San Francisco Exploratorium + dizziness from the glass ceiling

On my last full day in San Francisco I had to visit the Exploratorium. I met up with Ellen Spertus from Google who wanted to talk to me about Blockly, a great project, I’m really glad that we managed to hook up.

I was first in touch with Ellen several years ago when I asked her if she would be our keynote speaker for an event we held at London South Bank University on women and Software Engineering/Formal Methods for the SEFM conference 2006. Unfortunately she couldn’t come, which was our loss.

I finally met Ellen at the ACM Turing 100 conference last year in San Francisco, and it was great to catch up with her again on this trip.

After a great chat we explored the Exploratorium together. There are so many great hands on exhibits there. What a wonderful place. I need to come back with The Cheekster, she will absolutely love it 😃

After Ellen left I had lunch and a chat with a great woman who told me about her career spanning more than 50 years. She was taking photos of the catamarans sailing across the bay, she had won prizes for sailing back in the day. She wouldn’t say how long ago but she did say that she was over 70. She had also been a programmer back in the 1950s, she said she had hit her head on the glass ceiling so many times it made her dizzy. Just think how many women have had the same experience, far too many.

Tomorrow I’m flying back to London on the #BAInnovate #Ungrounded flight. A hackathon in the sky focused on making a step change on the situation for women in STEM. We owe it to ourselves, our children and all the women that have been made dizzy by the glass ceiling to make sure we come up with a good solution.

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