Celebrate women learning to use the Web and social media

Let’s hear it for the women who are learning to conquer the web… Today (24th March) is Ada Lovelace Day, an international day of blogging organised by Suw Charman-Anderson to draw attention to women excelling in technology.

The FindingAda website explains: ” Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. On this day we want to celebrate the achievements of women in technology.”

Looking at the statistics for the number of women in technology, it’s clear the number of women in “traditional” IT roles has dropped. According to the British Computer Society, in 2001, 23% of the “traditional” UK IT workforce was made up of women: since then that number has dropped 6%. (More on the “missing” women in IT) However, the number of women online is gradually rising.

The top three activities women engage in online are shopping, reading the news, and socialising via social networks and online communities. This leads some to predict that women’s services are the main growth area for the Web in 2009. However, 1 in 5 women over 45 has never used a computer… so there is still a long way to go.

We started our Women on the Web social media seminars to teach women with small businesses how to use the new technologies that are available (seminars to which men are welcome as well!) for business advantage. They are low priced to enable women just starting out in business to attend. It has been a revelation to some of our attendees. Often relegated to admin tasks on the computers at work and excluded from the family computer by husbands/partners and children, women are very grateful for the opportunity to learn, to not be laughed at when they ask “silly” questions and to be able to “have a go” at their own pace.

The potential for remote working and flexible working to allow for a better work-life balance is something they immediately recognise and welcome. So this blog post is dedicated to all those women out there who are getting to grips with the Web and social media and using it to change their businesses, their lives, and even the world. Go, girls!

Originally published on reachfurther.com