The Ada Scotland Festival brings together partners involved in addressing the issue of gender balance in Computing Science education in Scotland. The University of Glasgow’s Dr Matthew Barr leads on the initiative, alongside Festival co-founders Dr Ella Taylor-Smith (Edinburgh Napier University) and Toni Scullion (dressCode) and Anna Doyle (BIMA, CYF) and a voluntary advisory board, drawn from across the sector.

The Ada Scotland Festival has grown out of a SICSA-supported workshop organised by Dr Barr at the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Computing Science Education. The workshop brought together employers, lecturers and teachers to identify ways in which the continuing gender imbalance in Computing Science might be addressed. The need for a more joined-up approach was one of the outcomes of the workshop, and that’s where the Festival comes in.

The Festival has two broad aims:

To provide a ‘one stop shop’ for addressing gender balance

A festival that unites the organisations and networks involved in improving gender balance provides a ‘one stop shop’ for parents, pupils, and students.  

To establish a network of partners

By bringing these partners together, opportunities for collaboration will emerge, avoiding duplication of effort and improving the mutual reach of those involved. 

While the Festival takes the form of a series of scheduled events (around Ada Lovelace Day in October), the Festival website provides a persistent platform for organisations to engage with the public. For 2020, the Festival took place entirely online, and this is likely to be the case for 2021, too.

Together, we can offer a more joined up approach to tackling gender imbalance in Computing Science, playing to individual partners’ strengths while improving the visibility of all concerned.