Celebrating inspiring women on Ada Lovelace Day

Ada_Lovelace_in_1852

Painting of Ada Lovelace by Henry Phillips (1820–1868), son of Thomas Phillips [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Women Who Code is the international organisation dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers.

I was delighted to be invited to join their London group on Ada Lovelace Day – the annual celebration of a woman widely considered to be the first computer programmer.

It gave me an excuse to begin my presentation – a lovely chat about forms – by mentioning a few of my own inspirations among women excelling in technology today.

Ginny Redish has been working on forms and official documents since the early 1980s and is a major influence on my Write Clearly course, and the accompanying Editing that Works website.

Jessica Enders is a forms and surveys expert running her own company, Formulate, in Australia. Her work and advice is always immensely practical and useful.

Karen Schriver ‘s book, Dynamics in Document Design: creating texts for readers, charted new territory and is still considered an essential work on information design – a field in which Karen continues to inspire.

Kathryn Summers is a leading expert on designing for people with lower literacy skills – particularly forms. She co-authored with Ginny and I the chapter ‘Designing for people who do not read easily’ in the 2013 book Rhetorical Accessability.