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Ada Lovelace Day 2011: Celebrating Sarah Lamb

October 7th, 2011

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, where we give kudos to the women who’ve made us think, grow and get where we are today. It’s an opportunity to the show the world Marie Curie isn’t alone (heck, not by a loooooooong shot!) by getting the word out about women’s many achievements in and contributions to these sectors. By posting about how notable, innovative and inspiring their ideas have been to our fields and our communities.

As part of the Montreal Girl Geek crew, Sandy, Georgiana and I are lucky that we get to meet so many amazing women in the science, tech, engineering and math communities on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. So there are many, many names and faces that we think about this time of year (and the other 364 days, too!)

This year we’re writing about Sarah Lamb (née Sarah Blow), who I was lucky enough to meet and fawn over in person on a recent trip to London.

Sarah Lamb (Sarah Blow)

Sarah Lamb

Girl Geek Goddess

Sarah is the software engineer and community manager who founded the first chapter of Girl Geek Dinners in London in 2005. She’d attended Geek Dinners events and noted that attendance was 90% male, so she figured she’d start a spin-off group.

Now, six years later, the Girl Geek movement now boasts 95 chapters across the globe, run by volunteers inspired by her vision to provide community events and resources for women with geeky careers and/or passions.

The reach of her work only really hit her when she started visiting other European chapters in Belgium and Italy, when she saw how unique and vibrant each community really is. The European communities have even held an exchange, partnering with Eurostar to bring Belgian and French Girl Geeks to London for a larger talk.

Looking to the Future

In our 5-hour pow-wow, Sarah spoke eloquently about where she wants to take the movement. She is focusing her community-oriented time on Girl Geeks as a global phenomenon, the girlygeekdom project and elevating the girl geek discourse to a whole new level. I’ll be sharing more of her many insights soon, but for now I can say I was struck by how humble she is in the face of the onslaught of awesome she has kickstarted around the world. The chapters show no signs of slowing down, and she even received a new chapter request to join the network while we were talking!

One of the most interesting things she mentioned was how she decided no longer to engage press or grant interviews to media that centre around a core message of lack or absence of women in more technical fields. To her that story has been told and her mandate is to focus on proactive, positive angles of what women are doing in the space.

She knows the women working out of these chapters are generating amazing initiatives and she can’t wait to see where we all go…

Thank you for all you’ve done to inspire us so far, Sarah! And thank you for all that is yet to come, too :)

Liesl Barrell & Sarah Lamb (Sarah Blow)

Sarah & I with all our geeky toys...

Want to know and do more?

Follow the global girl geek account on Twitter, like it on Facebook, check out their site for a full list of active chapters around the world. Follow Sarah and Girlygeekdom on Twitter and visit their website.

Don’t forget to send your own shout-out to the woman or women you admire on TwitFacedIn+ or your blog.

Let’s show our mentors some love!


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