Stock Photos Of Women In STEM Have Come A Long Way

In the early 1800s, Ada Lovelace was an anomaly. At a time when women were discouraged from studying math and science because, as one male mathematician put it, “the very great tension of mind which they require is beyond the strength of a woman’s physical power of application," Lovelace excelled in both fields. Today, she is widely recognized as one of the earliest computer programmers and is celebrated on Ada Lovelace Day, the second Tuesday in October.
It's no secret that many of the early biases Lovelace faced in the STEM field still exist for women today. But there have been improvements, some of which are evident in the stock photos that depict women in tech. Claudia Marks, the senior art director at Getty Images told Refinery29, that women are no longer shown framed by men as they once were in stock photos. And women and girls are portrayed engaging with tech and creating tech in them, too.
As these images have changed, so has the demand for them. Getty has seen searches for "women in STEM" increase 526% in the past year. Similarly, searches for "women coding" have grown 211% and "female programmer" have grown 144%.
In honor of Lovelace, take a look ahead at how images of women in tech from the 1900s compare to their modern day equivalents.

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