School of Science

Equality and Diversity

Women In Science blog

Our Women In Science Ambassador shares her experiences of life as a Loughborough science student.

Ada Lovelace Day

Particularly on days like today, I hope we can all appreciate the women in STEM we have met in our lives that have inspired and been mentors to us as well as aspire to be mentors ourselves.

Ada Lovelace Day occurs on the second Tuesday of October and is an internationally recognised opportunity to celebrate women in STEM. Giving recognition to all these women in STEM is something that needs to be continued and promoted across the world to highlight those still fighting social norms.

In her time, Ada Lovelace studied maths and science to become the first computer programmer by taking the work of Charles Babbage one step further. She was able to complete the work that he had started by understanding the machine much further than Babbage originally had, as well as seeing further potential from a more holistic and creative point of view. Babbage was a clear admirer of her and her brilliance, describing her as “that Enchantress that has thrown her magical spell around the most abstract of Sciences and has grasped it with a force which few masculine intellects could have exerted over it”.

Sadly however, this wasn’t recognised until over a century after her theories were first put together. She still persevered to make a difference in the STEM world, regardless of if she knew it would be accepted or not, of which she gets much respect for. Her work was later one of the main inspirations for Alan Turing to build the first modern computer, and so her work/contribution is sometimes overshadowed. On a day like today it is therefore important to recognise all of those involved, especially a woman who thrived in an environment that was not yet welcome to her.

Inspired by Ada, the Finding Ada Network “provides peer mentorship and exclusive career development and gender equality content for women in STEM”. Information to support individuals along their career path, or STEM related businesses to better promote gender equality, can be accessed and makes use of the resources available to make a difference in the modern world. Particularly on days like today, I hope we can all appreciate the women in STEM we have met in our lives that have inspired and been mentors to us as well as aspire to be mentors ourselves.

About Katrina

"My name is Katrina Cranfield and I am the Women in Science Ambassador. I’m half British half Portuguese, and spent the last 7 years living in Hong Kong.  I’ve now come to Loughborough to start my undergraduate degree in Chemistry, and as the Women in Science Ambassador I hope to evolve the way Loughborough welcomes women into STEM through my own student perspectives."

Katrina was selected to be the School of Science Women in Science Ambassador on the strength of her academic results, supporting statement and performance at interview. Over the coming year she will be blogging for us, as well as fulfilling her role representing women in science on our School social media channels, open days and other events. Katrina is interested in engaging with current students and prospective students who have any questions and concerns about being a female student in STEM at university. If you would like to ask her a question, please email her.  The best questions may form the basis of future blog posts, but they will be anonymised and we will seek permission first.