of the Open Rights Group and so played a critical role in the past two years of their campaigning against electronic voting.
  • Louise Ferguson: Louise is a leading usability expert who has played a major role in opposition to e-voting in the UK. She has also contributed to work on both sides of the Atlantic in improving the usability of the voting process. She also chaired the Open Rights Group through much of its e-voting campaign.
  • Lorrie Faith Cranor: Lorrie was an early researcher of e-voting who over time has become more critical of the technologies. Her early work on 'Sensus', an e-voting system, was pioneering at the time and probably informed her subsequent caution.

Of course none of these one liners do justice to these women, but by flagging them up here I hope to emphasise the huge role women can and do play in technology.

Ada Lovelace was an extraordinary woman and widely considered the first programmer, more on her life at Wikipedia