Many of our public spaces have been designed predominantly by men, and this includes online spaces. For instance, Twitter was recently critiqued for having an all-male board of directors even though Twitter users are more likely to be female. Fewer than 15% of Wikipedia contributors are women, and Wikipedia has been criticised for its unequal representation and insulting categorisation of entries on women, even with efforts to have more women editors.
This inequality perpetuates the idea that technology is a male domain, and women in the field often face discrimination and harassment. When women are invisible as leaders, creators, and agents of change, our contributions to the development of technology disappear. When women are silenced, our diverse realities are not reflected in the norms and priorities that shape the spaces we create.
Many women have led the way - creating innovative tools, connecting us to digital spaces and speaking out when we’re not included. Celebrate the techies, developers and innovators who have inspired with their persistence, resilience and creativity. Rewrite women and grrls into the story!
HONOR DIGITAL WOMEN
Pick a woman in the tech or online realm who inspires you and tell her story. She could be an inventor, innovator, blogger or some other kind of leader. Or it could be someone you know. The first feminist who taught you to explore and have fun with technology or had a conversation with you about the politics of technology.
Dedicate a blog post about her.
Add or update her Wikipedia entry.
Share a link to her work on your social media.
Tweet her and her name as your digital shero. Be sure to use #takebackthetech.
Let us know who you chose by commenting on this page or tweeting us @takebackthetech.
Check out what the Ada Initiative is doing to support women in open technology and culture. Named after Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, the Ada Initiative makes online spaces safer for women through activities like AdaCamp for tech women, Allies Workshop for men, and anti-sexual harassment policies. If you’re writing a blog, give them a shout-out and use #takebackthetech!
Keep women from being forgotten. Celebrate women’s achievements and give recognition to their hard work. Write us back into the tech story.